by Megan LaCerta, Staff Writer
At the risk of sounding like the narrator of a coming-of-age movie, there is nothing more exhilarating, or more terrifying, than the end of summer. The start of the fall semester marks many things — a return to college, to friends, and for many, the city itself. However, it also brings with it loads of classwork, as well as all of the associated stress. Fall brings an end to the freedom of a summer spent without responsibility, or the comfort of one spent at home. It’s a bittersweet sensation, and what better way to capture such complex feelings than through music? If you’re looking for a playlist to bring summer to a close, and start off the new season on the right foot, this column is for you.
Life In The City – The Lumineers
In the song’s first verse, The Lumineers ask the question, “Would you be glad to see Manhattan for once?” and my answer is yes, absolutely. This track, about pursuing your dreams in the city, functions as a welcome to new MC students, and as a welcome back
to all those who spent a sum- mer — or even a full year away — due to the pandemic.
A-O-K – Tai Verdes
Did I first find out about Tai Verdes from TikTok? Yes. Am I ashamed of that fact? Also yes. Nonetheless, I will be listening to this track on repeat and trying to match Verdes’ positive mindset all semester. It also transitions well from windows-open summer drives to jamming out in a dorm room with your friends.
One More Weekend – Maude Latour
Feel like time is moving too fast? Is it the beginning of your senior year, and you wish you could just catch your breath for a moment? New York City native and current Columbia University student Maude Latour feel your pain. The contrast between the upbeat music and alternatively confused, anxious and quietly hopeful lyrics are a perfect metaphor for the clash of emotions many of us may experience as we realize we’re coming closer to the end of our college journey.
Hot and Heavy – Lucy Dacus
If running into that one person in Locke’s was causing you anxiety on move-in day, this song is for you. I first discovered Lucy Dacus, who makes up the group Boygenius alongside Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker, earlier this summer, and I can’t get enough of her lyricism and storytelling. The track’s final line, “It’s bittersweet to see you again,” perfectly encapsulates the tumultuous feelings that can come with a return to college.
Suburbs – Marsicans
One of my best friends shared this song with me in high school, and it’s been a playlist staple ever since. This one is for everyone who was looking forward to getting out of their hometown a little bit too much. Such overexcitement is emphasized by the track’s abrupt start, where the lyrics and heavy electric guitar kick in immediately. Later verses reveal the city may not be perfect, but Marsicans insist the freedom is worth it in the punchy refrain. I would absolutely recommend this track to anyone who describes where they’re from with the phrase, “Oh, just an hour or so outside of [insert nearest major city here].”
Maine – Noah Kahan
I first discovered Noah Kah- an’s music over quarantine, and
I quickly became a fan of his genuine lyrics and emotive vocals. “Maine” is a nostalgia-fueled track, sure to hit home for all those missing their high school friends, or summer days spent on the beach. The acoustic intro leads into Kahan’s ethereal humming, creating a dream-like feeling that prac- tically transports the listener back into summer’s most memorable moments.
Gaslight – WILLOW (Feat. Travis Barker)
The entirety of WILLOW’s recently-released album, “lately I feel EVERYTHING,” is a pop-punk masterpiece, but “Gaslight” is one of my personal favorites. The track has the sound of an early 2000’s teen movie montage, so whether you’re looking for the perfect soundtrack for taking a final summer road trip, or to force yourself out of bed for your Monday morning class, this one is for you.
Don’t Call Me When You’re Lonely – Fox Royale
My Spotify Discover Weekly playlist truly blessed me when it gave me this song. “Don’t Call Me When You’re Lonely” has a relentless energy to it. While the lyrics are about struggling through an unsure relationship, the beat and melody have a lively, addictive quality on par with Grouplove’s modern classic, “Tongue Tied.” I think the contrast of conflict and excitement are familiar to many of us as fall comes around.
45 – Bleachers
I’ve been a fan of Bleachers for some time now, and when I first heard this release, I was surprised by the departure from their typical, more heavily-produced sound. However, I love the tinny, acoustic sound, and the nostalgic quality it brings to the track. This quality is fitting, since the song is about looking back and appreciating moments that have passed. To me, the song is a beautiful tribute to summers past.
To Find a Friend – Tom Petty
The end of summer brings on a transition period for many of us. Petty echoes many of the fears we might feel in such times. It’s indeed “hard to find a friend” while everything is changing around us. However, the repetitive structure and steady rhythm of the track, alongside the undeniably calm- ing quality of Petty’s voice, provide a sense of reassurance— it definitely is hard, but it will also definitely work out in the end.