Jul 29, 2023

Torch Tunes

Posted by Evan Hibbard on August 23, 2023 in Culture, Torch Tunes.

The school year is already right around the corner which means it’s time for another back-to-school playlist full of tunes to calm your nerves.

Campus – Vampire Weekend

The first song on this playlist comes from one of the quintessential college rock groups in American music history, Vampire Weekend. The song “Campus” was released on their self-titled debut album, widely regarded as one of the most important alternative rock records of the 2000s. The bouncy confidence of Chris Tomson’s frenetic drumming gives a new life to the choppy guitar falling behind singer Ezra Koenig’s soft-spoken lilt.

We’re Going to Be Friends – The White Stripes

Before Jack White had a solo career and a thousand side projects, he wrote the classic “We’re Going to Be Friends” with then-wife and bandmate, Meg White. The childlike simplicity of the song paired with Jack White’s more sensitive side that was rarely revealed with The White Stripes have made the tune a classic in years past and years to come.

Festival Song – Jeff Rosenstock

“I want the song of the American dorm room,” declared the Long Island punker at the end of “Pash Rash”, before breaking into the lively and rambunctious, “Festival Song”, which truly does sound like a song you’d hear spilling out into the hallway, muffled through someone’s brick dorm wall.

A lot of Rosenstock’s songs would honestly work for this playlist since his songs are so emotive and relatable to a younger generation, although I feel like this is the one you blast at inhumane volumes through your headphones after getting done with studying for the night.

Call It Good Times – Winkler

The New England outfit released “For You, Now”, their first full-length record earlier this year in February, with this delightful ditty being one of the highlights. Originally gaining a sizable following on TikTok, the young indie pop band has capitalized on their newfound popularity with an enchanting debut album to follow their promising singles from the past.

The band combines breezy pop rhythms and fuzzy guitars with a crunchy lo-fi aesthetic that’s sure to shake those back-to-school jitters everyone seems to experience the first few weeks back on campus.

Confessions Pt. II – BADBADNOTGOOD, Colin Stetson

Now we approach the instrumental side of the playlists, with tracks intended to stimulate the senses and provide background noise for an intense study session. While anything off the Toronto outfit’s IV could be used as studying music, Confessions Pt. II is a powerful and triumphant attack on traditional jazz, boasting a more creative and arguably abrasive sound by Colin Stetson.

Stetson is now known for his work in Hollywood, composing the dark ethereal score that accompanied Ari Aster’s debut feature film “Hereditary”, although previously he was known and respected as a master of complex and abrasive saxophone melodies, no better captured than on this song with the Canadian jazz troupe.

A Love Supreme Pt. 1 – Acknowledgment – John Coltrane

And finally to cap off this list with some more instrumental jazz is who other than arguably the greatest jazz saxophonist of all time, John Coltrane. Although the entirety of his 1965 masterpiece, “A Love Supreme”, could be used as study/reading music, “Acknowledgement” is the track that truly jumps out at the listener upon the first listen, offering a small sample of what is to come with the rest of the album.

Put on this track or album after a long day of work, kick back,and relax to the sultry melodies of John Coltrane. Hopefully this playlist can serve as a stabilizing force during the frantic first few days of school and guide the listener into some new music interests at the same time.

Find the playlist here!:

Campus – Vampire WeekendWe’re Going to Be Friends – The White StripesFestival Song – Jeff RosenstockCall It Good Times – WinklerConfessions Pt. II – BADBADNOTGOOD, Colin StetsonA Love Supreme Pt. 1 – Acknowledgment – John Coltrane