Photo by Kleigh Balugo
In honor of our second issue, Resolution, Kindergarten contributors compiled their most loved songs in to a single Spotify playlist. Covering a wide range of different genres, artists, and time periods, this is what Resolution sounds like to us.
“Everything Is Everything” by Ms. Lauryn Hill
Being at home and having more time on my hands during this pandemic was definitely a big factor in my encounter with the classic, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. After hearing “Everything Is Everything,” I knew this song was bound to be an instant favorite from the record. The lyrics, “What is meant to be, will be. After winter, must come spring” is a constant reminder that things will get better and eventually fall into place which is EXACTLY what I needed to hear upon entering my 20s.
“Mad” by Solange
Just like the rest of her album, A Seat at the Table, Solange discusses what it’s like to be a Black woman in America through “Mad.” Equipped with a Lil Wayne feature, Solange delves deeper into the “angry Black girl” stereotype, even explaining that her feelings are valid with the way this country treats Black people. Solange’s smooth voice and authentic storytelling combined ultimately makes her one of my favorite artists!
“Baby Powder” by Jenevieve
If there was a song that reminded me of a late night train ride in the city with friends, it would definitely be “Baby Powder.” Jenevieve’s soft and honey-like vocals laced together with a catchy beat makes this the go-to song when my phone is on 1% and I’m in dire need to listen to something on my way home!
“Eau D’Bedroom Dancing” by Le Tigre
Dancing alone in your room. It’s a staple in the teenage/young adult “coming of age” experience. “Eau D’Bedroom Dancing” is all about the liberation you feel when you’re blasting music in your room and dancing like no ones watching because literally no one is. I miss shows and concerts so much, but dancing alone hasn’t been half bad.
“Sorry” by Beabadoobee
“Sorry” is definitely one of my favorites off of Beabadoobee’s debut album, Fake it Flowers. I’ve been playing her album a lot recently. Every song on there makes me feel like the cool girl in a 90s movie and I’d be lying if I said that’s not the way I wanna feel everyday.
“Future Games” by Fleetwood Mac
This has been my go-to song in the mornings while I make myself breakfast. Probably because the dreamy guitar and the soothing vocals give the perfect level of energy that I need to slowly wake up or maybe just because the eight minute song buys me more time before I have to pick the next one.
“Say, Can You Hear?” by Men I Trust
Men I Trust’s dream-pop album Oncle Jazz is a personal favorite of mine. With the album’s fresh mellow sound, it’s easy to lose myself in a daydream and pay little attention to the sharp reflective lyrics. “Say, Can You Hear?” meaning is objectively vague but is subjectively hard-hitting depending on the listener’s own experiences and perception of themselves. Whether it be about self-victimization, stubborn grudges, or a feeling of imprisonment, “Say Can You Hear?” is a reminder that reflection is inherently tied to resolution.
“Ghosting” by Mother Mother
Unlike many of my friends, I’ve never been one to analyze lyrics for deeper meaning (also, I’m not an avid consumer of poetry and it has become a literary insecurity of mine). Rather, I listen for intricate auras in instrumentality so I can romanticize my seemingly dull life. Mother Mother’s music is far from my usual taste with their more simple and nude sound, yet I’ve found myself reading analysis of their songs on multiple occasions. “Ghosting” is a moving-on piece about an ex-lover, but it applies to so much more. Lately, I’ve become a ghost to what could have been in 2020. What memories would I have made? Would the friends I have lost during quarantine still be with me now? What music would I have enjoyed listening to on my way to class? Which library would I have preferred to study in? None of my questions have answers. It’s time for me “to pull these old white sheets from my head” and live in 2021.
“I Can Change” by LCD Soundsystem
“I Can Change” from LCD Soundsystem’s 2010 album This is Happening was my anthem through late nights spent studying for finals or recovering from holiday burnout as 2020 concluded. Despite its dismal lyrics (“And what you’re asking me now / Disastrous now / Hoping and hoping, and hoping / The feeling goes away”), the chorus’ almost desperate chant (“But I can change I can change I can change I can change / I can change I can change…”) is worthy of defining the tumultuous and transformative year. “I Can Change” and its pensive lyrics against a jarringly danceable rhythm gave me what I needed to reflect on what was often a pretty bleak year with some much-needed hope.
“Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” by Kate Bush
If “I Can Change” is for indulging in a bit of wallowing over the past year, “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” is for letting 2020 go up in flames and never looking back. The abstract lyrics give it such a cathartic quality (“And if I only could / I’d make a deal with God / And I’d get him to swap our places / I’d be running up that road” / Be running up that hill / With no problems”). “Running Up That Hill” and its bellowing synth gives you precious time (five minutes and one second, to be precise) to let go of the burden of thoughts, perfect for blasting on solitary night drives home.
“Look But Don’t Touch” by Juliet Shatkin
I only know this song because it’s on the soundtrack for the Clique but it’s the energy I want for 2021. Just pretend you are out of reach for everyone. Social distancing babey! Just kidding. I don’t think this song has any deeper meaning than being written for a popular mean girl squad, but it’s simply a fun listen. I want my new year to be enjoyable and theatrical when I’m pretending that my good outfits are going to be seen by people when in reality they’ll never see the light of day. It’s the year to dress for myself regardless of an audience!
“Lucky” by Britney Spears
A huge contributor to my sadness so far in this new year is because another semester of college is coming up and once again I’m thinking about the stresses of choosing a major. Unfortunately, being unhappy with everything my school has to offer me, I end up settling for something I know I don’t want, but at the same time I’m not sure if what I want will actually bring me happiness. In the past and currently, I’ve always felt like my interests are so superficial and unimportant because I want things related to entertainment and art while people around me seem to want to make significant differences in the world. This song is a reminder about being humble and making sure what I want will actually bring me satisfaction, rather than benefit or a title.
“All Caps” by Madvillain (MF DOOM and Madlib)
I still can’t believe MF DOOM is really gone. His music has always been a staple for me. He changed rap forever and influenced so many artists, many of which I also listen to. Madvillain, was a duo consisting of MF DOOM and producer Madlib. DOOM produced and wrote songs under different names frequently, my personal favorite is Flowervillain, a collab with Tyler, the Creator. “All Caps” is definitely one of his most loved songs and it makes me a little sad listening now that he’s gone, but that’s even more reason to appreciate it.
“Down the Line” by Beach Fossils
Beach Fossils never fails to put me in a zen mood. “Down the Line” is a feel good dance in your underwear song that you won’t be able to forget. I’ve been playing this one a lot, especially when my shoegaze playlist starts getting a little too sad. A car ride without Beach Fossils, is a car ride seriously wasted.
“Good Days” by SZA
I would be lying if I didn’t put this as one of my picks. Not a single day goes by where I’m not listening to “Good Days.” I knew it was one of my favorites even before it was released and I had to find it on Soundcloud, anti-vaping ads and all. I’m pretty much SZA’s #1 fan, but still. This one is all about finding peace when you have a crowded mind, which fits quite perfectly with the theme of resolution.
“For Lovers” by Lamp
I first came across this song when one of my friends posted it on Instagram. I forgot what the post was, but I remember being immediately captivated by the song. It’s a song I wish I could listen to for the first time again. “For Lovers” is written by the Japanese indie band, Lamp. To lightly translate it, the song compares the artist’s past significant other to their fondness of their favorite season. The love the artist once shared was something that passed by before they even got a change to appreciate, just like their favorite season. By the artist noticing and admitting this comparison, it displays how vulnerable they are without overdoing it. The artist is reminiscent of someone who once brought them joy, and for that we are left with no reason other than to sympathize with them. As for the song’s instrumental, the guitar plays ever so delicately in the background. With that in mind, if any other instrument were to be added, it would change the song’s tone entirely. Over all, if you’re looking for a song to touch your heart, let alone fill it with warmth, this song is definitely going to be up your alley.
“Changes” by Charles Bradley
“Changes” by Charles Bradley is a song I have been playing on repeat especially when it’s a gloomy day, and all I crave to do is be smuggled with the several blankets. It’s safe to say “Changes” is my comfort song for several reasons: Bradley’s rhaspy yet powerful vocals are none other than stunning, the bassline line’s subtle but has an impactful appearance, and the lyrics symbolize the growth Bradley’s aspires after his relationship fall out despite how much it tears him apart. He doesn’t want this painful feeling to exist anymore, but he’s aware he can’t avoid it no matter how much he tries. Hence, he embraces the change even though it’s as if it’s killing him slowly. Going back to Bradley’s vocals, it’s what makes the song so enthralling. When his emotions build up and he sings passionately- and loudly-it gives chills down your spine. Everyone should give this song listen whether or not you’re going through a heartbreak. The beauty of the song captures audiences of all types, and I think that’s important when you listen to music.