For issue 7: Unity, we chose songs that bring people together. Listen with your friends and let the good times roll!
“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
This doesn’t seem like a song that would bring people together, as it’s just Carly Simon listing the many flaws of conceited men she’s dated. But it’s also a great singalong song, with awesome lyrics and melody. My sister and I love to sing along to this song together.
“SUGAR” by BROCKHAMPTON
This song just conjures up great memories of hanging out with my friends, and whenever someone puts this song on, we all have to pause our conversation and sing along. While the lyrics are romantic in nature, it’s just a song that my friends and I love to listen to together.
“good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo
Unfortunately, too many of us resonate with Miss Rodrigo’s debut album where she explores her first breakup through her lyrics, but the rock-influenced track “good 4 u” just brings people together in a whole new way. Recently I attended a party, and when “good 4 u” came on, all the girls in the room stopped what they were doing to scream along to the lyrics. Even me, and I have never had an ex before. The song is just that powerful.
“4EVER” by Clairo
This takes me back to being in the car with my friends, but specifically during summers for the past 3 years. I think of the Red Rock Canyon drives where we were tired on the way there because it was early in the morning or we were exhausted on the way back after hiking. Yet, every single one of the friends knew the lyrics and had to sing them, even if we were out of breath in an overpacked car in the typical Mojave Desert heat. There’s just something about being squished together and looking out the window during a scenic drive while Clairo plays in the background that makes people happy.
“Sunflower” by Rex Orange County
I’m going to sound like High School Senior Me by putting popular songs from both Clairo and Rex Orange County, but I swear all my friends know every word so I have to think of them. I think being able to sing in the car so casually without worrying about the way anyone sounds is a great example of unity. Not everyone has to relate to the lyrics, but everyone has to know most of them. Moments like these where the song queue has been so perfect that we drive a few more laps around the neighborhood because we aren’t quite ready to go home just yet. Not wanting the blissful memories and their musical accompaniment to end.
“September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
There’s no way people have done karaoke without singing this one. This is a staple piece in a karaoke set and that really brings people together. Any song that can be screamed by the whole room with an audience of all age groups can define unity. Even if you don’t remember the lyrics to “September,” you can’t help but join in for “baaaadeeeeyaaaa!”
“Light Of Love” by Florence + The Machine
In April of 2020 when everything felt scary and surreal, Florence Welch helped provide a little ray of hope for her fans and, in turn, for frontline healthcare workers who we depended on to help traverse us through the COVID-19 pandemic.100% of Florence Welch’s income from this song goes towards a charity to help frontline healthcare workers. When my best friend sent me this song at a very low point, I couldn’t help but recognize that the world was in a lot of pain. I realized the light of love could help guide us to a brighter tomorrow with the backdrop of woodwinds and piano that Florence uses to evoke an ethereal message—we cannot look away.
“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn
I guess there’s just something really honest about holding back tears on the dance floor as you see your ex dancing with someone else. Subject matter aside, it’s very likely that screaming the chorus of this song together might end wars, solve crises, and make us all a little more carefree with much needed catharsis.
“Flyday Chinatown” by Yasuha
Unexpectedly, city pop, a loose collective term for western-influenced Japanese 1970’s to 1980’s pop music, has risen in online popularity with a young, diverse and devoted fanbase. While scrolling online you’ve probably heard Mariya Takeuchi’s “Plastic Love”, which has amassed millions of views on Youtube, or Miki Matsubara’s viral TikTok hit “Stay With Me.” City pop’s revival is another reminder of music’s ability to unite people regardless of culture, language, and age. A favorite city pop track of mine, “Flyday Chinatown” by Yasuha, portrays an unforgettable night through its catchy, groovy melody.
“Immaterial” by Sophie
Sophie’s “Immaterial” is a breakdown of the restrictions the material world holds over us, and the exploration of what is immaterial within ourselves. Lyrics such as “You could be me and I could be you” reveal how similar we truly all are without physical and societal constraints separating us. Sophie invites us to explore beyond the physical state, which has become contaminated with societal boundaries, through her iconic avant-garde pop style. This transcendental understanding allows for true creative expression, understanding and unity in our own being and, consequently, with others as well.
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
Please, even if you’re not into oldies, you have to admit that this song makes everyone feel powerful after they sing it, or is it just me? That disco rhythm and the relatable lyrics are the keys to change anyone’s mood.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
This is simply a classic, meant to be sung with a large group of people at the top of your lungs, don’t you think? The catchy and unique chorus has that iconic unifying vibe that we need sometimes. There’s nothing left to say, and I’m sure many of you already know this song, so just let it take over you.
“Dog Days are Over” by Florence + the Machine
Finally, adding more of a modern touch to my list is Florence + the Machine. Before the covid days, I attended one of their concerts, and right before singing this song, Florence asked everyone in the audience to put their phones away to fully live the experience. Halfway through the song, she asked us to hug the person next to us. I assure you that I had never felt a stronger immediate connection with my friend before that moment. This song makes you forget about any insecurities, worries, or anger that you might hold in your heart. It is simply liberating.
“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye
The 2011 blockbuster hit still manages to bring people together the moment the first measure is played. It’s one of the songs everybody knows instantly. With its distinct Brazilian and Australian music influence, the song itself became a major hit across the world. Not only that, due to Goyte becoming a one hit wonder, he’s embodied the title of his classic song that allows run-on jokes for fans of the song. It’s the go-to karaoke or car song where everyone can sing passionately together feeling free.
“Black Sheep” by Metric
If there was an award for the song that’s most remembered from a movie soundtrack, it would be Brie Larson’s cover of “Black Sheep” by Metric. The second the bass kicks in and she screams “oh yeah,” the audience feels goosebumps throughout their body. I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t adore this song, let alone sit still while it plays. “Black Sheep” can be played in a room full of strangers, yet somehow in some way, everybody can understand each other a little bit better after the song plays.
“Pain” by Pink Pantheress
With Pink Pantheress gaining her fame from Tik Tok, it’s safe to say there’s a large community who enjoy her music. Her songs can be enjoyed by everyone. Tik Tok users have even joked around about how gangster the song is (of course, in an ironic way). Plus, the moment she sings her “lala” part, listeners manage to fall in love with the song all over again. Thousands of Tik Tok videos were created with people geeking out specifically about that part of the song. If that’s not people coming together over a certain thing, then I don’t know what is.
“Only” by Nicki Minaj
“Only” has a specific intro that fans of Nicki Minaj, better known as Barbz, can recognize within less than a second. Barbz can have a full smile on their face or be in the midst of laughing their stomach off, but when “Only” plays, reality stops and the curtains rise. The satisfaction of rapping along to the song is unbeaten, especially if it’s with your friends. Not only that, switching parts throughout the song with your friends is the best way to sing it. It’s almost as if there was a hidden persona inside you that was waiting to be released. Only Nicki Minaj can do that.
“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths
Where do I begin with this song? “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” is one of The Smith’s top tier songs that allowed them to make a name for themselves. This song became the bridge of original 80s goth fans to Gen Z indie kids coming together. The classic tune has also turned into an overplayed song. It became a joke to associate people who enjoy the song or the band as a red flag. Key terms can be signified with gaslight and manipulator music. Besides that, this song also manages to bring people together based on the way they sing along. Since Morissey’s voice is distinct, it’s impossible to not try and replicate it. Fans end up singing along in British accents that they never knew they had, but that’s what makes it thrilling… right?
“Seven Nation Army” by White Stripes
“Seven Nation Army” has gone down as one of the most over played beginning guitar songs. It’s another joke about how that person might look like they know how to play guitar, but in reality they’re just starting. While that’s not a bad thing, it definitely brings out the unhealthy stereotypes within the guitar universe. It’s this generation’s version of learning “Wonderwall” by Oasis. Mocking the song does bring certain guitarists together to show how skilled they are, but it also brings new guitarists together who are trying to obtain their own playing style and rhythm. Perhaps it’s a win-win for everyone.