The Daily Texan’s playlist to welcome new year, semester

Angela Lim, Life&Arts Editor

Bring empowerment, positive energy and comfort into the new year with a curated soundtrack. As students begin another semester and work toward new goals, The Daily Texan compiled a list of songs that promise to motivate with their uplifting messages and instrumentals.

“Take Me as I Am” by Rina Sawayama

This track from Sawayama’s 2017 album RINA expresses her desire for acceptance as a queer Asian woman in an industry dominated by white musicians. In the chorus, the artist sings, “Every single day I fight another war / Every single night I feel more powerful.” “Take Me as I Am” intentionally draws inspiration from dazzling retro pop elements to reimagine the sound of mainstream music. 

“Still Life” by RM (with Anderson .Paak)

Demonstrating his avid interest in art, RM — the leader of South Korean group BTS — cleverly uses still life paintings as a metaphor in lyrics like, “I’m still life / Yeah, can’t lock me in a frame, I’m movin’.” With a groovy, carefree soundscape, this song from Indigo reminds listeners that life stays untitled in spite of chaos, encouraging them to live in the present.

“Loneliness” by Ginger Root

Impostor syndrome is a prevalent theme in Ginger Root’s EP Nisemono, which means “a phony” in Japanese. “Loneliness” hypnotizes listeners with misty vocals and instrumentals from another lifetime. Exuding pristine city pop, the track gives the image of a blurry night skyline and strangely helps listeners feel less alone.

“Perfect Places” by Lorde

The final track of Lorde’s sophomore album Melodrama overwhelms listeners with heavy synths, Pure Heroine nostalgia and a lingering question: “What the f— are perfect places anyway?” The song serves as a reminder to passionately enjoy one’s youth and live life to the fullest. After all, perfect places don’t look the same for everyone.

“Look At Me Now” by Emily King

King carries an effortless, soulful voice with a candlelit timbre. Released on 2019’s Scenery, “Look At Me Now” expresses the feeling of watching people come and go with lyrics such as, “Did you hear about me? / I got off the ground / I stood up when you left.” The track assures listeners that they can attain happiness and success on their own.

“Bitter with the Sweet” by Carole King

Embellished with a fun descending bassline, this gem from 1972 album Rhymes & Reasons advises listeners that nothing comes easy. The song shifts as King sings, “Everything good in life you’ve got to pay for / But feelin’ good is what you’re paving the way for.”

“Eagletown” by Orange Guava Passion

Funky and light, “Eagletown” talks about childhood memories, growing up and moving away from home. The final chorus imitates the feeling of flying, with the song’s key going a step higher. The band freely exhibits the journey of someone coming to terms with the changes in their life.

“It Gets Better (With Time)” by The Internet

As the title suggests, this slow R&B jam reassures listeners that time heals most wounds, saying, “Nothing in this moment is the same as a moment ago.” Accompanied by a dreamy chorus and instrumental, the lyrics help listeners relax and ease their worries about the future.