Amidst the hectic first weeks of the Martinmas Semester, filled with online lectures and lengthy readings, it’s essential to take some time out for yourself and enjoy the ‘little things’ that transport you to another realm. Providing a medium to travel through music is my list of the top 10 songs to get you through the semester

1. Seventeen by Sharon Van Etten

This undervalued artist clearly deserves more attention than she gets, as you’ll be able to tell once you listen to this single. The song and its music video provide a reflection into teenage angst and uncertainty,
clear in the lines, “Sure of what I’ve lived and have known; I see you so uncomfortably alone. I wish I could show you how much you’ve grown.” Alongside the beauty and romanticism of being seventeen lies an undertone of finding oneself and one’s place in the future. Van Etten resonates strongly with young people and subtly hints that things do fall into place, and reaching your dreams is not quite as unachievable as it may seem.

2. 5AM by Amber Run

5AM is a song that is very much suited to the early hours of the morning, with its slow-building melancholic tunes and dark blues vibe. The heartfelt beats accurately describe the feeling of losing your way and turning to alcohol or drugs as a means to escape reality. This intense vibe is reminiscent of the TV series ‘Euphoria’, but also represents the burst of emotion one feels in the A.M. The artist says “I wish you’d live like you’re made of glass” to convey the importance of not being so hard on oneself.

3. Electric Indigo by the Paper Kites

This song is one that never fails to make me smile. Be it the beats or the lyrics, something about this one will make you move with the rhythm. The artist’s reference to time just being a “remedy covered in disguise” implies that time erases memories; this seems to be quite an irony, as this melody instantly reminds me of some of my best loved memories. It is quite a party tune and gives similar vibes to another song by the Paper Kites, “Featherstone.”

4. Territory by The Blaze

The Blaze are another highly underrated duo, who are best known for their electronic and dance music. Their music videos complement their songs to perfection, with every movement displaying an emotion. This is the kind of song that resonates with moments of revelation, intense passion and lost remembrances. The Blaze provides a certain freedom of movement, urging the listener to stand up and move to the beat. The music video for this song was awarded for its creativity at the Cannes Lions Festival.

5. Someone to Stay by Vancouver Sleep Clinic

The pleasant vibe that this song gives off could transport anyone out of their moments of insecurity and bring them straight to a sense of triumph. Despite having been inspired by a scene of poverty in Cambodia, this song has a way of making you feel joyful – with a slight hint of despair. As the title suggests, we all need ‘someone to stay’ and be there in our moments of misery.

6. Heather by Conan Grey

The rhythmic beats of the guitar in this song could make anyone reminisce about an experience of longing, with the intensity of emotions on display. Written much like a love song, but addressing an unforeseen change of heart resulting in heartache, ‘Heather’ confronts unrequited love and the desire to change one’s identity just to be accepted by their love. Much like other songs by Conan Grey, such as “The Cut That Always Bleeds,” this song makes you lose yourself in its lyrics.

7. Slow Down by New Moscow

This song is a slow, rhythmic anthem which would serve as a perfect soundtrack for a relaxing break amidst a tiring schedule. It can be described as blues-like, soothing, reflective and introspective. As the title suggests, this song is a call to maintain our humanistic tendencies and not become robots in a never-ending race for whatever we may desire. For anyone who likes Lana Del Rey’s songs, this is highly recommended.

8. Broken by lovelytheband

Broken is a party anthem with a comforting lyrical quality that blends well with its beats. It’s the kind of song you’d play at the beach or dance all night to. It appreciates the fragmented eccentricities of people, and provides a sense of unity despite the underlying differences that people may have.

9. The Woods by Hollow Coves

The jaunty beats of this song have the ability to strike a chord amongst any listener. Hearing this song makes you lose sense of time and feel each moment to its fullest. This indie folk band is quite undiscovered, and their other songs – such as ‘Coastline’ and ‘These Memories’ – share a distinct feel-good quality. This one is a must-listen on those days you decide to laze around.

10. Loving You by Seafret

Unique in its beats and rhythm, this song reminds me of those few people you unexpectedly come across who make a big difference in your life. The interesting part about this song is that it takes an everyday experience and makes you reflect upon those few instances that meant so much, now that you look back on them.