Midterms are over and spring break has come and gone. That leaves most students with one big, unfortunate event left on the pre-summer horizon: finals. In the rut between Cancun debauchery and summertime relaxation (or two and a half months of internships and class, if you’re really unlucky) we all need a little something to keep us from losing our minds.
Featuring Death Cab for Cutie, Saxon Shore and American Football, play this mix to avoid a full-out nervous break while staring down all the doodles that somehow took the place of your accounting notes.
“Bar Clearing Good Times” by Saxon Shore is all instrumental, subtly cheery and perfect for a five-minute mental breather in between study sessions (or quarter-life-crisis-style freak outs).
“We Own the Sky” is the lead single from M83’s 2008 album Saturdays = Youth. Sometimes described as “shoegaze,” M83’s brand of airy, slow electronica is soothing without putting you to sleep and “We Own the Sky” is one of the M83’s most successful tracks.
American Football’s “But the Regrets Are Killing Me”might not get your mind off of what’s stressing you out where relationships are concerned, but it’s one of those indie songs that serves as the perfect soundtrack for a good cry. And don’t act like that’s a weird thing to say – we all know when we need one.
Thom Yorke’s piercing falsetto on Radiohead’s “Nude” is eerie and captivating. It’s the kind of song you play on end for the first five days after you hear it.
“Ice Monster”by indie rock vets Minus the Bear is a bit playful with xylophone chimes and jumpy rhythm guitar, but the lyrics say something more fitting for the song’s slower tempo.
Land of Talk’s “Better and Closer” is persistent and melodic. Lead singer Elizabeth Powell’s clear voice just seems to float over the music.
Death Cab for Cutie are such an earnest, classic band that we forget we all heard of them when their music was featured on the O.C. Keep forgetting that, and listen to “Prove My Hypotheses” on a rainy day with a big mug of fair-trade organic coffee, channeling your inner north westerner.
Underneath all the pre-finals stress there’s typically an element of anxiety over what’s going to happen after all the classes and tests that make up college come to an end. With lyrics like “Wake up dreamer/it’s happening without you…stop being so laissez-faire/we’re all scared of the future,” Bloc Party’s “Plans” taps into that feeling in a cathartic way.
Fleet Foxes’ “Blue Ridge Mountains” starts quietly and builds up to a folksy anthem whose bouncing harmony seems to suggest the light at the end of the tunnel that is the Spring Semester Rut.
Photo credit: Education Portal