Tunesday: Midterm wave relief

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We’ve finally hit the one-month mark of the new semester — our spring admits’ monthiversary if you will — but this by no means is a reason to celebrate. A more important milestone, known as midterms, has come along, and we’re noticing our weekends are beginning to be spent with books more than they are with friends. Most of us can agree this is not a good thing. But luckily, good music isn’t repressed by such trivial benchmarks of time, and while we’re getting back into the groove of student life, we can turn to these head-bobbing tunes to bring back some spice into our lives. Happy Tunesday.

“Home By Now” by Bombay Bicycle Club
This track off of Bombay Bicycle Club’s new album, So Long, See You Tomorrow, is a collection of dance-worthy rhythms and some pretty dang sublime piano chords. Its buildup of dramatic cymbals and hushed-to-hypnotic vocals will serve as a much-needed breath of fresh air, incomparable to other songs within the same genre, let alone the same album, and incomparable to your usual study music.

“Feather” by Little Dragon (TATF remix)

Tapioca and the Flea’s psychedelic twist on the Little Dragon classic is a good example of a remix done right, reflecting musical styles true to both the Los Angeles and Swedish bands. Play this song when you’re getting it on with your textbook at the library, and you won’t be able to resist moving in your seat — so much that a judging stare from the guy across your table is practically guaranteed.

“The Moon Song” by Karen O & Ezra Koenig
Both taken completely out of their usual rock element and into something a little more delicate, music icons Karen O and Ezra Koenig of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Vampire Weekend, respectively, teamed up to produce this studio version of “The Moon Song” featured in Spike Jonze’s love-meets-technology-themed film, “Her.” “The Moon Song’s” occasional imperfect pitch, echoed vocals and endearing lyrics make for a beautiful rendition, doing both the singers’ bands and the lauded film justice.

“Bill Murray” by Phantogram
“We named it Bill Murray because we always pictured a sad Bill Murray for the visuals of that song,” says Josh Carter, half of the duo, to the Atlantic. This uplifting ballad off of Phantogram’s new release, Voices, resonates a dazed impression of looking up at the stars, embellished by a slow xylophone and Phantogram’s signature droning synthesizer. Whether you’re curious about Murray’s musical interpretation or looking to unwind, this one’s well worth a listen.

“Machine” by Observer Drift
This is the kind of song we would play walking into a midterm — powerful, invigorating, yet calming enough not to wipe out all that material you’ve crammed in the last day, if you know what we mean. The song ends in a victorious bang that will ultimately get you pumped to destroy that midterm of yours (or be destroyed).

“Moondust” by Jaymes Young
Singer-songwriter Jaymes Young approaches “Moondust” with soulful lyrics, a reverberating guitar and a slow tempo, creating the perfect electro-rock song to play on your heavier nights of readings upon readings. We’d like to think of him as a male version of Lana Del Rey (but without that iconic pout, of course).

“Paranoia” by Chance the Rapper feat. Nojas Thing
Nosaj Thing, rising LA-based electronic music producer, and Chance the Rapper teamed up to create this track of minimalist beats. Chance tones down his playfulness in this song, rapping with far more seriousness than in his more popular material, “Cocoa Butter Kisses.” “Paranoia’s” hook, “I know / You scared / You should ask us if we scared too / I know / You scared / Me too,” seems to be frighteningly more relevant than ever in this wave of midterms.

“Dontcha” by The Internet
The Internet, comprised of duo Syd tha Kyd and DJ Matt Martians, puts a groovy spin on trip-hop, heavily inspired by ’80s pop. A member of indie rap group OFWGKTA, led by the provocative Tyler the Creator, Syd tha Kyd is probably one of the most distinctive female artists in the game, known for her sultry, feminine voice and clashing androgynous style.

“Firelight” by Young the Giant
“Firelight,” from Young the Giant’s new album Mind Over Matter, opens with an entrancing string of guitar and cascades into what sounds like a soundtrack to a dream. By the end of the song, you’ll be completely hypnotized by the track’s poetic lyrics, buildup of percussion and Sameer Gadhia’s delicious, delicious voice. If you’re looking for a song to get lost in, this one’s for you.

Contact Tiffany Kim at [email protected].