The 10 songs that got me through my first year at Emerson


Art by Lucia Thorne

By Karissa Schaefer, Staff Writer, Living Arts

One of my favorite ways to connect with people is through music. During my first year at Emerson, I discovered so many great new songs that are part of my daily playlist now, many of which I first heard through friends. 

Since there are too many to count, here are the top 10 songs from my Spotify playlist that got me through this year.

  1. “Streets” – Disclosure Remix: Doja Cat, Disclosure

If you’re an EDM lover like me, you’ll love this spin on Doja Cat’s “Streets.” Because of this song, I have Doja’s whole rap memorized, while simultaneously knowing when the beat drops. Dare I say, this version is even better than the original, and I usually don’t say that about remixes. This song will make you crave dancing at a club or rave. As soon as we’re able to do so, I’m requesting this song from the nearest DJ. Oh, and the cover art is pretty sick too. 

  1. “Need Your Love” – Tennis

This was the first song I listened to by Tennis in the fall, and it made me instantly want to listen to the rest of their discography. The singer’s voice is so smooth and the key change for the chorus is a nice surprise—something not a lot of songs have. My whole friend group loves this song (shoutout to one of our friends for sharing it with us). The first time I heard it, we were out on Boston Common for my friend’s birthday. It’s nice applying memories to songs, it makes listening to them even more nostalgic. An honorable mention goes out to “How to Forgive,” “I’m Callin’,” and “Bad Girls.”

  1. “Late Night” – Lucky Daye

As an upbeat mood-lifter, this song had me bopping around my dorm (RIP room 616). At least now I can blast it in my car, with full volume and the windows down. It’s the perfect fun song to bump to with your friends on a weekend night before heading out or even if you’re staying in. Daye, an R&B artist who is new to me, has created the perfect groovy song that I play on repeat as I walk down the street. 

  1. “Midnight Sky” – Miley Cyrus

Okay, in all honesty, it’s hard to pick a favorite from Miley Cyrus’ recent album Plastic Hearts, so we’re just going to have to go with “Midnight Sky,” the one that started it all. This song is already a classic and it only came out last summer. I don’t know what Miley put in this song to make it so addictive, and one of the best pop songs to come out in the last decade. If you want more of my opinion on her album, check out my review of Plastic Hearts. Honorable mention goes to “Night Crawling” because that electronic pop compliments “Midnight Sky” perfectly, flowing into it on the album.

  1. “Come Over” – The Internet

The Internet is another new band I found this year. Their whole discography is a banger, but especially this song, which introduced me to them. The beats perfectly compliment vocalist Syd, creating a catchy song. R&B has been a new genre of exploration for me this year, and this song is no exception. Some honorable mentions from The Internet are “Girl” feat. KAYTRANADA, “Just Sayin/I Tried,” and “Roll (Burbank Funk).” 

  1. “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” – WILLOW feat. Travis Barker

After coming to the realization this year that the hit “Wait a Minute!” is sung by Willow Smith, I immediately had to listen to the rest of her songs, and I was not disappointed. Recently, she released “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l,” a rock song featuring Travis Barker on guitar. I grew up listening to classic rock, so I was immediately ecstatic to hear that WILLOW was putting out some of her own. The song is short, making it easy to listen to on repeat countless times. WILLOW is a great vocalist and lyricist at such a young age, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her music to come. 

  1. “Doses & Mimosas”- Cherub

I don’t care if this song came out in 2012, I only just discovered it this semester and I wish I found it sooner. This song instantly puts me in a great mood—when the beat builds up and drops towards the end, I feel like Scarlett Johansson in the clip of her dancing from Marriage Story. It’s a great party song (when that’s allowed again) and all I could think about when I found it was ‘I can’t wait to listen to this in my car.’ It really makes me want to dance around with a mimosa in my hand. 

  1. “The Weekend” – Funk Wav Remix: SZA, Calvin Harris, Funk Wav

A remix of SZA’s “The Weekend,” this song spins the original into a funky, faster version, enhancing the slower original. Thanks to my friends for getting me into SZA this semester, I was adequately prepared for her and Doja’s bop “Kiss Me More” (another honorable mention). Both versions of “The Weekend” are great for different moods, whether you want a more relaxed, chill vibe, or if you’re looking for a fun ‘weekend’ song, the Funk Wav Remix is the move. 

  1. “King Kunta” – Kendrick Lamar

Now I don’t usually listen to a lot of hip hop, but when I do, it’s usually Kendrick Lamar. “King Kunta” is hard hitting, quite literally making me bop my head along. Any song by Kendrick is guaranteed to be a hit. The song is funky and makes me want to choreograph a hip hop dance to it, even though I am by no means a choreographer. Also, if you haven’t listened to the Black Panther album, which features hit after hit primarily created by Kendrick, give it a listen as soon as possible. 

  1. “Hot Sugar” – Glass Animals

Already a fan of “Toes” and “Season 2 Episode 3,” I went on a Glass Animals binge this year. Their songs are vibey and cool, and overall remind me of summertime. It’s indie and psychedelic pop that doesn’t get played on the radio enough, although it’s probably better that way so it won’t become overplayed. Some other hits from them that I recommend are “Gooey,” “Heat Waves,” and “Tangerine,” though “Hot Sugar” is definitely my favorite.