The start of the new University year is an exciting time for most people, but it’s also pretty full on. Don’t worry though, we’ve got your back if you feel the need to take a step away from things to chill out at any point!
As a fresher, starting Uni can be intense, to say the least. It’s not unusual to feel a little ‘peopled out’ at times. If you’re a returner, things can be just as stressful: you may have a few worries about whether you did enough over the summer, and even if you’re pretty laid back right now that might change a bit once everyone starts talking about dissertations and finding placements.
Should you feel the need to escape these pressures, or just fancy a few minutes listening to a motley collection of chilled out songs, here are a few recommendations. They’re also a fab assortment to stick on in the background the morning after a big night, if you’re not feeling like hearing anything which may remind you too much of Fusion! You can find them all as a playlist here.
Moses Sumney – Worth It
This track reminds me of the enigmatic Japanese House, who put out a few tracks at the beginning of the year. I think it’s the vocal, which manages to sound both warm and (due to the song’s subject matter) vulnerable. The quality of the synths and prominent percussion which accompany the vocals hint that Moses, who was born in California and spent part of his childhood in Ghana, has an exciting future ahead of him. Former Mercury Prize winner James Blake clearly sees this promise and has asked him to support him on his current North American tour.
Maggie Rogers – Alaska
This song really is something special. If you don’t want to take my word for it, superstar Pharrell Williams seemed to literally have his breath taken away the first time he heard it. Somebody managed capture the memorable moment on camera too. The heavy percussion and keys which can be heard throughout are undoubtedly lovely in their own right, but I feel it’s Maggie’s lyrics and the beautifully haunting way in which they are delivered which make Alaska a song that’s sure to transport you somewhere far away from the Loughborough bubble.
Courtney Barnett – Depreston
Courtney Barnett produced one of the best albums of last year, and whilst humourous hits such as Elevator Operator and History Eraser are worthy of recognition, Depreston is the song which I find myself returning to most often. I love it when you can really hear an artist’s accent in their vocals, and the lyrics which Courtney has come up with for this track rank among her best. Like all great songwriters, her writing feels effortless, like a conversation set to music. The guitar line in this track is also very smart, somehow managing to impart the same sense of nostalgia and hope that is central to the Australian’s chosen lyrics.
Will Joseph Cook – Take Me Dancing
Sticking with the guitar-led theme, here’s a delightful number from Will Joseph Cook. The Singer-songwriter, who at 19 is probably younger than many of us, got his big break thanks to BBC introducing in Kent. Recently, Greg James has also been playing him a lot on his afternoon show on Radio 1. I love the bassline which drives the song along, but I think it’s Take Me Dancing’s backing vocals which set this tune apart, complementing Cook’s own wonderful voice to create a song which is guaranteed to make you smile.
Gavin James – Nervous (The Ooh Song, remixed by Mark McCabe)
I stumbled across this track the other day thanks to a beaut of a Spotify playlist full of talented Irish artists called A Breath of Fresh Eire. That pun made me give it a chance, and I’d heartily recommend doing the same if you’re interested in laid back, acoustic-y sorts of songs. Dubliner Gavin uses Nervous to demonstrate the same sort of vocal aerobics which have served his countryman James Vincent McMorrow well in recent years. It’s a track which you may not be entirely sure whether you should like, but I reckon that you’ll wind up loving it, though I must warn you that the ‘ooh’s are more than a little bit catchy!
– Liam David Hopley