Hot Picks: Back to School Tunes for 2014

As you guys know I am a student. I’m going into my Junior year of high school, and honestly, it is daunting. I feel a lot of pressure to do my best this year in order to pick up the slack from the previous three years (not that I’ve done horribly, but I don’t feel I have reached my potential yet).

To lighten my heart I find myself escaping through music more than anything. When, in June, I felt all of this end-of-the-year pressure from my teachers, and from exams, and definitely from myself, I would sulk alone to The Script.

Side Note: The Script are incredible and you’ve probably heard “Breakeven” as well as a bunch of other songs like “For the First Time”, but they’ve got four great albums and multiple singles to listen to for any or no reason, but particularly if you’re in a bad mood. I call them The De Facto Sad Band.

With that said I have a playlist for going back to school. Correction: an upbeat, non-depressing playlist for going back to school. It’s fairly chirpy so we can feel alive as our environment dies during the last stretch. So without further ado I present you with this year’s back to school playlist:

1. Wake Up by Hilary Duff — Wake Up is a positive, upbeat song by Hilary Duff released oh so many years ago. I had completely forgotten about it until I heard her new single, Chasing the Sun, which inspired me to go listen to songs I loved when I was younger. Back when I was about 10, I loved Wake Up; now I love it for the nostalgia rather than the actual music, but I will still listen to it.

2. R U Mine? by Arctic Monkeys — I have no idea why but I had never listened to the Arctic Monkeys until this year even though all of my friends loved and recommended them. When I first heard AM, R U Mine? was not a favourite; I liked it but I preferred Arabella and I Wanna Be Yours. But I don’t know, I just randomly started listening to it on repeat, but it’s not my favourite, just the song I listen to all the time.

3. Defying Gravity by Idina Menzel (from Wicked) — I was going through lyric videos on YouTube and came across this. Randomly I played it but then instead of moving on to another song to listen to I had this on repeat for a half hour. Now that I’m preparing to go back to school I want to listen to this instant Broadway classic everyday going in to school.

4. Someday We’ll Know by New Radicals — This song was included in last year’s playlist as well, but I just don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I listened to the whole of Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too and this one is the best, better than You Get What You Give. If there is one song j could not recommend more to you guys, it’s this.

5. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks — Landslide is a classic. It’s been covered by Glee, The Dixie Chicks, The Smashing Pumpkins, by all these people on YouTube, practically everybody has heard this song. It is very mellow and calming and, I believe, can be appreciated by everybody.

6. Raging Fire by Phillip Phillips — if you follow me on twitter, you would have seen that I attended a Phillip Phillips concert recently. About midway through his performance, after Gone, Gone, Gone, he played Raging Fire and it was pretty good, though I didn’t think much of it at the time. But when I was driving home after the concert what I was remembering most vividly was the chorus of Raging Fire. So when I got home, I turned it on full blast and I can totally sing it out (not really, I’m practically tone deaf).

7. Not Ready to Make Nice by The Dixie Chicks — “Forgive sounds good/Forget I’m not sure I could.” Yes, yes, boring high school drama in a nutshell (I think, I actually try to stay away from that). But seriously, this song is personal for The Dixie Chicks and when you listen to this powerful song, you really feel it and that is something I think all music needs.

8. Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks — In contrast to Not Ready to Make Nice, I don’t actually feel too connected to this song, but I really like it and have always ever since Jack Black and Joan Cusack sang along to it. Nothing more I can say.

9. To the Lost by The B-List — The B-List is a fairly small band from New York; I hadn’t heard of them until I found them on twitter, do I wandered over to their Bandcamp ( ) and listened to their February 2013 demo, and they remind me so much of Green Day and a little of Every Avenue, two of my favourite bands. They’ve got a rad pop punk sound and I’m pretty excited to see what they do in the future.

10. Boom Clap by Charlie XCX — Boom Clap is featured in The Fault in Our Stars (which I unfortunately still have not watched yet, but I have listened to this song multiple times). It’s got a nice catchy hook that you can bet your bottom dollar will wake you up on lazy autumn mornings.

11. You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray (2007) — I honestly hadn’t heard this song in years, but like with Defying Gravity I randomly played it and fell in love. It’s supremely danceable, so for me, that makes walks on slow, dreary mornings enjoyable.

12. All I Do is Win ft. Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross & T-Pain by DJ Khaled — This is a surprise for me because I don’t normally like rap, but this song is so catchy. Plus when I hear this song I visualize Emma Stone lip syncing it on Jimmy Fallon (psst… you can find it here)

13. Fancy ft. Charlie XCX by Iggy Azalea — again, I’m really surprised I like this song. When I first heard it I only heard the chorus. When I listened to the whole thing, initially I was thrown off but I then rolled with it. And so it became my summer jam. It’s so good! I don’t know, maybe I’m just a white girl inside.

So there you have it folks, my Back to School Playlist for 2014. If you like it, yeah I guess that’s pretty cool. If you’re interested in last year’s Back to School Playlist, you can find it here. Don’t be shy and leave me some rad music suggestions. Until next time, bye, chums!


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