It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Just kidding, it’s time to face the consequences of the bad decisions you’ve been making all semester! I know you don’t have the spare time or energy to read some long-winded think piece about pop culture … which is great because I don’t have time to write something like that anyway. Plus, with the amount of death threats I got after dissing Justin Timberlake two weeks in a row, I should probably lay low for a while. This week, I’m taking a break from being a total hater and bringing you some tunes, new and old, to get you through the darkest of times—if it’s 3:00 a.m. and you’re in KBL on your third Red Bull and trying to figure out if you have enough money to buy anything from Domino’s, this one’s for you.
- “You Don’t Need a Weatherman” (Darkstar): Spacey and melodic, this song is punctuated by unconventional rhythmic inflections. Darkstar makes great paper-writing music that provides just enough ambiance and intricacy without being distracting.
- “I Don’t Like” (Chief Keef): Finals … that’s that shit I don’t like.
- “Like Totally” (Gold Panda): Nothing makes me feel like churning out a paper the way rhythmic electronica does. Keep on doin’ your thing.
- “Mute” (Youth Lagoon): Sometimes when I’m in the thick of writing a paper I like to spend a few minutes mentally fast-forwarding to the post-finals period when I can finally nap (or collapse immediately after handing in my last final, whatever you wanna call it) outside in the sun. This song takes you there … minus the near-death feeling of extreme exhaustion.
- “I Can’t See You I’m Dead” (Shlohmo): The title’s pretty fitting for this time of year, and Shlohmo’s offbeat percussive accents will keep you on your toes if you’re feeling sleepy.
- “Living Every Dream” (Antwon): Nostalgia break! Antwon is like Biggie, if Biggie had a Tumblr.
- “Tonight, Tonight” (The Smashing Pumpkins): I can’t really think of any way to relate this to finals but let’s be honest, it has probably been too long since you’ve listened to The Smashing Pumpkins.
- “Ay Shawty 3.0” (Kitty): Fact: My obsession with Kitty is at the point where it feels wrong to make a playlist without her.
- “Kid You’ll Move Mountains” (Caribou): With an inspirational title, driving percussion and a whimsical, hypnotic soundscape, this song is everything I want to hear when I’m writing a paper.
- “Juice” (Chance the Rapper): Chance’s freshly released mixtape “Acid Rap” is about to blow up. His flow is easygoing with distinct, sizzurp-smooth vocals and off-the-wall production—it feels a lot like fellow Midwest rapper Danny Brown’s breakthrough XXX. It’s unpredictable, feel-good music and let’s face it, we’re going to need all the good vibes we can get when pulling three consecutive all-nighters.
- “Strawberries” (WHY?): None of us are really “okay” during finals, but this is the only song I can think of that makes not-being-okay sound totally okay.
- “Werkin’ Girls” (Angel Haze): Rapping along with Angel Haze makes me feel like I can do anything. If it gives me enough of a boost to turn up the speed a notch on the treadmill, it can definitely get you moving on that paper.
- “Jessica” (Major Lazer): This track features Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, but you’d never guess from the pitchy, crooning falsetto and slow talk-singing that both make their way into the song, which is definitely a departure from Vampire Weekend’s releases. This song is calming and smooth enough to keep you in the zone but afterwards you might need a few minutes to process what the hell you just listened to.
- “VCR (Four Tet Remix)” (The xx): Serene vocals and a steady rhythm. Good for powering through a conclusion at a steady pace once you’ve passed the “fuck-it” threshold.
- “Don’t Hold The Wall” (Justin Timberlake): Hahah just kidding I still can’t stand this album. Gotcha!
Download these from iTunes, or the artists’ websites, or the Pirate Bay or whatever sketchy website you use. The fun thing about capitalism is that almost no matter what you do, your money is going to end up in the hands of terrible people who wear suits. Happy finals!!!1!!1!1!!!