// by Ollie Webb //
Trinity Term isn’t all sunshine, Pimm’s and punting. In fact, the summer term at both university and school means exams, unpredictable weather and the conclusion to yet another year of education (which may or may not be a good thing – I’ll let you decide). Nevertheless, Trinity will undoubtedly bring you a multitude of highs, and this list of feel-good songs ranging from pure pop to hip hop will be sure to boost your mood, even when you get stuck in one of the occasional lows.
Dreams Tonite – Alvvays
Alvvays is a band that I wish I could say I discovered all by myself, using nothing but my keen ear for superb tunes – but no. This quirky song was in fact recommended to me by my good friend Selena Gomez through a recent Instagram post. The crystal-clear tone to the vocals, aided by somewhat melancholic lyrics and Beach House-esque synths convey introspection, as the track navigates the reasons why a past relationship didn’t work. Lead singer Molly Rankin analyses motives with lyrics like “Who starts a fire just to let it go out?” and sets the scene of the focal relationship with visuals such as “wilted flowers” and “seeing ghosts of me”. So, while the nature of the song isn’t the cheeriest, it is a heartfelt, pensive song which doesn’t reveal any pain to the listener.
Don’t Kill My Vibe – Sigrid
The list of accolades from critics given to Norwegian newcomer Sigrid would be longer than my average essay. ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ perfectly exemplifies the buzz surrounding her name. Sigrid’s shouty – but in a good way – vocals in the lyrics ‘don’t kill my vibe’ are enough to make you scream them yourself and forget about that person who pissed you off in the morning/your upcoming exams you haven’t revised enough for/the fact that someone used your milk without asking.
Loving Is Easy – Rex Orange County
Having appeared on Tyler the Creator’s Flower Boy album and having released two albums already, this young, soulful artist’s presence is becoming undeniable. ‘Loving Is Easy’ is a simple but sweet serenade, and while the track’s instrumentals are loaded with 70s inspired soul, lyrics such as “Loving is easy / You had me f***ed up” reveals a youthful standpoint on the peaks and troughs of relationships.
Dance, Baby! – boy pablo
Much like Rex Orange County, boy pablo is riding the wave of musical success as a teenager, and this is very clearly conveyed in his music. ‘Dance, Baby!” oozes of the freedom and innocence of summertime as a young man. The effortless melodies and infectious lyrics of this song are reminiscent of that weird band you formed in school, but regardless, you love every second of it.
Egyptian Luvr – Rejjie Snow
Rejjie Snow’s critically acclaimed ‘Dear Annie’ album is brim-full of well composed hip hop tracks, but the standout for me is ‘Egyptian Luvr’. The star-studded collaboration between Aminé, Kaytranada, Dana Williams and of course Rejjie Snow himself that is behind the track leaves you unsurprised that it is such an infectious tune. However, what is surprising is the deeper, poignant meaning behind the song; Snow stated in an interview that it explores the last moments of a relationship and thanking your significant other for the journey that you embarked on together.
Perfect Places – Lorde
‘Perfect Places’ is one of those songs that should be exclusively played when dancing around your room, hairbrush to hand, towel around body. The vocal layering, the chord progressions and the syncopated drum machine beats build until songs erupts into the heavy-hitting, climactic chorus. Lorde notes how her surroundings are becoming bleaker and bleaker (“I hate the headlines and the weather”, “All of our heroes are fading”), yet she ventures out to find ways to ignore it all and feel more alive. But despite this, by the end of the track, it is revealed that nothing is fully resolved as Lorde, with a raspier tone, concludes with the lyrics “what the f*** are perfect places anyway?”
Wanna Be You – Her
Her’s music has been popping up everywhere recently because their debut self-titled album was recently released. ‘Wanna Be You’ is a flurry of neo-soul instrumentals, heartfelt vocals and finger clicking and whilst the lyrics are repetitive, you don’t grow tired of them. Instead, your head nods along autonomously.
Memory – Tom Misch
It would be fitting to include one of the songs from Tom Misch’s shiny brand new album ‘Geography’ which was just released earlier this month. There is a certain beauty in the genre-blending track ‘Memory’ that renders it more than worthy to make this list. The comforting and melodic steel drum loop sets down the foundations of the song from the outset, until bold folk-style strings layer on top. Once Misch’s signature R&B vocals are introduced into the melting pot of genres nestled within the song, the steel drum loop suddenly changes, and you are left captivated by the ingenuity in the song’s composition.