The end of the year can be taken in many different lights. For some, it’s an optimistic time to reflect on past experiences and pave the way for new ones. For others, it’s a time of dread — a time of reluctantly peering into the cyclical nature of yet another year of work, anxiety and hardships.
Not all New Year’s Eves are filled with amazing parties and memorable kisses, and, unfortunately, 2016 as a whole might not be either. So, thinking along those lines, here’s a playlist for anyone who may feel more sad than cheerful around this time of year:
The Dismemberment Plan – “The Ice Of Boston“: “Pop open a bottle of bubbly. Yeah, here’s to another goddamn New Year,” mumbles D-Plan frontman Travis Morrison at the beginning of “The Ice Of Boston,” a song which, in my opinion, is the ultimate track about suffering on New Year’s Eve. Led by the band’s eccentric, bouncing instrumentation and Morrison’s talk-singing, the song follows a narrator as he slips and stumbles drunkenly and alone through the icy streets of Boston, pours champagne on himself and critiques a Gladys Knight and The Pips song. This track serves as the epitome of a terrible New Year’s Eve that might make you feel a little bit better about yours.
Motion City Soundtrack – “Together We’ll Ring in the New Year”: Although undeniably cheesy, as can only be expected from the specific genre of emo pop MCS puts forth in this track (see lyrics: “Oh, why did I come here? / These humans all suck / I’d rather be home feeling violent and lonely”), “Together We’ll Ring in the New Year” still does a great job of painting the picture of feeling ignored, lonely and awkward at a New Year’s Eve party.
Death Cab For Cutie – “The New Year“: Both the music video for “The New Year” and the song itself say a lot about the depressing side of the end of the year; the video is filled with clips of individuals around a city gazing out windows pensively and generally wishing they were elsewhere — matching the longing vibe ingrained in this song. Serving as the first track on the band’s Transatlanticism, “The New Year” bursts through in true cinematic fashion with crashing drums and sustained bass and guitar. Though the song begins with an explosion of energy, the tune is balanced with lead singer Ben Gibbard’s sweet and gentle vocals. Though it’s the new year, you might “not feel any different,” according to Gibbard.
Codeine – “New Year’s”: Straightforward lyrically (“Feel so sad, so bad today,”), Codeine’s cover of “New Year’s,” originally by the band Seam, puts the negativity of the beginning of a new year front and center. Though the song’s meaning is obvious, Codeine’s signature “slowcore” style of drawn out vocals, pounding drums and sluggishly strummed and chugging guitar pushes this track’s somberness to another level.
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – “New Year’s Kiss“: Short and sweet at only two minutes, “New Year’s Kiss” is filled with electronic drums, simple, sustained piano chords and lead singer Owen Ashworth’s droning vocals. All in all, the track is about crashing a party “in pursuit of a New Year’s kiss” only to wake up to a regrettable one-night stand — something hopefully none of us experience this New Year’s Eve.
Listen to the playlist below: