A gleeful graduation cap jamming out to some tunes. Illustration by Míceal Munroe-Allsup.

PioLog Editor Picks for Fighting Off Post-Graduation Anxieties

*shels  – “Butterflies (on Luci’s Way)”

I love all the work that supergroup *shels produces, but “Butterflies (On Luci’s Way)” is still the song that I go to when I want to zen out without falling asleep. That being said, it is definitely not everyone’s relaxing cup of tea. The ethereal opening notes, followed by sudden electric guitar and percussion can be jarring, but I personally enjoy it. The only line in the song is a repeated “Oh my love, as long as I have you / I don’t feel so bad / In all my life, the moments I’ve had / I don’t have you,” which adds to the zenlike quality. The romantic lyrics and swell of intense yet calming notes makes it feel as if you’re in a hallucinogenic fantasy novel, which I personally find really helps me feel better about whatever I’m doing. Happy job hunting, class of 2019! (By Natalie Rich)

Talking Heads – “Found a Job”

To some extent, this song might come off as infuriating to seniors immersed in the job hunt. David Byrne feels confident that, “If your work isn’t what you love, then something isn’t right,” which is a nice, idealistic sentiment. At a certain point, however, work must be found, whether it be your dream job or simply something to pay the bills. Yet as we learn of Bob and Judi’s artistic endeavors, the real message of the song becomes clear: preserve time for your own creativity, in whatever way you can. When Byrne urges, “apply (that lesson) to your life,” I’m certain that it’s advice worth taking. (By Ben Weinstein)

FKJ – “Skyline”

Honestly, anything by FKJ will soothe the stressed soul, but the silky vibe of “Skyline” is a clear standout. Leaping into the job world can be daunting, but the lyrics in this piece can be held onto as you take that step into real adulthood. “Poison world around but still / I will take another round / Or another ride until / We take off from the ground.” All will be well — just jam this playlist and vibe out. See you down the road Class of 2019. Peace! (By J’juan White)

John Lennon – “Hold On”

You know, if John Lennon’s angelic voice telling you to “hold on” doesn’t soothe your aching soul, I don’t know what will. (By Riley Hanna)

John Maus“Keep Pushing On”

The message is in the title. With Maus’ incessant command to “keep pushing on,” reinforced by  the uplifting arpeggiating synth that plays throughout the song, it is difficult to not want to do what he says. Simple right? Maybe not, but this will give you the necessary nudge to persist. (By Tyler Short)

Jimmy Eat World – “The Middle”

I was too young to remember when my dad first introduced this song to me, but I have been listening to it for almost two decades. Whenever I would have a bad night when I was young, I would get out of bed and go downstairs because I knew my dad would still be awake to help me get through it. I listen to the song when I feel stressed, hopeless or just miss home. The song is  about pushing through something difficult and not giving up on yourself despite what you, or others, might think. You’ve put in a lot of work in making it to where you are, but at the same time, “You’re in the middle of the ride”, and everything is going to be fine if you give it enough time. (By Mackenzie Herring)

Jack Johnson – “Banana Pancakes”

I do not like bananas, but I love the idea of banana pancakes. Maybe it is the notion of being able to sleep in, wake up slowly to the sun and take the time to make a breakfast that is not a bowl of instant oatmeal. Very rarely do we allow ourselves such an indulgence, but we should. We should give ourselves some small moment, a little bit of laziness, a pause that grants us the opportunity to breathe, smile and remember that the number of things that we can choose to be grateful for should outnumber those that we stress over. (By Sydney Owada)

The Field – “Over The Ice”

Swedish producer The Field doesn’t offer words of comfort —  typically his pop samples are sliced so thinly that one can’t even recognize the songs from which they originated — but his repetitive, stripped-down drum patterns are always the first place I turn in times of stress. “Over The Ice” is perhaps the apotheosis of The Field’s enduring appeal; over a steady mid tempo kick drum he layers syllabic fragments of Kate Bush vocals, crafting a trance-inducing atmosphere equal parts soothing and danceable. (By Brendan Nagle)

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