The Chronicle Playlist: Back to School Bops


Justin Prather

(Photo by Justin Prather | The Daily Utah Chronicle).

By Abigail Raasch, Arts Writer

We’re officially back for another semester. A little over a week has passed and it’s safe to assume that some are definitely starting to feel the stress. With classes starting at 8 a.m. and going until late in the afternoon, everything feels nonstop. Weakness lurks ahead of us, but we can’t let that win. Oh no. We fight it and take on more volunteer opportunities, because whoever heard of the “wealthy college kid?” Between nights of Cup of Noodles and days filled with any free food found in every nook and cranny on campus, we’re surviving. Not only are we surviving, but we’re thriving. Granted, you may be questioning why you decided to take a science class where the teacher’s tone puts you to sleep, but only the strong make it.

For those long commutes to school, good tunes can recenter us and remind us that we are here pursuing our passions. In honor of the new semester and in an effort to keep sanity and happiness, we’ve created an engaging yet oddly relaxing back to school bops playlist for all who enjoy a steady beat during their days here.


“The Git Up”
Blanco Brown

If you enjoy irony, definitely start your morning with this country bop. This particular song will have you jamming your way from the coffee pot to the shower, and then out the door towards class. The challenge with this song is to somehow not dance along with it.


“Side Pony”
Lake Street Drive

What is described on iTunes as “a rich, genre-bending blend of neo-soul and pop/rock,” ends up creating a chill yet not sleep-inducing tune. The concept of “Side Pony” will make you giggle a bit, but you will be enamored with the voice of the lead singer, Rachel Price, and with instrumentals below her vocals.


“Come on Eileen”
Dexy’s Midnight Runners

“Come on Eileen” is considered more of a classic piece. You’ve most likely heard this saga-song many times, but it remains timeless. 


“Follow Your Arrow”
Kacey Musgraves

This tune may have a bit of country twang, but it will make you think a bit. After a summer of freedom, coming back to school can be difficult. Let this song give you an extra boost of confidence in yourself.


“Carry On”

This jam’s slow build-up will drag you in and yank out all those anxiety-ridden emotions. You will survive this semester. 


“Play That Funky Music”
Wild Cherry

To truly get yourself pumped for the day, for the week, even for life, listen to the classic pump-up jam. Share this song with your friends and they will be glad to listen to this blast from the past with you.


“He Can Only Hold Her”
Amy Winehouse

“He Can Only Hold Her” gives us a chill and friendly beat, welcoming you into life and into the joy of great music. Winehouse lets her voice go free and have time to just jam.


“Fast Car”
Tracy Chapman

Fast-paced music is great and all, but a solid slow-jam is always welcome. “Fast Car” gives you a moment of true reflection and breath. Take a second to just meditate.


“You Need to Calm Down”
Taylor Swift

Many of us have grown up with Swift. You can’t have a solid dramatic playlist without shamefully throwing a Swift bop in it. From her more recent album, “You Need to Calm Down,” gives the deep bass that makes you feel silly and happy. 


Bowling for Soup

This early-aughts rock tune will make you feel both anxious and weirdly cool. If you are a ’90s baby particularly, this song will give you a real throwback. 


“America’s Sweetheart”
Elle King

The upbeat rhythm and the concept of just owning who you are will make you ready to be in your own skin here on campus.


“Dance Monkey”
Tones & I

This dance song gives a fun contrast to everything else listed so far. Incorporating some pop and electronic music, “Dance Monkey” provides a different side to fulfill your punk side.


“Barton Hollow”
The Civil Wars

“Barton Hollow” provides a simpler piece of music by providing a more acoustic sound for your day. This song will make you appreciate music for music’s sake.


“Forgive Me, Friend”
Smith & Tell

Relationships are tricky and school definitely brings many relationships into our lives. “Forgive Me Friend” is a solid song. Take careful note of listening to each lyric. 


“The Middle”
Jimmy Eat World

Pull out your electric air guitar, walk home and get ready for the freakin’ weekend. Finding a good rock tune with some solid electric guitar will always help you end the school day on a good note.


“Grow as We Go”
Ben Platt

Finally, we have a newer song “Grow as We Go.” This song means something completely different to everyone who listens. Give it a try. The slower pace and soothing sounds of Platt’s voice will make you truly contemplate and evaluate where you are in life.


Music is one of the most healing and vital aspects of our world. Take a listen to our Back to School Bops playlist. You can also follow The Daily Utah Chronicle on Spotify.


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