By Misc Penny Contributors
Loose Change is a playlist compilation series featuring themed song submissions from Penny contributors (accompanied by small blurbs about said picks).
To help ring in the new year, the Penny team came together to create the following Loose Change edition, composed of songs that celebrate change, newness, and regrowth. Read about everyone's picks and listen to them in the playlist below.
"Whole New Mess" - Angel Olsen
"Between Tides" - DIIV
"This Year" - Beach Fossils
"This year, I told myself it’d be a better one / Try not to fall back onto the knife." These words have, almost ironically, jabbed at my heart like a blade since the moment I heard them, leaving the track “This Year” and the entirely of Beach Fossils’ 2017 album, Somersault, engrained deep into my psyche. As the years come and go, I turn back to the dreamy melody and recall the song’s hopeful, yet ultimately melancholy message, detailing the complicated feelings one grapples with when they hope things will improve, but almost feel doubtful that they truly can. As the track’s otherworldly string section kicks in, I’m transported to another world, where just maybe, things might truly be better, just as vocalist Dustin Payseur urges.
"Start Together" - Sleater-Kinney
"Different Now" - Chastity Belt
"Start Together," the opening track on Sleater-Kinney’s 1999 album, The Hot Rock, is my go-to New Years song. I even got a tattoo for it on New Years Eve in 2017; that’s how much it means to me. It’s a song about changing and moving in different directions and is equal parts upbeat while still feeling a little bit melancholic.
"Different Now," from Chastity Belt’s third album, I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone, is a song that I’ve loved for a long time, but it took on new meaning this past year. Even though the line, “You should take some time to figure out your life / But you’re stuck indoors and thinking poorly,” was written in 2017, it could just as easily be a depressing ode to what 2020 ended up being. As the song progresses, it becomes an anthem of self-confrontation and as the final notes fade out, you might even be left with a somewhat fuzzy optimism for the future.
"Doused" - DIIV
"Tailwhip" - Men I trust
"Humming" - Turnover
"Doused" is a very fast-paced song that puts you directly into the spirit for the new year. After a long time of waiting, it motivates you to get things done, to run, and to turn the speaker volume on as loud as possible. Additionally, "Tailwhip" is the perfect good-mood song for spring 2021. It makes you enjoy your surroundings and wander around in the sunny weather. "Humming" is great for melancholy moments during summer sunsets. It's full of youth and the guitars can make your heart melt.
"ppl plzr" - Illuminati Hotties
"Race For The Prize" - The Flaming Lips
"Two Scientists are racing for the good of all mankind…it’s so dangerous, but they’re determined." Released as the first single from their 1999 album, The Soft Bulletin, this Flaming Lips track sits differently, if not more potently relevant, over two decades later. From the blisteringly saturated drums to the lamenting swell of strings, the explosive track seems apt to accompany listeners as they barrow towards a nearing horizon. For those who dream of change on the other side, vocalist Wayne Coyne reminds us to forge for the future, providing a much-needed catharsis as the infamy of the past year becomes just a glimpse in the rearview mirror.
"2021" - Vampire Weekend
"New Year" - Beach House
"I Eat Salads Now" - Sidney Gish
"Prior Things" - Hop Along
"Happenstance" - Oh Pep!
"Stoned" - Widowspeak
"Hard Believer" - First Aid Kit