Reset, refresh, renew: 16 songs for 2016 about starting over | Musique Non Stop


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reset, refresh, renew: 16 songs for 2016 about starting over

Welcome to 2016!

“New year, new you” is a bit simplistic, but it is tempting to think that just like September ushers in a sense of possibility for students, so does January 1 bring with it a little something like hope.

But starting over isn’t easy and sometimes it seems absolutely impossible. New beginnings aren’t all sweeping changes and dramatic overhauls. Sometimes it’s as simple as reading a page a day of a new book, flossing, or throwing out the socks that have holes in them. Whether you’re resetting, refreshing, renewing or starting over in a big, bold way, we have 16 songs to help you take on 2016.

Sally Seltmann, ‘Dream About Changing’

Australia’s Sally Seltmann knows a bit about writing perfect pop songs. She co-wrote Feist’s beloved “1234” and this little ditty about identity overhaul holds its own against that mammoth hit. “I close my eyes and dream about changing,” Seltmann sings wistfully against a sweetly sunny backdrop.

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, ‘Brand New Key’

The stompy brass and drums cover of Melanie’s ’70s-era hit is packed with attitude and affection. But the best part is Thao Nguyen’s vocal delivery: every line is a wink and a coy shrug, and it’s endlessly charming.


Hey Rosetta!, ‘Promise’

“You don’t know me or my purpose / or my promise, I got promise,” Tim Baker sings on this hugely vulnerable song. It’s self-affirming and soul crushing in all the best ways.


Lucius, ‘Turn It Around’

Participating in one’s own destruction is a rite of passage. Please don’t worry, we’ve all been there, and thankfully now we have a song to soundtrack our solo dance parties when we’re stubbornly refusing to break our own stupid cycles. “Turn it around turn it around:” an anthem for all of us.


Hayden, 'Nowhere We Cannot Go'

There’s so much tenderness in this song that it has to be couched in an almost wry, clever delivery. Hayden’s wisdom is hard-won and wholehearted: “I do it all the time / Forget the man I’m tryin’ / To be because I’m climbin’.”


Laura Mvula , 'Green Garden'

Twinkling percussion and handclaps, every beat of this song is flooded with sunshine and renewal, particularly Mvula’s soulful, earthy and enchanting voice as she turns a simple celebration of nature into one of the most gloriously, infectiously cheerful songs of the decade.


Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, ‘Bound For The Promised Land’

Whatever your version of a “promised land” looks like, Naomi Shelton’s voice is a never-ending gift and the groove of this gospel stunner is impossible to deny.


Lennon & Maisy, ‘Bright Side’

The Canadian sister duo formerly known as the Stella Sisters (and who can be seen regularly on Nashville) have a way with covers but this shiny, happy singalong gem is an original tune and it’s the perfect pick me up to start off the new year.


The Zombies, ‘This Will Be Our Year’

This rock classic just never goes out of style. In part, it’s the phenomenal arrangement and the flourishes of brass throughout, but it’s also the lyrics, which are perfectly uplifting and yet rooted in some darkness.


Basia Bulat, ‘From Now On’

Beautiful and contemplative, Basia Bulat’s piano-driven meditation on moving forward is short (under three minutes), but she packs so much narrative inside its slim frame, it’s like an Alice Munro short story with melody.


Modest Mouse, ‘Float On’

The strange magic of this song — jolty, jagged vocals, great lead guitar, perfect, stamping bass — is just how compulsively listenable and catchy it is. The singalong shift at the end is the ultimate perseverance anthem for both slackers and the overly anxious: “Alright already, we’ll all float on / alright don’t worry / even if things end up a bit too heavy / we’ll all float on alright.”


Leisure Cruise, ‘The Getaway’

“Don’t wanna take the highway / wanna go our own way,” sings Leah Siegel on this spacey, synth-pop soundtrack to overhauling one’s whole world without a backward glance. Shimmering and vulnerable, this is pure sonic courage, the sound of 1000 hands cheering you on into a new adventure, a new year.


The Walkmen, ‘In The New Year’

It’s not always a clean break. Stuff gets messy. Take refuge inside the barroom brawl of Hamilton Leithauser’s vocals as the words tumble like shadow boxers out of his mouth: “I know that it’s true / It’s gonna be a good year / Out of the darkness / And into the fire.”


Tom Waits, ‘Ol' 55’

It’s the crescendo of Waits’ voice against the sparse restraint of the acoustic guitar. But it’s also the expanse of his voice opening up as he sings about the sun coming up, the life we feel and the promise of a new day, of surviving another night, of staring down the open road again, and the quiet solitude of promise.


David Bowie, ‘A New Career In A New Town’

This is the sonic equivalent of hope and new beginnings for David Bowie, who wrote this instrumental mind-melter after leaving Los Angeles in an attempt to kick his cocaine addiction. Chunky and delicate, funky and spacelike, upbeat and sluggish, it’s full of contradictions and utterly confounding, but also completely great.  


Florence + The Machine, ‘Dog Days Are Over’

Soaring and sprawling, a brilliant energy flows through Florence Welch’s wild, dark heart. It’s a dance party to shake off all the demons, a parade to welcome back those who were lost or gold glitter cannons shooting into the sky to celebrate a fresh start.

Happy New Year!

Hang out with me on Twitter: @_AndreaWarner

by Andrea Warner via Electronic RSS
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