By now you’ve probably figured out that I love making playlists. There’s nothing quite like soundtracking your own life to make you feel truly alive and, in my opinion, doing so is the best way to mark an occasion. And what special occasion is on everyone’s mind right now? Founder’s Day, of course. As a freshman, I have never before experienced Founder’s Day at Vassar. Based on what I’ve heard, it sounds like it’s like a carnival on Ballantine Field with food, rides, fireworks, and two-thousand Vassar students each under some kind of influence—fun for the whole family! I’ve also heard that there will be music, but I won’t let that stop me from defining my own Founder’s Day playlist. These are my five songs for a great Founder’s Day:
Lost in the World—Kanye West featuring Bon Iver
My fellow Kanye West fanatics will recognize this song as the penultimate track on the 2010 release My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Even though Kanye used the song to close out his album, I think that it is a perfect way to start my playlist. Don’t be fooled by the mellow Bon Iver vocals—West carefully layers the vocals and sound effects for a perfect build-up. The heavy tribal beats and borderline overwhelming soundscape are sure to pump you up all day.
Young Volcanoes—Fall Out Boy
Alright, I know that I’m not the only one who’s thrilled that Fall Out Boy is back; these guys were the voice of an angsty generation of Hot Topic enthusiasts. Remember “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down,” guys? Their new album Save Rock and Roll dropped this month and it is fantastic; I highly recommend it to all of you secret FOB diehards out there. Perhaps the most lighthearted song on the album is “Young Volcanoes,” a spirited youth anthem. It’s got the clever, rambling Fall Out Boy lyrics we all remember with a fun twist. It’s the perfect jam for feeling young, free, and alive.
Get Gone—White Arrows
I first heard this song at a concert during which White Arrows opened for The Naked and Famous in 2011. The venue was crowded and I was increasingly impatient, but when I heard this song I felt totally mellowed out. It’s definitely an upbeat song, but not one that demands high-energy dancing; you can sway, bob your head, or just listen. The song goes back and forth between a hyped-up flurry of sounds and low-key lilting vocals. It’s fun without being frenzied or manic, making it the perfect chill addition to the playlist.
Forever Young—Youth Group
I love ‘80s rock classics. Nothing gives me a rush quite like “Total Eclipse of the Heart” or “Your Love.” One of my all-time favorites is the timeless Alphaville jam “Forever Young.” It’s been sampled and covered countless times, but my favorite modern take on the song is by Youth Group. The key to a good cover is keeping a song recognizable while still putting your own spin on it. Youth Group does this flawlessly in their version of “Forever Young.” They manage to keep the smooth sound of Alphaville’s vocals while adding their own instrumental touch. Listen to this one as the day winds down for a relaxing yet youthful feel.
American—Lana Del Rey
Everyone can use a little indulgence once in a while, and no one does self-indulgence quite like Lana Del Rey. I chose this song because I think that it’s the perfect backing track for watching fireworks over Sunset Lake. Its soft and sweet in a way that sounds like summer thanks to Lana’s trademark old-school, glamorous vocals. It’s one of those songs that can make any moment feel pretty epic, especially when there are fireworks involved. My favorite lyric: “Be young, be dope, be proud.” In honor of this Vassar holiday, let this be your mantra.
Have a wild and safe Founder’s Day, everyone! Good luck with finals, have a great summer, and I’ll see you next year.