“Take Care” by Beach House
Beach House’s “Take Care” is a quiet bulwark of empathy, a song whose focus is not on what causes the need for care but the space we create when we actively choose to care for one another. “I’ll take care of you if you ask me to” is a reminder to care for yourself fiercely, as you would care for those you love, or as they would care for you. This is a reminder of the silent power of connection, the power of recognizing what is ailing, whether on a personal or national level, and the empathy and connection necessary to confront the ailment. The enduring mantra: “It’s no good unless it grows.”
— Medina Husakovic
“Move on Up” by Curtis Mayfield
One of many standout tracks on Curtis Mayfield’s virtuoso solo album “Curtis,” “Move on Up” is a brilliant example of form imitating message. As Curtis spreads a message of positivity and hope through his lyrics, the band behind him plays a fitting theme, propulsive and ever-striving towards the future. Even in this moment of profound malaise, distrust and hate, there is still room for hope, to aim towards moving past the forces of evil and into a better world.
— Jacob Kuppermann
“3 Things” by Jason Mraz
Gentle acoustics and a soothing melody line accompanied by the lovely vocals of Jason Mraz is a must when times are tough. The lyrics themselves are uplifting, encouraging you to let all emotions out, advising you to stay grateful of life, and then letting life move on, anew. In one of the most cathartic moments, “3 Things” kindly reminds us to never give up and that in the end, “Love is still the answer I’m relying on”. Try “3 Things” out — you won’t regret it. It’s the kind of song that leaves you smiling and refreshed.
— Maimi Higuchi
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba
Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the ability of this 90’s British classic to inspire. “I get knocked down but I get up again… you’re never going to keep me down,” the group vows. It’s exactly the kind of resolve we’re going to need if we’re going to survive these next four years.
— Alan Brown
“I Remember” by Deadmau5 and Kaskade
The intimate vocals susurrate gently above spacious, beautiful chords, as Deadmau5 and Kaskade take us through a ten-minute journey of pensive introspection through music. The chords progress through the song, swelling and receding in tandem with the relaxed pace of the track, but they never resolve. They repeat ceaselessly, and we turn back in recognition and remembrance.
— Trenton Chang
“untitled 08 | 09.06.2014.” by Kendrick Lamar
To make up for this track’s lack of a normal title, let’s call it “Blue Faces,” a recurring phrase in the song and what I see when many of us begin contemplating the years to come. However, Kendrick surrounds the sometimes hopeless and struggling lyrics with an ebullient, Thundercat-led groove, a ray of hope in what seems to be pure despair.
— Dylan Grosz
“Sacrifices” by Tinashe
Anytime Metro Boomin’ is involved in the production of a song, it’s safe to assume it’ll be nothing short of amazing. That philosophy holds with “Sacrifices,” a sleek, sensual banger by up-and-coming artist Tinashe. An instant feel-good song, it’ll fit in perfectly on virtually any playlist.
— Dante Laird
“How To Love” (Boombox Cartel remix) by Cash Cash
You know those songs that are unbelievably cheerful? That fill you to the brim with positive energy? That inspire you and let you start your day on a gleeful note? That tempt you to just stand up and holler along? That lift you up from whatever might possibly be holding you down? Well, this is one of those.
— Arvind ‘Vince’ Ranganathan
“I Want To Be Well” by Sufjan Stevens
I think at this point, we all just want to be well. Even when things seem to be falling apart, we just want to be content in the face of potential unhappiness. And, as Stevens accurately puts it, we’re not fucking around.
— Benjamin Maldonado
“Love’s in Need of Love Today” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder’s astounding “Love’s in Need of Love Today,” the opening track to his legendary double-LP “Songs in the Key of Life,” makes two requests, both of them essential and important to bear in mind: 1) “Love’s in need of love today / Don’t delay / Send yours in right away” and 2) “Hate’s goin’ round / Breaking many hearts / Stop it please / Before it’s gone too far.”
— Tyler Dunston
Contact Tyler Dunston at tdunston ‘at’ stanford.edu