Positive Songs

By Alisa Pierce
Music Journalist

The semester is in full swing at Texas State and tests have begun. I for one have been messily trying to get back into the groove of things and study, but it can be hard to focus when all I can hear is the typing on my keyboard. I’ve found that listening to music while studying seriously helps me get to business, so I’ve compiled a list of five songs to play while hitting the books. These songs are uplifting and inspiring, which I think every student needs during study hours.

“Waiting For My Chance To Come” by Noah and The Whale 

Noah and The Whale are a charming folk band that make music perfect for any coming of age story. Their music often sounds cheesy and over sentimental, but their peppy sound mixed with positive lyrics can be pretty uplifting while studying. “Waiting For My Chance To Come” starts out strong with cute guitar riffs, 80’s-esque violin and an innovative use of synth. Lyrics such as “And you’re just looking for a way outta here/ yeah, a way to see this old life disappear”, make the song an optimistic ballad for anyone looking for a way out of the life they’re living, whether that be through work, travel, or school.

“I’m A Man Too” by Death Valley Girls 

This feminist track is typical for the dystopian punk band Death Valley Girls, but stands out as one of their more enthusiastic songs with a progressive message about gender fluidity, sexual revolution, and equality. In its most basic form, the song gives hope to disparaged women who are looking for more in a male-driven society. “It’s a man’s world/ that’s what you think/ it’s a man’s world/ at least not to me” embodies some of the most fundamental feminist ideas, and if nothing else, provides a little motivation for any woman studying hard to fight the misogyny around her.

 “Strawberry” by Paul Baribeau

If you’re a fan of cutesy romantic songs, this one is for you. Paul Baribeau is a folk punk aficionado that often sings about the trials of his life, but this song feels very Juno-era with its lovestruck melodies. Similar to The Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You”, “Strawberry” paints a pretty picture of great love presenting itself in the simplest way possible. Studying sucks but thinking about your significant other, or envisioning a future with one, while listening to “Strawberry” might make it a little easier.

 “Everything Is Free” by Sylvan Esso, featuring The Flock of Dimes

This is one of the only covers I’ll suggest, and I only do so because Sylvan Esso and The Flock of Dimes covered Gillian Welch’s “Everything is Free” perfectly. Welch created a melancholy way to look at life when writing this song, which matches Esso and The Flock’s soft voices. This song might be less upbeat than the others on this list, but it just might be what some students need to relax. Acoustic guitar permeates the track, which I find relaxes just about anyone.

 “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys

I often find myself throwing it back to the sixties, when the music was more psychedelic, while studying. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” was one of The Beach Boy’s greatest songs on their most iconic album, Pet Sounds. Many remember the band simply for their surf rock, and often miss out on the progressive sound they – especially lyricist Brian Wilson – created. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is first and foremost a love song, but it also focuses on getting older and experiencing life, which I would argue all college students think about at some time or another. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older/ Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long” can mean waiting for the joys of marriage, or waiting for the semester to end.

Feature photo taken by Francis Storr.

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