This playlist is for those who might be feeling alienated, rejected, disheartened or scared; your validity is not lessened by your race, gender, religion or sexuality. You are loved and you belong here.
“Undefeatable” — Young Rising Sons
We’ll start out with a pump up song: rousing beats, a catchy melodic line and fiercely empowering lyrics come together to form Young Rising Son’s “Undefeatable.” Lead singer Andy Tongren’s voice is emphatic and motivational as he sings “We are the stars and the sun / The unforgettable ones.”
“Famous Last Words” — My Chemical Romance
“Famous Last Words” holds a special place in my heart because it was my preferred rainy day song of choice throughout all four years of high school. Whenever I feel especially down, I can count on this song to invigorate me again. Gerard Way’s voice is candidly passionate as he proclaims “I am not afraid to keep on living / I am not afraid to walk this world alone,” an inspiring message that is especially important in the tumultuous days after the election.
“Kill V. Maim” — Grimes
Grimes delivers an energetically fast paced anthem that urges listeners to go against the grain. The song glorifies rebellion, and is noticeably brighter in comparison to many of the other songs in this playlist, due in part to the breathy, sometimes piercing quality of Grimes’s voice. Grimes champions the weird; most of her music videos are downright bizarre, yet she always exudes a creativity and confidence that we all hope to emulate.
“My House” — PVRIS
A playlist without my favorite band? PSYCH! YOU THOUGHT! All jokes aside, “My House” is about reclaiming one’s personal space and standing up to someone that previously seemed unchallengeable. This isn’t PVRIS’s most famous single for no reason; vocalist Lynn Gunn’s voice is vibrant, strong and effortlessly smooth.
“Shut Up!” — Simple Plan
When a situation gets to be damaging, frustrating or disheartening, it can be good to take a moment to step out, take a deep breath and reaffirm yourself. This song perfectly captures how one feels when it all gets to be too much, while simultaneously encouraging listeners to embrace the unique parts of their individuality.
“You’re Going Down” — Sick Puppies
“You’re Going Down” is a violently intense piece filled with ominous, heavy guitar and seething, angry lyrics. Lead singer Shimon Moore’s voice oozes a rich vengefulness that comes across in his lyrical delivery, especially at the crux of the song, when he sings “One of us is going / One of us is going down” and “You’re the one that’s going down.”
“begin again” — Purity Ring
Purity Ring is unique for its elegantly poetic lyrics, many of which come from vocalist Megan James’s personal works that were originally not intended to be published. “Begin Again” is a captivating piece from start to finish, with a beautiful and distinctive underlying bass buildup that brings out the delicacy of James’s voice. The song is filled with references to rebirth and renewal, a reminder that there will always be good things to come, no matter how dark the world seems at the moment.