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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, February 25, 2024

What's The Mood?: September Jams

Dear readers, I have a confession to make. I’m a compulsive Spotify playlist maker. I spend an ungodly amount of time scrolling through my music library compiling playlists for the most specific moods I can think of — playlists which I probably won’t listen to again after making them. I’ve got my decades playlists; my Billy Joel- and Bon Jovi- inundated playlist, aptly titled “White People Songs”; my playlist for driving down one specific road in Arizona (I’m not from Arizona); and a "Risky Business" (1983)-themed dance playlist. I figured I ought to put my neuroses to some sort of use, which is why I created this column, "What’s the Mood?," where I’ll create playlists for different events and situations this semester — some oddly-specific, some less so — and explain some song choices. So with that, I’d like to introduce my first playlist about the month of September.

I view September as a month of liminality. Septembermarks the start of the new school year, the readoption of routine after summer and the general ethos of change. Being a first-year, I’m especially feeling the transition that comes with moving across the country to a place I know will become very cold sooner than I hope it to be. These themes pervade the minds of first-years, and likely other students too, as they all trying to get into the swing of things again after summer or are preparing to exit college for the “real world.” With that context, here’s my first playlist for this column:

  1. “April Come She Will” by Simon & Garfunkel
  2. “The Modern Age” by The Strokes
  3. “Windows” by Prinze George
  4. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House (but the cover by The Head and the Heart slaps just as hard)
  5. “Island in the Sun” by Weezer
  6. “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire
  7. “Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes
  8. “1979” by Darlingside (cover of the Smashing Pumpkins)
  9. “Are You Ready (On Your Own)" by Distant Cousins
  10. “The Past and Pending” by The Shins
  11. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John
Of course, this list is heavily influenced by my own music taste, and it’s nowhere near exhaustive. Each song sounds distinct (more or less), but the elements of change and growth are common throughout the playlist. The playlist is headed by one of my favorite all-time songs, “April Come She Will” (1966), a short simple tune about the passage of months. With each new month, Simondescribes the actions and fickleness of his lover, starting in April and ending in September.By the end of the song, Simon has resolved to let his summer romance end, emphasizing the cycle of life and love. While it is one of the most beautiful songs of its time, it also holds special significance being in “The Graduate” (1967), starring Dustin Hoffman, which is itself a film about the impermanence of youth and personal growth.

So, next time you’re hanging out on Pres Lawn or jamming on your walk to class, give the playlist a listen and admire how I resisted every temptation in my body to include "September" (1978) and "Wake Me Up When September Ends" ​(2004).

You can find my September playlist here: