Coping with homesickness: your September Press-Playlist

Sarah Bergin, Arts Editor

September brings a new school year, and along with that, homesickness. It’s never easy to leave behind your family, pets or home friends. Regardless of whether you are a freshman or a senior, everyone experiences a bittersweet moment of leaving everything you’ve ever known to come to the city. Adjusting is hard for everyone both young and old, near and far.

Experiencing new cycles of life is something that has been continually tackled throughout decades of music. Writing is a form of expression for many, and songwriting is not excluded from that. From 1970s jazz anthems to 2022 hit singles, there is something in here for everyone. Sit back, relax and process your emotions with this month’s Press-Playlist!

“Leaving Home Ain’t Easy” – Queen

Queen is a legendary band with one of their albums “Jazz” featuring hits like “Don’t Stop Me Now.” “Leaving Home Ain’t Easy” showcases Queen’s theatrical and dramatized tone while focusing on the band’s collective harmonies. Distortion plays a part in the song as well, acting as a bridge. Brian May, the guitarist, wrote this while focusing on the hardships that come with moving and starting a new life somewhere else. Sometimes, it’s best to start fresh somewhere else, but it’s hard to tell until the leap is taken.

“New Life” – FKJ

French artist FKJ is experimenting with varying sounds and tones throughout “V I N C E N T.” His most recent album, “New Life,” explores the uncertainty of entering a fresh beginning while anticipating what is coming next. Heavy instrumentals uplift the message of the piece, bringing alternative and R&B influences together. Each song on “V I N C E N T” brings a different vibe, “New Life” adding a chill, relaxed track in the mix. In November 2022, FKJ is stopping in Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner for three consecutive nights of performances, so be sure to check it out!

“Christmas in June” – AJR

One of the more recent releases on this list, “Christmas in June,” is the final track on AJR’s latest album, “OK Orchestra.” While it’s an anthem about missing out on experiences from afar due to touring, others might be able to relate to its overarching theme of fear and consequence. Missing out on events with friends and family can be common in a new stage of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to be left behind. Accompanied by hyper-aware production, this song is true to itself and speaks directly to the audience.

“Growing Pains” – Alessia Cara

Alessia Cara has shown up on the radio throughout the 2010s, but she has proved again and again that her music is more than that. Her second album, “The Pains of Growing,” is an emotional call for help in an ignorant world. “Growing Pains,” the opening track on the album, reiterates just that. While the beat is catchy and danceable, the lyrics are undeniably anxiety-ridden. While it is produced with the album in mind, this song stands alone as a direct message to those who feel similarly to her. It’s rare to find something that feels so personalized yet creative – but Cara does this effortlessly with a catchy introduction to her album.

“I Miss Those Days” – Bleachers

In Bleacher’s second album “Gone Now,” Jack Antonoff’s inspirations are front and center, as most of the album sounds like Bruce Springsteen’s younger brother. “I Miss Those Days” keeps that Jersey grit while longing for a time when they were carefree. Sometimes it might feel like everyone else is on a fast track to an ideal destination, which is exactly what Bleachers expresses in this song. The animated energy from the band along with Antonoff’s chants create an irresistible song that makes it difficult to sit still.

“Scott Street” – Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is a favorite amongst young adults due to her melancholy lyrics and tone. “Scott Street” is off of her 2017 album, “Stranger in the Alps.” In an interview with Bandcamp, Bridgers stated, “I guess ‘Scott Street’ is about being really lonely. Sometimes I want to cop out and say it’s about a lot of different things, but really it’s all there. It’s just a diary.” It’s comforting to hear these thoughts sung out loud by someone else, especially when finding the words to describe certain feelings becomes infeasible. This visitation of past experiences contains questions that are thought-provoking, yet left unanswered.

“Home By Now” – MUNA

While they are known for their collaboration on “Silk Chiffon” with the previously mentioned Phoebe Bridgers, MUNA has many other melodic songs. MUNA’s self-titled album was released earlier this summer, redefining their style and artistic persona. “Home By Now,” a single on this album, livens the playlist by bringing up the mood. Even though it’s okay to be distressed, nothing should be stopping listeners from celebrating how far they have come. Enjoy the goals that have been achieved throughout the journey–it’s been a long time coming.

“Home At Last” – Steely Dan

Steely Dan has had multiple appearances in pop culture lately, from their “Euphoria” appearance to a viral TikTok track. Even though you may know them from this, or your father’s yacht rock playlist, they have remained relevant for decades. “Home At Last,” one of the iconic tracks on “Aja,” alludes to “The Odyssey” while describing how home can be found in a person, rather than a place. The jazz component of their pieces makes it feel like an intimate listen, whether you are listening through headphones or speakers. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a jazz bar when listening to this–it won’t be hard to get yourself there.