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9 songs that can perfectly soundtrack a new beginning

We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase before: new year, new me. But you don’t need a new year for a fresh start. If you’re seeking a bit of inspiration to get up off the couch and on the road to crossing off some of your goals, or maybe even a few bucket list items, then look no further than these playlist additions.

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All Time Low – “Weightless”

If you never screamed along to “Maybe it’s not my weekend, but it’s gonna be my year,” did you ever really live? The lead single from All Time Low’s Nothing Personal perfectly captures the album’s overall tone with sugary-sweet hooks and catchy beats. The track emphasizes first that getting old does indeed suck. Second, it’s important to make the most of every minute. So, stop being “stuck in this fucking rut” and start fresh.

Fall Out Boy – “The Phoenix”

New beginnings could be metaphorically signified by a plethora of animals—from snakes shedding their skin to caterpillars blossoming into butterflies. However, nothing’s as badass at representing that as the mythological phoenix. That’s why Fall Out Boy didn’t kick off their first post-hiatus record with a song about a reptile or an insect. “The Phoenix” is a call to arms, encouraging the listener to “Put on [their] war paint” and take back the world. With a soundtrack like this, you just might listen.

Gorilla Biscuits – “Start Today”

Who isn’t guilty of procrastinating? Whether it’s avoiding studying for that final or prolonging how long you can go without cleaning your room, there’s plenty of things we’d rather not do. The cure? Crank up Gorilla Biscuits’ anthemic “Start Today,” and you will procrastinate no more. You’re guaranteed to start over and get shit done along to the simple “Well, there’s no time like the present.” Plus, there’s the titular phrase: “Let’s start today.”

The Maine – “The Sound Of Reverie”

Nothing says a new beginning like being so carefree that you’re fully lost in your own thoughts. The Maine capture this feeling perfectly on “The Sound Of Reverie,” a song emphasizing the importance of truly living in the moment (“Don’t blink because you will/And when you open up your eyes again/You may not recognize a friend”). They also relay the excitement of entering a new year with, “The past is in the rearview/And the future holds no weight.” Talk about the perfect Instagram caption… 

Paramore – “Grow Up”

Nobody likes fake friends—especially Hayley Williams—so cue Paramore’s captivating “Grow Up” about leaving them in the dust. The track gets straight to the point, with Williams telling them where to “stick it” and skipping town with the zinger “I said, I’m done with all of my fake friends/Self-righteous pawns in a losing game.” The track then launches into the whole gist of growing up and starting over: “Some of us have to grow up sometimes/And so, if I have to, I’m going to leave you behind.” 

Sleeping With Sirens – “Do It Now Remember It Later”

Shaking off haters should be a daily occurrence, not something you put off for months. But thanks to Sleeping With Sirens, laughing in their faces never sounded so good. Adopting “Do It Now Remember It Later” to shoot down the naysayers is certainly a must as emotional lyrics emphasize the importance of taking a fresh step forward (“Now that I’m older, I’ve seen all the things that I want/And I’m ready to make my move”).  

Waterparks – “Lucky People”

A lot of people associate “new beginnings” with leaving things behind, but in the case of “Lucky People,” it’s the total opposite. Here, Waterparks emphasize starting a life with a loved one and “keep[ing] each other safe from the world.” The result is a ukulele-tinged song of adoration, from holidays to love notes, but it doesn’t come without struggle. Awsten Knight accurately expresses what many people face with “Because I know it’s hard to let yourself be fine/When we carry ’round our worried flurried minds/But I’ll let go if you do too.” 

Neck Deep – “Parachute”

If you think you’re alone in hating your hometown, think again. Neck Deep perfectly capture that sentiment on “Parachute.” Ben Barlow relays that itch to get away from your town with, “I’m done with small-town politics/I need to make my way to where the action is.” From “I wanna break out and get away/I wanna just try and live for me” to “We don’t need a God to take a leap of faith/Listen when I say that if we don’t try/Then we won’t believe,” it’s clear he’s ready for a new beginning. And so are we.  

twenty one pilots – “Truce”

As one of the slower tracks on this list, this one’s a bit of a tearjerker. “Truce” brings twenty one pilotsVessel to a close with a two-minute piano-driven ballad. While it may be short and sweet, it still says a lot with “Stay alive, stay alive for me/You will die, but now your life is free/Take pride in what is sure to die.” While that chorus is beyond poignant, it’s the track’s opening lines that resonate the most: “Now the night is coming to an end/The sun will rise and we will try again.” Because sometimes we all need a reminder that each day resets, and we don’t need a new year to start over. 

This piece first appeared in issue 366 and was curated by Rachel Campbell.