As 2016 draws to a close and 2017 starts to roll in, we can take the time to reflect on the innumerable events that have made up the year just passed. Screwed over by xenophobic politicians, an increasing presence of terrorism and a build-up of resulting racism, a seemingly infinite rampage of snowballing violence, screwed over by xenophobic politicians again; the list could go on. But here at The Edge, we like to stay more or less positive, and there’s few better ways to tap into positivity than through a few of your favourite songs. So in preparation for the coming year, here’s a few of ours.
To start the year: Panic! At the Disco – ‘Ready to Go [Get Me Out of My Mind]’
Kicking off the list is one third of the famed emo-trinity in their Vices and Virtues era, a throwback all the way from 2011. Punchy, tenacious and elemental, Vices’ second single manages to intertwine its galvanizing veins with a catchy motif, resulting in something resembling the motivation we all seem to need to drag ourselves into 2017. Get up on New Years Day and hear frontman Brendon Urie tell you he’s ready to go, and that you should be too.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘You got these little things/you wanted something for them/you either get it or guess you won’t’
When you’re glad the whirlwind roller-coaster of 2016 is finally over: Florence and the Machine – ‘Dog Days Are Over’
After hurricane 2016 hit shores globally, with its tsunami of celebrity deaths, political cataclysms, and zoo-animal massacres, the arrival of the new year is expected to be a breath of fresher, healthier, out-of-the-woods air. And with that sharp inhale, Florence’s 2009 hit ‘Dog Days Are Over’ couldn’t be a more fitting soundtrack. Upbeat and lively, yet poignant and honest, ‘Dog Days’ easily marks any transitory flux with a hopeful eye and a talented ear; something the year previous has been lacking and the year ahead should, by sheer opposition, be teeming with.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘Leave all your love and your longing behind/ you can’t carry it with you if you want to survive’
When (if?) the turn of 2017 doesn’t turn out to be a miracle cure for the realities of 2016 but you’ve spent a year caring and can’t be bothered anymore: The Wombats – ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’
The Wombats, a.k.a. one of the most iconic indie bands of the 2000s, have released two major hits in their thirteen-year lifespan. This is one of them. The lyrics ‘everything is going wrong/but we’re so happy’ couldn’t sum up the end of 2016 and the hopes for 2017 better if it summoned the spirit of Bowie back to Earth and pretended the last year without him hadn’t happened.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘Let the love tear us apart/I found a cure for a broken heart/Let it tear us apart’
(See also: You Me At Six – ‘Too Young to Feel This Old’: ‘Can we learn to love again/ Can we learn to feel again/ ‘Cos we’re too young to feel this old’)
For when the bad stuff starts getting you down: Beartooth – ‘In Between’
Your New Year’s positivity isn’t going to last an entire 365 days, let’s face it, but when you’re down in the dumps – we’ve got your back. Rising hardcore-punk band Beartooth are considerable veterans when it comes to bashing out emotions on guitars and drumsets, with their sophomore album (released earlier this year) literally called Aggressive. Give ‘In Between’ a listen and not only will you feel at least a little better, you’ll feel profoundly understood.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘Up on the mountain, I see down below/ It’s easy to lose yourself, I know’
(See also: All Time Low – ‘Missing You’ (I’ve heard that you’ve been having some trouble finding your place in the world/I know how much that hurts/ But if you need a friend, then please just say the word’) and Feeder – ‘Just a Day’ (the catchy riff-motif is enough to cheer anyone up for three and a half minutes) )
For Oscar season: Panic! At the Disco – ‘Victorious’
Panic!’s second entry on the list comes in the form of one of their very latest tracks, released from their acclaimed fifth studio album Death of a Bachelor. Opening the album, and preferably the Oscar season, ‘Victorious’ is all the punchy, electric, hot-shot pop-rock you need to cheer on your favourite award-winners in 2017, with the almost utterly nonsensical lyrics to match. And hey, if your favourites don’t win, there’s always more low-key, languishing ‘Impossible Year’ heralding from the same album. But that’s more a record to define the year just past, don’t you think?
Spotlight lyrics: ‘Double bubble disco queen, headed to the guillotine/ Skin as cool as Steve McQueen, let me be your killer king’
For remembering the important things: VANT – ‘Peace and Love’
The British-born indie quartet are pretty new to the scene, but have already made it onto The Edge’s List of 2017, a compilation of new artists and bands set to do great things over the coming year. ‘Peace and Love,’ their most recent track to hit the rock stratosphere, is a love-song for the Earth and its inhabitants, something we might be in dire need for as climate-change takes a turn for the worse and war and terrorism begin to ramp up. But with VANT’s optimism, maybe it’s not all the end. Take note, kids, this band could save a generation.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘We need peace and love/ All you motherfuckers/ When they’re in season’
For your peace of mind: Jimmy Eat World – ‘You Are Free’
Fresh from their ninth studio album Integrity Blues, Jimmy Eat World’s ode to emotional frankness and candor stands as a testament to the boys’ everlasting optimism spanning their near quarter-century career. Over nine albums and thematic aspiration and buoyancy makes itself clear as one of the long, unbroken strings running through J.E.W’s lengthy discography. And that’s something we can all take inspiration from this year.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘Honey, you are free/ as much as you can stand to be/ you are free/ and it’s anything you think that means’
For when you need a break: All Time Low – ‘Under a Paper Moon’
For the daydreamers among us, Baltimore-born pop-punk-rockers All Time Low are your guys. Taken from 2011 effort Dirty Work, ‘Under a Paper Moon’ recounts the all-too-well-known tale of the dream of getting away from the world and its corporeal, alienating gibberish. If 2017 turns out to have anywhere near the same amount of cataclysmic drivel as 2016, then a dream might just be what we need to make it better, and living under paper moon might just be the way we can start to feel it.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘Me and you, living under a paper moon/’cos real life, just isn’t right/ let’s fabricate’
To finish off: Fall Out Boy – ‘Rat a Tat’
To finish off our playlist of 2017 hopes and preparations is another third of the infamous emo-trinity, iconic Chicago rockers Fall Out Boy. Returning after a four-year hiatus, the boys released acclaimed come-back album Save Rock and Roll, and proceeded to release a music video for every one of its eleven tracks, compiling and releasing the as the short film The Youngblood Chronicles. One of those tracks was ‘Rat a Tat’, a biting, tenacious record featuring the spitting, husky vocals of Courtney Love, and came part and parcel with a video of determination, rebellion and some pretty hefty fights to the death. And if 2016 is going to go out taking some of the most-loved entertainment veterans and leave us under the dominion of a man whose surname is a synonym for breaking wind, then we’ll all go out with a bang too – just like this playlist. And that’s something only Fall Out Boy can do just right.
Spotlight lyrics: ‘Are you ready for another bad poem/ One more off-key anthem/ Let your teeth sink in/ Remember me as I was, not as I am’