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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

“Happy” music recommendations for when Spotify’s fall flat

@deathhers on Pinterest
The playlist cover from one of my happier-leaning playlists.

I’ve come to find that, as much as I may enjoy listening to sad music, it’s usually not for me. 

However, in attempts to find more non-sad music to listen to, I struggled because I naturally enjoy listening to slower songs—which are, most of the time, of a depressing nature. 

Upon searching for premade playlists with happier songs, I was largely unsuccessful in finding any that I actually enjoyed listening to. Almost every mix I came across had a composition similar to the previous one I had looked at, full of the same, tiresome songs. 

Despite my initial challenges, as the year has progressed, I’ve compiled my own variety of albums, artists, and genres that fit both the categories of being cheery and of genuine quality.

Instead of waking up in the morning to play Phoebe Bridgers, I’ve taken to shuffling playlists of more motivating, optimistic music. While the various playlists that Spotify creates for me, such as my “Getting Ready Mix” or “Morning Upbeat Mix,” usually fall flat, I’ve curated my own personalized compilations.

In part as a pump-up for the morning and part because I needed something to motivate me on the way to evening sports practices, a high-energy blend of songs came into play.

While the various playlists that Spotify creates for me, such as my ‘Getting Ready Mix’ or ‘Morning Upbeat Mix,’ usually fall flat, I’ve curated my own personalized compilations.

To start out this particular playlist, I added the majority of FKA twigs’s 2022 album, CAPRISONGS. The record fuses R&B and art-pop to create a casual—but energizing nonetheless—soundtrack. Overall, the relatively relaxed nature of her discography is perfectly fit for both pre-pump-up motivation and post-activity relaxation.

For similar scenarios, I’ve taken to listening to art-pop singer, Caroline Polachek. Her two albums, Pang and Desire, I Want To Turn Into You, are catchy in a pop music way, but have a more unique element to them than traditional Top 40 songs. The electronic-esque style of her discography contributes to its appealing sound and catchiness, leaving many of her albums stuck in my head throughout the day. 

For driving or just as a casual sunny afternoon soundtrack, I’ve enjoyed Fleetwood Mac, for their harmonious and upbeat tunes fit perfectly the warm, springtime weather. With the constant influx of new music being churned out, older artists—even ones as popular as Fleetwood Mac—can be overlooked, though their music is (subjectively) of a higher quality.

However, the album AURORA by Daisy Jones & The Six is an adequate Fleetwood Mac, soft-rock alternative that was released recently in 2023. The fictional TV show group, inspired by the novel of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid, made music that sounds like it could be from the 1970s (as intended in the show), but is, in reality, modern. The band was originally written with inspiration taken from Fleetwood Mac, so it makes sense that their music holds a similar rock quality. 

And, if interested in a listening supplement, the “Daisy Jones & The Six” book includes the fictional writing process of each of the record’s tracks, making the band feel even more authentic. 

For a summertime soundtrack, although I’ve long ago associated the album with too many memories, Lorde’s most recent album, Solar Power (Deluxe Edition), provides an essential seasonal accompaniment. The album is composed of tracks relating to the warm time of year and, per the record’s title, the sun. While almost every song on the album is a personal favorite in one way or another, the bonus track “Hold No Grudge” feels even more ethereal than its counterparts, placing it as one of my personal favorite songs of all time.

Lastly, when searching for low-energy songs that could ease me into sleep but weren’t self-deprecating, my previously unused “Unwind” playlist came into play. While a song’s level of sadness is subjective, Weyes Blood and Mazzy Star both create music on the lower-energy side of things while staying relatively cheery. This makes their music perfectly fit for nighttime reading, writing, and relaxing. 

Pertaining to Weyes Blood, her 2022 album And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, and the 2019 release of Titanic Rising have become my go-to favorites of hers. By blending her dramatic vocals and graceful musical production, her music can easily be described as other-worldly, sounding as if produced on another planet. 

Mazzy Star, the band well-known for their track “Fade Into You,” has a multitude of other, under-appreciated tracks in their discography. With releases spanning 28 years, the band’s relaxed, dream-pop sounds are catchy enough to listen to during the day, but can also serve as adequate winding-down accompaniments. 

While “happier” music isn’t the solution to every problem, by exchanging self-deprecating songs for more optimistic music, actually being happier can undoubtedly result. Whether through the airy sounds of Weyes Blood or the forceful melodies of Fleetwood Mac, I would highly recommend giving non-depressing music a chance.

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About the Contributor
Elle Manning
Elle Manning, Staff Writer
Elle is a sophomore beginning her first year on The Central Trend. She loves to read novels, create extravagant Pinterest boards, and journal in her seemingly scarce free time. Her biggest passions include writing and fashion, and she hopes to one day be able to combine the two into a future career. She has been a cheerleader since fourth grade and continues to spend her time on the sidelines every football season. In the spring, she enjoys playing tennis, even though she is still learning. She is often found with Spotify open; she loves to listen to music from a variety of different genres and decades. Most recent musical fixation: Weyes Blood Dream school: Columbia University Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Favorite comfort films: All of The Twilight Saga (primarily the first two movies)

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