Top 10 song recommendations for the return of school

September 1, 2021 — by Jason Cheng
A compilation of back-to-school bangers to get through the eight hours of boredom.

As we ease into the new school year, what better way to enjoy the ride than with the finest selection of music? So, here are 10 song recommendations (from yours truly) to dance to in the hallways. 


No. 10: “STAY” — The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber

Arguably the song of the summer, pop superstar Justin Bieber and rising talent The Kid LAROI team up on this ‘80s-inspired synth-pop banger that has exploded to the top of the charts. Charlie Puth’s production brings the whole piece together, so you can’t go wrong with this stacked field of talent for the perfect dance energy in the quad.


No. 9: “Are You Bored Yet?” — Wallows, Clairo

“Are You Bored Yet” — a question I ask myself in class every day. This song gives an aesthetic vibe of driving up Highway 9 to catch a sunset, and the laid-back delivery of catchy melodies makes it a soothing 3-minute escape from reality.


No. 8: “Normal Girl” — SZA

Old but gold. SZA’s entire album “Ctrl” is an R&B classic, but “Normal Girl” truly exemplifies the themes of not fitting in and being “normal,” something we can all relate to coming out of a year in isolation. Check out “Prom” and “20 Something” as well if you enjoy SZA’s work.


No. 7: “18” — Jeremy Zucker

A track filled with nostalgia and innocence, “18” personifies stereotypical high school love through references to relatable teenage moments of unrequited love. The heavily influenced 2000s rock guitar and drums depict the rebellious nature of teenagers, bringing the angsty high school experience to life. 


No. 6: “FEEL SOMETHING DIFFERENT” — Bea Miller, Aminé

A clean, fun track with upbeat energy from the groovy four-on-the-floor drum pattern, Aminé’s chill bars and Miller’s sassy vocals create the perfect boost of motivation to get through the monotony of the school day and truly “feel something different.”


No. 5: “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) — The 1975

Another lively energy boost for a test-heavy day. The 1975 delivers the band’s trademark alternative rock sound through a simple yet catchy hook. This song is a great confidence booster to ask your crush out to the next dance. 


No. 4: “cotton candy” — YUNGBLUD

A symbol of a rebellious summer. YUNGBLUD’s punk-rock voice is perfectly juxtaposed with the vibrant and animated instrumental, embodying the freedom and liberation of superficial love at its core.


No. 3: “Hit Me Up” — Omar Apollo, Dominic Fike, Kenny Beats

Apollo and Fike collaborate with popular producer Kenny Beats on this bouncy guitar and bass combination for an ideal balance of laid-back and hard deliveries. This track gives off “feel-good” vibes that will have everyone hitting you up in class.


No. 2: “six speed” — ROLE MODEL

Of course, we can’t make a playlist without the obligatory sad song. Indie artist ROLE MODEL pours his soul out through his despairing lyrics and delivery, only backed by a piano and scattered percussion. It makes for a great background track to your post-exam tears. 


No. 1: “High School Me” — Sasha Alex Sloan

Last but not least, Sloan has a message for all of us teens. Although high school is only such a small period in our lives, the memories we take with us will shape who we become in the future.


So there you have it, a short but sweet back-to-school playlist to suit all your needs. But hey, what do I know? Your playlist should suit your own taste after all, so spend some time exploring the world of music — you won’t regret it. 


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