Daniel Gayne

It’s that time of year again, and Cambridge is buzzing. For the freshers among us, welcome to student life! By the time you read this, you’ll probably have unpacked most of your belongings, hung up your fairy lights and maybe even said hello to your neighbours. Over the next few weeks you’ll meet scores of people whose names you’ll instantly forget and learn about items of cutlery you didn’t even know existed. From punting to porters to pretending to be interested in rowing, it’s a time for new experiences, the vast majority of which are enjoyable and exciting (yes, even Cindies has its own charms). However, every 3am Gardies has its morning after, and for every morning after there’s a song to perk you up. Here’s five of the less glamorous student moments you may find yourself in over the next eight weeks, and a tune to get you through each.

The early lecture: Suntoucher – Groove Armada

It’s awful. 8am isn’t even that early but your alarm always comes unjustifiably soon leaving you unable to contemplate the challenges of operating your own limbs let alone doing a degree. You’re not alone – countless students before you have negotiated this mountain. You need solidarity and a strong coffee. Whack on the kettle and turn up this 2001 classic. It’ll make you feel like you’re in your own TV show, it has literally some of the best lyrics ever written (“the universe will give me strength like spinach” – poetry) and its 6:31 running time gives you just enough to fall out of a lovely warm bed and throw on some clothes before you start to question everything.

The angry essay crisis: Why Does Everybody Look The Same – Monks

They don’t tell you in freshers’ week, but caffeine after 2am doesn’t actually wake you up, it just makes you angrier. Redirect your rage from your significantly more smug and better rested professor to the task at hand with Monks’ 2019 single. The world is opening quickly for the Liverpool lads, whose latest phaser-soaked epic has earned them some well-deserved attention. Shouty-but-tuneful vocals and a drum line that absolutely slaps are guaranteed to wake you right up. Bonus points if you can make out the hidden sample at the start. Double bonus points if you go see them live next month (October 15th in Brixton). Triple bonus points if you get your essay done and leave the library by sunrise.


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The pre-pres warmup: Until Then – Feed Me Jack

Pres is the best part of any night, and it deserves appropriate preparation. If you like guitars of any kind then Feed Me Jack’s most played song will get you ready to properly get ready. Full of cheeky energy and with one of the finest breakdowns in the universe (2:14 – you’re welcome), you’ll be in that sweet spot between relaxed and excited in no time and ready to make questionable decisions a-plenty. Enjoy!

The 2pm lull: 1999 WILDFIRE – BROCKHAMPTON

Who doesn’t love a post-lunch nap. Sadly, the Cambridge schedule doesn’t really take this into account, and far from being a natural break this cursed hour is an obstacle to batter through. BROCKHAMPTON are here to help, with a song that’s something of a trojan horse – relaxed enough to slip into your sleepy vibe before hitting you with a preposterously catchy chorus and some intriguing wordplay. Like a benevolent parasite, 1999 WILDFIRE get into your brain and take you over the early afternoon hurdle.

The moody winter walk home: Midnight Mischief (Tom Misch Remix) – Jordan Rakei

If you have a penchant for greasy cobblestones and sodium orange streetlights then Cambridge looks lovely in the rain. For those of us who would rather stare at literally anything else, the rapidly approaching winter months can present a stark challenge. Walking home in the rain and dark is absolutely a mood, and finding the right music to indulge these moments can turn an exhausted, damp stroll into a cinematic experience. Jordan Rakei’s soulful voice blends perfectly with haunting synthesiser glissandi, pleasing low-fi beats and the subtlest of guitar solos from Tom Misch to create a song ready-made for the puddles on King’s Parade. You’ll be checking the forecast before you know it.

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