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Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 6: New year, new me

By Ramiro Bustamante Torres, Aymen Sherwani, Julieanne Acosta, Valery Perez, Megan Koch, Sophia Lopez and Ava Zardynezhad, January 20 2022—

Another year around the sun and the Gauntlet wants to welcome you back to yet another semester in pandemic uncertainty. While there is so much to be stressed about, there’s something to be said about starting fresh this 2022. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite songs to get us feeling motivated for only positive vibes this year. 

Ramiro’s Picks: Layout Editor

Secret’s from a Girl (Who’s Seen it All)” by Lorde:

While there was some negative backlash for Lorde’s new image, I love it and I respect the energy she is trying to bring. This song speaks to me specifically because it’s reflecting on her past self and letting her know she’ll make it through.

Interlude: Moving On” by Paramore:

A short tune to remind you it’s better to stay in your lane and move on from those who try you. Don’t let others ruin your vibe.

Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by The 5th Dimension:

A throwback song but still a good one. Still not sure if we’re in the Age of Aquarius yet but I would like to think there are good times ahead of us. 

Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine:

This song makes me happy everytime I listen to it and that is the energy I want to bring into the new year. Florence Welch put some pure happiness into this tune and it really will hit you like a train.

My Life” by Billy Joel:

My favourite New Yorker comes in with a bop telling others to mind their business and let him be. Very appropriate and a good lesson to those who struggle saying no or cutting of the toxic people from their lives. 

Aymen’s Picks: Voices Editor 

The First I love You” by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein:

A beautiful, emotion-evoking, coming-of-age piece that makes me reflect on the year past — the pain, growth, the beauty and the madness of 2021. Most importantly, it sounds like a promise of the future.  

Reminder” by The Weeknd:

Past all the iconic synth-pop vibes, this song serves as a “reminder” of who you are and who you are meant to be in 2022.  

Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)” by Four Tops:

Picture this — you’re halfway into January and wake up for your online classes but not before having a jazzy morning with a homemade latte and breakfast with this smooth track playing in the background. 

More Than a Woman” by Bees Gees: 

Spontaneous. Beautiful. Borderline manic-pixie dream girl. Sometimes you need to step away from all the chaos of our not-so-new normal way of living and pretend that you’re the main character. Perfectly imperfect. Hair flowing in the wind. Faded jeans. You get the idea.

Young and Beautiful” by The Bryan Ferry Orchestra:

The ’20s are in full swing! The 2020s, to be more specific, but there’s nothing wrong with setting the mood with some 1920s covers of your favourite pop tracks. It’s jazzy, mellow, makes you want to tap your feet while you go about your day. 

Tuned In Freestyle” by Megan Thee Stallion:

Megan says it best — “pressed, stressed, obsessed, I got ‘em.” Make sure all the negative people in your life stay mad at your prosperity and happiness. 

Julieanne’s Picks: News Editor

Tears Dry on Their Own” by Amy Winehouse:

I will never not love the songs from this iconic album. But specifically this one makes me feel some type of way.

Finesse (Remix) [feat. Cardi B.]” by Bruno Mars:

The most upbeat song for the beginning of the day. Prime time to listen to it is when you’re getting ready. 

Take It Easy” by The Eagles:

I like to listen to this one either early in the morning or late at night to relax. I don’t know what it is about this one but it’s always been one of my favourite songs. 

“Come thru” by Summer Walker & Usher:

This song makes me feel like the only person in the room. If you want a confidence boost, this is the one for you. 

Valery’s Picks: Visuals Editor

Olalla” by Blanco White: 

“Somebody told me to believe in better times” is a lyric from this song that hits me hard. In combination with the light and breezy tune, this song embodies the feeling of hope for a better future. While having high expectations is hard in the moment, this song makes me feel like I should be hopeful regardless of how horrible this COVID season has been. Great vibes for a new year. 

Heaven” by Billie Marten:

To me, this song is about growth, doing better and putting the effort into improving. It’s about being flawed and hoping to learn. I hope that this new year is full of growth and improvement for me, as there’s nowhere else to go but up. 

Enjoy Your Life” by Oby Onyioha: 

Even though we’re stepping into this new year QUIETLY and REAL HUMBLE, we still want to bring with us good energy and intentions. This song represents that and the mindset I want to have after living through a pandemic. Enjoy your life, live a little and have fun!

On the Mountain Tall” by The Oh Hellos: 

This song makes me want to go on an adventure and see the world. That’s exactly what I want to do this upcoming year  — once COVID is a little bit more controlled, of course. Also no one beats The Oh Hellos for instrumental breaks. They’re always grand and awe inspiring. 

Amadeus” by Family and Friends: 

The light and hoppy guitar intro instantly gets me in such a good mood. The lyrics themselves speak of pleasure and pain, joy and sadness and all of the good and bad emotions life holds. In combination with the happy vibes, this song makes me want to accept the good and the bad of life and just go out and live. Another great adventure tune. 

Palmar” by Caloncho, Mon Laferte:

The song’s about going to the beach with a hot girl. Who doesn’t want that? 

Megan’s Picks: Visuals Editor 

My reasoning behind these tracks is to add dates just because it’s a new year. Has this been done yet? Anyway, they’re still good songs.

Blue Monday ’88by New Order:

This song makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Turn on this song whenever you need to absolutely destroy an exam or gain some confidence before your workout. Better yet, apply this vibe to every aspect of your year and kill it, babe. 

Freedom! ’90” by George Michael: 

So, new vibe here, but still worth listening to. We know by now that I adore George Michael and I can’t leave him in the hell-year that was 2021. “Take back your singing in the rain” and make 2022 the best yet!

1999″ by Prince:

COVID seriously needs to chill out so we can bust some moves out to Prince this year. Catch ya girl out on the dance floor, or having a solo dance party in the kitchen making Annie’s Mac & Cheese.

“1973” by James Blunt:

We need to be prepared for another COVID-related “sad night,” and our trauma responses have been fine-tuned during the past two years, so I’m adding this as a fail-safe. (Oh, how I hope we don’t need to claim these vibes in 2022).

Love Me” by The 1975:

I know this doesn’t have the date in the title, but come ON. Man, I jam out to this getting ready, in the car, on a walk for my stupid mental health, anytime. I love it. 

Sophia’s Picks: News Editor

Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B., Bruno Mars:

This song will never not be good to sing in the car, the shower, or anywhere. That is precisely why it is on this list.

Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz:

I mean the feeling you get from listening to this song is literally in the title. The pandemic most definitely has not made us feel good, so why not let a song make you feel good for three minutes and 43 seconds? 

3005″ by Childish Gambino:

Similar to “Nothin’ on You,” I can’t imagine myself not listening to this song any time soon. Childish Gambino made a statement with this song and no one can tell me otherwise.

The Spins” by Mac Miller:

From his first album, The Spins is really something special from Mac Miller. The beat is energetic and you literally don’t want it to end. Sort of how the pandemic doesn’t want to end.

Ava’s Picks: General Editor 

Mount Everest” by Labrinth: 

This song goes hard, there’s no denying it. But, it exudes the kind of energy I need to get through all the highs and lows this new year has to offer. 

“Don’t be Shy” by Cat Stevens/Yusuf: 

This one is for those of us who don’t always feel safe putting all of who we are out in the world. Self-censoring isn’t a habit that a song can change overnight, but this tune is a reminder to let loose and let yourself feel everything you’re experiencing every once in a while. 

We’re Here For A Good Time (Not A Long Time)” by Trooper: 

If a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is fleeting and waiting for “the right moment” isn’t always realistic. This song reminds me to enjoy the little things — moments with loved ones, a relaxing walk around the block, a really good cup of tea — while I can. 

Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis: 

Over the last couple of years, everyone’s plans and lives have been upended to some extent. We need to take time to grieve everyone and everything we’ve lost over this time, but sometimes, it’s also necessary to shed the anger and resentment — even if it’s only for a little while. 

Living in Lightning” by City and Colour: 

To me, this song is about making peace with a lot of feelings and insecurities that take over me from time to time. It’s a reminder of where I’ve been, how far I’ve come and where I want to end up. It urges me to slow down and take my time, especially when everyone and everything around me is moving so fast. 

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