How to soundtrack your freshers week

Music, unlike hair and your sixth-form crush, will stay with you forever.

This is in part because our music collections have been immortalised in the Cloud. But also because everyone has a handful of songs they’ll never forget. They can conjure up specific memories; dancing to Roxette in Zimbabwe, listening to Aphex Twin on a flight to Berlin, and throwing up on a friend while The Hives play in the background are three of mine. I’m sure you have your own.

Moving to university can be a daunting prospect. You’re in a new town, you don’t know anyone and you might be a six-hour drive away from your best mate. But with music on your side – the tool that has brought opposing personalities like Snoop Dogg & Miley Cyrus, Kanye West & Kim Kardashian, and Linkin’ Park and Jay Z together – you’ll be making friends in no time.

A playlist is helpful – you can press play and leave it on in the background without having to worry that something embarrassing will come on and mortify you while greeting your new flatmates. With that in mind, we’ve created a freshers playlist with a handful of different tracks for a handful of different scenarios.

Moving in

Starting university will be the first time a lot of students have been away from home. This isn’t a bad thing – it’s a window of opportunity and your song selection should reflect this. We’ve started with a couple of motivational tracks that should catalyse the thirst for discovery and adventure. But it’s also useful to throw a statement track in there – like the Audio Bully’s with their refrain of “I go out late at night” – that will let your new flatmates know what you’re about.

Primal Scream – Movin’ On Up

Young MC – Bust a Move

Kanye West – Homecoming

Audio Bullys – We Don’t Care

Making friends

Music is a great bonding tool, especially when you get into the sort of artists that have really strong, closely-knit, followings. You’ll want to throw a couple of songs into the playlist that, if another fan hears, they’ll instantly knock on your door and attempt to shout into your ear about them. People like MF Doom, Big Star, Brand New, and Radiohead are great for this – just try to stray away from more miserable bands like Neutral Milk Hotel. No one wants to be a downer on the first day of freshers. Songs with the word “friend” in are also a winner, as they’ll subconciously make people want to talk to you. Probably.

Madvillian – All Caps

Big Star – September Gurls

Friends – Friend Crush

Bill Withers – Just the Two of Us


You’re all settled in, you’ve stuck posters all over your wall and your parents have finally left you alone to get drunk with your new flatmates. The pre-drinks playlist is perhaps the most important one. Although it simmers along in the background, it can really set the mood of the evening. It’s a good idea to go with chart-friendly things that people will know – like the latest Duke Dumont or Gorgon City single – before moving on to the bangers. This way you’ll please the people that only listen to the radio, but also those the more discerning club music fan. It’s also worth ending the pre-drinks playlist with something that everyone will know – the last song to chant along to before you down it like a fresher and head to the party.

Duke Dumont – I Got U

Strike – U Sure Do

N-Joi – Anthem

R Kelly – Ignition Remix

House party

Similar to the pre-drinks, the music at the house party will play along in the background until a song everyone knows gets turned on, it gets turned up, and everyone starts shouting and putting their arms around one another. The best thing to do here is cater to everyone’s needs; a hyped-up hip-hop track for the lads, a huge electronic song that everyone can dance to – and an old-school classic that will have everyone singing into each other’s faces.

Wiz Khalifa – We Dem Boyz


Daft Punk – Get Lucky

J Kwon – Tipsy


You’ve partied in about three different people’s flats, somehow made it to a club, visited an after-party, and hopefully ended up in your own flat. This is the time – after you’ve pulling the blinds closed and a sheet over your head - that you’ll want to listen to some down-tempo music. Caribou’s excellent new single “Can’t Do Without You” is perfect for this – keeping the tempo of the previous night up before pulling you into its comfort blanket. Just try not to confuse down-tempo with depressing – no one wants to hear The Smiths’ “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” after dramatically failing to pull at last evening’s traffic light party.

Caribou - Cant do Without You

Grouper – When We Fall

The Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning

Louis Johnson – What’s the Use of Getting Sober (When You’re Going to Get Drunk Again)

(Source: TheGuardian)


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