This Is The New Year

Vol. 1 - Issue 2

"New Year's Resolution— to write something of value..."

-Camera Obscura

L@YL - listen @ your leisure

Set 1

  1. The New Year
    Death Cab for Cutie
  2. The Times They Are A-Changin'
    Bob Dylan
  3. New Year
    Beach House

Set 2

  1. New Year's Resolution
    Camera Obscura
  2. This Will Be Our Year
    The Zombies
  3. Big Decisions
    My Morning Jacket
  4. Yes I'm Changing
    Tame Impala

Set 3

  1. Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe
    Kendrick Lamar
  2. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  3. Progress
    Booker T. Jones

Set 4

  1. The New Year
    Dear Nora
  2. Champagne Supernova
  3. Changes
    David Bowie

We're only one month into the new year, but the essence of resolutions is still there. It's time to make some Big Decisions. The concept of a resolution garners mixed feelings. For some, it's an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and shape yourself into the person you've always pictured yourself being. For others, it's an arbitrary passage of time that people use as an excuse to do something that they could've easily done at any other time.

Common resolutions include:

  1. Improving finances
  2. Exercising
  3. Managing stress
  4. Starting or improving a relationship
  5. Stop procrastinating

According to the web, about 45 percent of people make a resolution. Among those people, around 73 percent give up before reaching their goal. Is the cynicism justified?

The Idealist


The Cynic


These perspectives permeate into music, too.

Take the idealism and cynicism of a new year and couple it with the mind of a musician, and a whole spectrum of music materializes. On the one hand, you have songs like This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies, which features lyrics with a positive outlook:

You don't have to worry / All your worried days are gone / This will be our year

Death Cab for Cutie weighs the alternative on This Is The New Year:

So this is the new year / And I have no resolutions / For self-assigned penance / For problems with easy solutions

This ambivalence is also prevalent in two Tame Impala song titles:

Yes I'm Changing and New Person, Same Old Mistakes. Perspective.

One of the common resolutions mentioned earlier was starting or improving a relationship. In some cases, that includes moving on from somebody else and doing what's best for you. Sometimes it's mutual. Sometimes there's a bitter aftertaste. These qualities are also seen throughout music.

New Year's Resolution— to kiss you like I mean it / With cheeks the color of rhubarb we'll be fine

-New Year's Resolution, Camera Obscura

Life is moving, can't you see / There's no future left for you and me

-Yes I'm Changing, Tame Impala

Musicians are people, too. They pay taxes, fill up their gas tanks, and deal with real-life problems. Many of these artists write songs about their problems and solutions to them, including attitudes towards a new year and changing as a person. Sometimes, you can find answers within lyrics.

Personally, I don't make new goals for a new year, but I nonetheless make strides to change myself when I think it's needed. For example, I Can't Keep Checking My Phone because it's time-consuming and there's no need to Instagram the sandwich I just made*.

* unless it's a really good sandwich

There's nothing wrong with taking that first step towards a new goal. Whether it's a new year, month, or day doesn't matter— it's just a way for people to compartmentalize and gauge their progress. Why do people bash New Year's resolutions, then? Because of those who don't follow through with their goals. If you want to make resolutions that you'll keep, there are some useful tips people can implement. All it takes is consistent application and a little effort. It's never too late to start.

"They say people never change, but that's bullshit, they do."

-Kevin Parker



Posted on February 1, 2016 .