This Week’s Theme Song: From Remi Wolf to Gorillaz and Everything in Between


Gorillaz “The Valley of the Pagans” Music Video. Source: NME

Olivia Barclay

This was a crazy week and so are these songs.

Some days just suck. Plain and simple. Those days where everything just isn’t going your way and you’re just ticked off. There are also good days. Those days when you’re walking around campus and enjoying where you are in that present moment. No matter my mood during the day, I can always rely on music to help me get through it. Today’s column is going to be all about the music I’ve been listening to this week, why I was listening to it, and how it got me through the day. Welcome to “This Week’s Theme Song”.

Starting from last Wednesday, I’d say my day can best be described through the song “My House” by Declan McKenna. That day specifically I had a lot of phone calls with hometown friends and this song really reminds me of that. I specifically have a friend who is my neighbor and I remember going over to each other’s houses every day since we lived right next to each other. This song reminds me of that and the simplicity we both lived during that time.  “My House” perfectly depicts that childhood simplicity and the longing to experience it one more time. McKenna describes a scene of him and his friend going over to each other’s houses and how much they enjoyed each other’s company. This song and the overall day made me reflect on my childhood and really resonated with me.

On Thursday, Remi Wolf released “Anthony Kiedis” and “Front Tooth” in preparation for her upcoming album titled “Juno”, releasing on October 15th. I had remembered the songs dropped as I was making my way to class so I turned them on. I immediately gravitated towards “Anthony Kiedis” as it depicted Remi Wolf’s experience during COVID. She details how the pandemic has affected her personally but also her music and how she’s been dealing with the change. I understood this as I reflected back on my own experience during the pandemic and really took into account how much I’ve changed since the start of COVID. Remi Wolf does a great job relating to her listener in this song and even though it didn’t necessarily have to do with my mood that day, I was excited for her new releases and how they encouraged me to reflect on my experiences during the pandemic.

On Friday I was feeling in a low mood. I had a lot of school work and club activities, and my family was also coming into town. I was excited to see my family but it was for such a short amount of time that I knew it would hurt when I would have to say goodbye again. “Under the Wheels” by Dr. Dog really helped me get through this day. The song talks about going through an experience again and the recurring emotions that come along with that. The upbeat tempo juxtaposes the meaning of the song to demonstrate an overarching optimism that you will come out of this experience again just as you have before. I really felt that when I was anticipating saying goodbye to my family again and this song really helped me to work through the day.

Saturday I spent the day with my family. I took them around the city and we just overall had a fun day out. “Way it Goes” by Hippocampus perfectly encapsulates my mood for that day with its upbeat tempo and lighthearted lyrics. This song feels like a breath of fresh air and so did that day. I felt that that day was a big reset day for myself and it was a day I just enjoyed being away from the stresses of school. In “Way it Goes” the song talks about being easy-going and “going with the flow” of the day. It talks about enjoying the present you’re in and to appreciate all the hardships you’ve gone through to get there. Hippocampus encourages listeners in this song to experience each day individually and to fully enjoy every moment in them. This song helped me to not stress about saying goodbye to my family but to just enjoy this time I had with them and be in the present moment.

Sunday rolled around and I was in tears all day. The moment had come to say goodbye to my family and once I’d made it back to my dorm I decided to try to get myself together. I did my laundry, cleaned my room, and took a walk around campus. As I was walking I put on my “tan lines” playlist (which is my summer playlist) and the first song to come on was “Marcel” by Her’s. Now if you know what happened to Her’s, then this song provides an extra layer of bitter-sweetness on top. Although the song is a relaxed indie-pop sound, it still has subtle sorrowful undertones that shift the meaning of the song. The contents of the song talk about how the singer wants to be with their lover, but at that moment they can’t. Although the meaning of the song doesn’t directly relate to how I was feeling, I think the tempo and drowsy melody perfectly described that melancholy feeling I had that Sunday.

Monday started off gloomy, both with the weather and how I was feeling. I had a class I had to walk to that was about 20 minutes away and as I started my walk “Revolving Doors” by Gorillaz came on. Now I know this song is more about the effects show business has on mental health, but something about that song just really stood out to me. It starts out with a light hearted guitar melody and then 2D begins singing. His voice is sorrowful throughout the song and contrasted with a voice saying “revolving doors in London to a foggy day in Boston” as the song progresses. That part especially caught my attention since I’m from Boston but also the juxtaposition between the tones of voices. I was filled with a mix of emotions that day just as this song provides a mixture of different sounds and it really helped to get me through it.

Tuesday brought a breeze of optimism. I had been feeling low the past few days, but Tuesday I woke up feeling refreshed. The song “Aries” by Gorillaz (I’m a huge fan of Gorillaz by the way) best describes that feeling. The music itself is longing-ly bittersweet but still brings that feeling that things are going to improve soon. The lyrics however talk about how 2D is in a repetitive motion and that he’s aware of that motion. I felt this same way on Tuesday as I felt like I was back in school mode after my brief break over the weekend. I felt better again but I couldn’t help but feel that the same cycle would happen again once I went to visit my family again. The lyrics in the song depict a feeling of uneasiness and I felt the same way as I started my day off, feeling a false sense of optimism and refreshment.

Now we’re in the present and honestly I have not gotten through a huge amount of my day quite yet to gage what song best describes it. However, the first song that came on when I turned on Spotify this morning was “Liz” by Remi Wolf (I’m also a huge Remi Wolf fan). I originally wasn’t a huge fan of this song but something about listening to it today just hit right. I think it’s the amount of raw emotion that Remi Wolf put into both writing and singing this song. In “Liz” Wolf describes a girl named “Liz” and how she looks up to her. Wolf belts out her admiration for Liz but also talks about the untold side of this character. Remi Wolf provides a double perspective on Liz and I think that mixed with the amount of emotion she sings with made me fall in love with this song. Remi Wolf has a lot to give and this song “Liz” helps audiences to recognize her amazing vocal and genre rage that made me a big fan in the first place.

This week has truly been a rollercoaster of emotions for me, which is not very typical for me. I’m grateful to have found these songs that so perfectly captured my emotions this week and really helped me get through it. As an overview I mentioned: “My House” by Declan McKenna, “Anthony Kiedis” by Remi Wolf, “Under the Wheels” by Dr. Dog, “Way it Goes” by Hippocampus, “Marcel” by Her’s, “Revolving Doors” by Gorillaz, “Aries” by Gorillaz, and “Liz” by Remi Wolf. I hope you listen to a few of these songs and hopefully they’ll have the same effect on you as they did on me.