10 Songs to Give You a Fresh Start in the New Year
For many, the marking of a new year represents a concrete way to mark the beginning of a massive personal change. At their core, New Year's resolutions should be ways for people to identify what about themselves or their current life they would like to alter in some way.
We're going into the upcoming year with no cynicism or pretension, and letting the calendar turn mark something positive instead of focusing on the negatives. In that spirit, we put together a lean ten song playlist that exemplifies shaking off the dust of yesterday in favor of a fresh start. This can come in many forms, whether it be restarting a lost relationship, abandoning toxic friends or trying to move past one's insecurities.
Check out the 10 songs to give you a fresh start in 2018, and take the list with you on our Spotify playlist.
“Under and Over It” is a high intensity bruiser from hard rockers Five Finger Death Punch that deals with moving beyond one’s reputation and not letting others control the narrative to your life’s story. This is achieved by singer Ivan Moody's taunting, listing out every bad thing people have ever said about him and throwing it back in their faces. He gets real, and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to himself.
Filter’s summer banger “Take a Picture” centers mostly around the then out of control drug abuse of singer Richard Patrick, focusing around an incident where he became so wasted on an airplane he began to strip naked. Through those lyrics, Patrick takes a step back to see everything that is going around himself, and makes a decision to end his habits. Lines like “I feel like a newborn” signifying his new turn, and the “picture” he’s asking to be taken is only a distant memory in a new life.
Fresh starts don’t all have to be nice and collected, with Hatebreed leading by example on their song “Looking Down the Barrel of Today.” Since the beginning of their career, the band has made their mark with tough love inspirational lyrics. Here, singer Jamey Jasta aims at everyone in sight who’s ever doubted him, promising he will never let himself fall into a previous pattern of weakness. He values the strength he knows he’s capable of, and begins anew with no doubt in mind.
From the outset, Alice in Chains’ “Killer Is Me” seems like a violent affair based on its lyrics. However, the severity of the language used instead helps to add poignancy to its main turning point. When Layne Staley asks “Can I start over?” It closes out a memorable MTV Unplugged session, adding acoustic flair to the rest of the group’s grungy sound.
Blink-182 take aim at friendships that aren’t much beneath the surface in their Dude Ranch cut “Lemmings.” The song takes a tour of singer Mark Hoppus’ teenage years, across the many things he and his friends used to get engaged in. He can find the positives of those experiences, and yet knows that he had to move beyond them to become a man. It’s both wistful for the past, and knowing that it’s not coming back.
The classic hardcore track from the legendary punk band Gorilla Biscuits, “Start Today” is all about the present. Instead of building up plans for the future and putting off all the important things in ones life, the group urges the listener instead to literally start today, and not flinch when it comes to having to put the work in when it comes to getting your act together. Hanging out with all your friends shouldn’t be the focus of your life.
Oftentimes, the best part about pop-punk is the ways in which it targets the heart of ones lowest feelings and thoughts. Box Car Racer’s “I Feel So” is a laundry list of the things that made Tom DeLonge feel insecure, highlighting his feelings of powerless in the greater scope of the world. It’s him unleashing all the things that drive him crazy, demanding “let’s start over” in its chorus for one of the project’s best songs.
Underneath the heaviness of Killswitch Engage’s “Starting Over” is a heartfelt look at a relationship gone awry, and a plea to make things okay once again. Singer Howard Jones admits his fault in a relationship with another person, admitting he fell back on big picture promises and vows he made with another. Heaviness combines succinctly with the emotional energy he puts out, asking with all his heart, “Can we start again?”
Judas Priest’s sixteenth album Nostradamus wasn’t the most well received record in the band’s career, but thanks to his many years as a lyricist, Rob Halford managed to deliver some of his best writing in the late album song “New Beginnings.” The concept album tells the story of Nostradamus, but the song tells a very real story about the rejuvenating effects that love can have on a person. It’s a new rebirth thanks to that feeling, and it’s one of the band’s most beautiful and sincere.
Thirty Seconds to Mars’ uplifting, electronic infused “Do or Die” is singer Jared Leto directing his words at another person, and at himself. It’s a plea to not take opportunities in life for granted, something that somebody with as much star power as him views as an important lesson to take to heart. The song takes care never to focus on what was in the past, instead making the now stretch onto an eternity, something like heaven, to take chances in life and live with no regret.