Welcome to The Soundtrack, a column where we plumb the depths of our musical knowledge to bring you the best* (subjective) music to listen to for very specific life situations. This week, we bring you music to get you through the world’s slowest work day.
You sit down at your desk at 9am, the weight of the day’s tasks all but crushing you into a bloody pulp. You answer the emails, you check the checklists, you do the thing – for 2 hours – and then you look at the time again, and it’s 9.15am. If, like the vast majority of the planet, you have to perform various tasks in order to fluff your bank account enough to pay for rent, bills, food and entertainment, it’s pretty likely you’ll know what I’m talking about. Don’t get me wrong – without bragging, I’m #blessed to work a job that I bloody love. But I remember these days all too well. The days when you try to sneak in fifteen minute toilet breaks, simultaneously feeling righteous and anarchic for “sticking it to the man”, and also undeniably guilty to the point of being physically nauseous because of all the shit (lmao) that still needs to get done. You’re busy, but it’s a hard slog. The clock is ticking literally fifty times slower than it usually is, you swear. You desperately need pepping up out of your funk, but you REALLY need to get these reports done by 5pm, so you can’t get distracted. Well, we got you. What you need is something upbeat, familiar, and vital. You almost definitely won’t be finding any new fave songs from me this week, but you’ll have a damn good time.
Sugababes – Overload
Warning: this is a pop playlist (with a generously broad definition of what that means), so if that offends you, then just go away forever. This song is as “stereotypically” pop as we’ll get this time around, but if you haven’t been clued in to its boundless genius then please let this be your awakening. This. Song. Is. A. Banger. Overload whips around in a chaotic frenzy that somehow never loses its head, which is exactly the ticket for a brain that’s struggling to keep up with everything it has to do. And just when you think you’re sinking right on into the repetitive familiarity of the track, it hits you with that insanely uncomfortable dissonance in the chorus. Don’t get too comfortable, fucker, it’s saying. You still have a lot of crap to get done.
Darwin Deez – Radar Detector
Okay, you’ve been put through the sexily-intimidating mill enough by the Sugababes, now you get a break. Well, not really because you’re at work, and you’re practically chained to your desk. But you do get to go on an infectious little audio equivalent of a sugar high. Maybe raid the kitchen and see if Deb has any of those chocolate chip Coles cookies to keep this party going? Darwin Deez might have had abhorrent hair when this song came out, but we can almost forgive him due to the way this track makes time speed up to a mind-blowing rate. And it’s the shortest song on the list, too.
The New Pornographers – Think About Me
This one is your breath of fresh air, because unless you have two lego blocks for ears then you know this song, but you maybe haven’t heard it like this. The trademark bright, crunchy New Pornographers guitars lend a power-pop sensibility to this Fleetwood Mac classic that turn it from instant classic to a feel-good anthem. Something that you can fantasise quitting your job and running off into the sunset with your ~lover~ to. But it has enough volume, the right number of quirks, to keep you firmly rooted (yep) in the tasks at hand.
Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True
Being a bit lame is kind of cool sometimes, or at least that’s what my mum always told me. Regardless of the truth of her advice, I’ve found it to be indisputable that cheesy retro love songs are a sure-fire way to help distract you from the bleak hamster wheel that is life. Just kidding, life’s pretty neat, and so is this song. Maybe just have a look behind your shoulder to make sure your coworkers aren’t copying your dorky AF finger-points in between answering phone calls with the most upbeat voice you’ve used all week. Hall & Oates can do that to a person.
Kisschasy – Do-Do’s And Woah-Oh’s
If that opening guitar work doesn’t immediately make you grin like a dopey nostalgic idiot, then you are just an actual plain old idiot. Yup, it’s time to put on your pop-punk hat and forget about how much you care about being “cool”, because this time you’re not even being ironic. Surely your boss won’t mind your extremely ham-handed headbanging as long as you’re getting work done. And let’s face it, there’s nothing more motivating than feeling like you’re a sardonic rockstar queen/king of the world while you absolutely SMASH that keyboard. Oh, you’ve got 10 emails to reply to in the next 5 minutes? NO PROBLEM MATE.