Hannah Smith

My Favourite Songs to sum up 2018 so far…

Image courtesy of Mila Embury

We’re only halfway through the year, but already so much has happened! As the term draws to a close and summer officially begins, I thought it would be an appropriate time to reflect on some of this year’s biggest events, campaigns and emotional highs and lows and what better way to do this than through the medium of music. So here is a list of some of my favourite songs, along with a few honourable mentions, to sum up this year so far…


1. New Year, New Resolutions, New Rules…

Favourite Song: New Rules – Dua Lipa

The BRIT’s 2018 ‘Female Solo Artist’, undoubtedly started this year on a high. As we all intend on doing when we set out our new year’s resolutions. Although, Dua Lipa’s rule of “getting over him,” may be different to the typical promises of getting healthy, saving money, and travelling more – this is still the plastic pop anthem that embodies all these best intentions we make in January.


2. Time’s Up

Favourite Song: You are the Problem Here – First Aid Kit

The Söderberg sisters dropped this single last year to celebrate International Women’s Day. If you haven’t heard it, I suggest you check out the link above. Applying their signature folk harmonies, to some direct, spine-tingling, and downright unforgiving lyrics – they’ve most certainly made something special! Now it’s 2018, and time is up on sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination in the workplace. The campaign, created in a response to #MeToo, has gathered the support of Hollywood’s brightest and biggest names. In light of the campaign, the Swedish duo’s song has now acquired an extra layer of meaning with their lyrics reflecting the actions and symbols of empowerment that are apparent now in the courts and on the red carpet.

Honourable Mention: Praying – Kesha

The Singer’s haunting song about her own forgiveness towards the producer Dr Luke who she accused of sexual misconduct and its tearful rendition at 60th Grammy Awards cannot go unmentioned. The statement performance saw Kesha dressed in white as a tribute to the #MeToo campaign. She was joined by an all-female cast of professionals including, Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello to project a beautiful and inspirational image of women supporting women, standing against sexual assault in the workplace. It is quite simply uplifting.


3. UCU Strikes: Pensions, Pickets, and #NoCapitulation, Right on!

Favourite Song: Power to the People – John Lennon

A protest relevant locally requires a timelessly potent song from one of the Liverpool’s most famous activists. The UCU strikes, have well and truly seen the transfer of “power to the people,” that would see John Lennon beaming with pride. Lecturers and students have displayed exquisite solidarity “on the street” and on the pickets to defend pensions that the “workers…really own.”

Honourable Mention: Question Time – Dave

On the surface, this track by on-the-rise British rapper Dave doesn’t seem relevant to the strikes in any way. However, the bitter outrage and candid questioning of the current government’s decision-making is the defining characteristic behind both the walkout and this rapper’s political-charged critic. This clued-up youngster is most definitely here to stay, his lyrics are refreshingly self-explanatory, and deserve to be highlighted in a 6-month period that has been riddled with protest:

“A question for the new prime minister And please, tell me if I’m being narrow-minded But how do we spend so much money on defence And weapons to wage war when the NHS is dying?”


4. The OG ‘Beast from the East’, and it’s Mini 2.0

Favourite Song: Cold – Stormzy

I’m going to pretend the track selection, to summarize the absurd weather in the UK this spring, is not all about the pun. However, that would be a lie! Because a ‘Cold Storm-zy’ is exactly what we got. Despite, Stormzy certainly not residing in the east, I cannot think of a bigger beast currently in grime scene – and that’s why this track makes this list. Easy.


5. That End of Exams Feeling

Favourite Song: Good Vibes – Quintino ft. Laurell

When exams have finished all I want to do is dance! So, this selection needed to be something unapologetically EDM. The Dutch DJ’s joyous chords, and revitalising drop serves as transportation for the ears to warmer weather, sandy beaches, and flavoursome cocktails. After this latest season of stress, treat yourself to this song that serves as a daily shot of good vibes.

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