Ah, the New Year. Time of transformation, time of bubbly-spawned magic, time of awkward passes and resolutions you mean at the time. While you're preparing for the long sled ride down Hangover Hill, here's some topical listening material. -- Jeff Shaw
5. Death Cab for Cutie, "The New Year"
"So this is the New Year ... and I don't feel any different." Who among us cannot identify with these sentiments? The ennui associated with arbitrary calendar-flippage? We've all been there at one point, and this captures one aspect of the nouvelle annee experience: sitting around and waiting for life to start. Some years are like this, running in place while holding a drink. Try not to spill.
4. The Zombies, "This Will Be Our Year"
A delicious pop nugget from decades past, this track isn't explicitly about the New Year, but about starting a new romantic relationship with an old friend. The words I'm looking for to describe it are "thoroughly charming." Share it with someone you love -- or ensure that it's playing when a longtime pal you have a crush on walks by. More recently, OK Go covered this song, and that version is also well worth listening to. You can find it here. But I think the video below, with decades-old footage of somebody's parents shot with a Super 8, fits the tune's feel.
3. Asobi Seksu, "New Years"
About a metaphorical rather than literal New Year, this song (which you can hear streaming here) is the finest track from one of 2006's best albums. Yeah, its almost all in Japanese. Yeah, you'll enjoy it anyway, even if you don't speak the language. You can see people wrestling with the tune's English meaning here.
2. ABBA, "Happy New Year"
You cannot go wrong with ABBA. It is an immutable law of physics. So when you get them all together around a piano, singing out a blessing for the annum to come, you feel it, you believe them, even if you keep waiting for the chorus to be "Happy New Year, Happy New Year -- may we all have a beer." Go on, listen, and tell me that wouldn't be perfect.
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1. The Dismemberment Plan, "The Ice of Boston"
We started with the paralyzing effects of the New Year, and now we move to flip side -- being drunk in a hotel room far from home, and you end up covered in booze, naked, exposing yourself inadvertently to two million strangers.
What, hasn't that happened to anyone else? "Pop open a bottle of bubbly … yeah, here’s to another goddamn New Year." Indeed, Dismemberment Plan. Indeed.