I’m not entirely sure that ‘psyching’ yourself into something is even a term now. We used to use it a lot in the early 90’s about the same time as ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ hit our bookstores and shook up our inner demons . Standing up big and punchy to our anxiety (not that we knew what it was back then) took a lot of energy. A lot of psyching up in front of the mirror was going on. Whatever the positive affirmation, there was usually an accompanying energising track. For me it was often something by R.E.M or the Pixies.
So I was thinking today, what are my 2017 psyche-up songs? The songs that are required when I need something to push me out the door. I’ve picked 6 pearlers and, because this blog is about new music, I’ve kept it to any song released in the last three years. And, yes, I have yelled aloud the ‘woop” at 5:20 of ‘Under the Pressure’. It felt exceptionally good.
This is The World of The Theatre, The New Pornographers
No psych-up playlist of mine will ever be without a song by the NP’s. These guys are the all-time masters of the uplifting chorus. Stay with this track till 1:35 and you’ll see what I mean. If you love it, check out Challengers and Champions of Red Wine also.
Giant Peach, Wolf Alice
This is old-school gold, a drums and guitar driven big song. The difference is that all the members of Wolf Alice are under 25 years old. Oh so good when you need a short and fiery boost.
Let it Happen, Tame Impala
For those moments where there’s nothing you can do to change a situation. Pour a glass of wine, sit back and let it happen. Not so much a psyche-up perhaps but more a rise-above-it-all song. From one of my favourite artists and one of my favourite albums. Shifting and shimmering with the ghosts of Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk.
What Went Down, Foals
Get ready. This is a bloody angry song to be listened to when you’re bloody angry. Essential psyche-up for giving someone the verbal bird. And, more importantly, it’s got a wonderful bridge at 2:55. Love it.
Under the Pressure, The War on Drugs
Adam Granduciel is having the best time on this track. The pressure certainly doesn’t seem to be dragging him under. It’s got a lovely build starting just after the 3 minute mark. You may find the long drone at the end a bit much but try and hold on to the fist-pumping from earlier and you’ll be right.
Goshen ’97, Strand of Oaks
I’ve never come across a band who’s name is so incongruous with its sound. You’d imagine that the members of Strand of Oaks would be in billowing muslim shirts, holding hands in a circle and harmonising right? Well, actually, no.
I’d love to know what your psyche-up songs are? I reckon we can make a collective playlist…