U2 – “New Year’s Day”
The driving basslines and searing guitars of this New Year’s classic will instantly pull the triggers of nostalgia in many of us. It’s easy to relate to the lyrics of Bono, who would rather ignore all of the NYE hubbub and spend the night with his lady.
Death Cab for Cutie – “The New Year”
A somewhat cynical take on the changing of calendars, “The New Year” packs all of the soothing melodies and masterful lyrics that singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard is known for. If you need some chill tuneage to get you thinking before your big night out, look no further.
Andrew W.K. – “Party Hard”
While not a New Year’s themed track, this 2001 classic is suitable on just about any mix that encourages a good time. And what better time to party than New Year’s! Crank it up and forget about your bad decisions in 2011, one headbang at a time.
Motion City Soundtrack – “Resolution”
Not exactly a happy-go-lucky New Year’s song, “Resolution” finds MCS frontman Justin Pierre lamenting his wrongdoings in past relationships. However, the sugary sing-along chorus will take your mind off all those times you acted like a jerk, and will hopefully motivate you to stop being one in 2012.
Abba –“Happy New Year’
It might be your parents’ New Year's song of choice, but there’s no reason not to sing along to this 1980 classic. Especially when you and your friends have some 2012-themed cocktails in your systems.
Taking Back Sunday – “New Again”
The opening track from Taking Back Sunday’s experimental 2009 record of the same name, everything about “New Again” screams rebirth. Once the pounding kick drum of the into gives way to a massive chorus declaration of “I’m ready to be new again,” you just might feel energized enough to stick to those lofty resolutions. After one more night of drinking, that is.
Though it was released in the early 80s and its title is 12 years out of date, there’s always good reason to vibe out to this funky party anthem. You can always sing “2012” over “1999” in the chorus, but people will give you strange looks. So don’t.
Regina Spektor – “My Dear Acquaintance (Happy New Year)”
One of the more touching songs on our mix, “My Dear Acquaintance” is a simple yet potent expression of the holiday. Whether the background noise of gunfire and helicopters is intended as irony or a sign of gratitude for our troops celebrating the New Year abroad, Regina Spektor’s silky voice and bare lyrics will undoubtedly have you reflecting.