Modern-day cassette tape: Your ultimate poolside playlist

A black and white graphic of a man playing the guitar.
Graphic by Chloe Frelinghuysen

Congratulations, you made it. Mercury is no longer in retrograde, midterms are (hopefully) over and California April is upon us, which means the sun is shining and the temperature is resting happily in the low 70s. Incidentally, the Pitzer College pool seems to be the perfect place for the 5Cs to come together and blast extraordinarily loud music — out of some type of futuristic speaker designed to make the noise from the pool beam straight into my first-floor dorm room.

Luckily for the Claremont McKenna College and Pomona College bros, my post-spring resolution was to go a little further on my journey of being a cool, chill girl, which was pretty much the only thing that stopped me from leaving my room and asking them to turn it down so I could study. (I mean, I did yoga twice last week … I’m not planning on blowing that #selfcare #goodvibes energy on them.)

So, instead of pointing out the dangers of jumping off the Shakedown Cafe roof and into the pool, or specifying that there are official rules surrounding quiet hour, I took the opportunity to analyze the music they were playing and decided to come up with my own short list of poolside song suggestions to meet whatever vibe your particular group is going for.

  1. “Symphony” by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson

If you are looking for a song to say “I am FTB (for the boys) but also, like, cool with female artists,” look no further.

“Symphony” has all the great qualities of an upbeat pop song — the singer is blonde, and it’s technically a profession of love, but, like, in a cool way. Try making eye contact with someone you think is cute and mouth the words, “Was solo singing on my own / Now I can’t find the key without you” while dancing in a slightly endearing yet awkward fashion. Suddenly, you are hot, approachable and “so in touch with your feelings.”

  1. “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Can you imagine a better vibe than a pool party full of young adults shouting the words, “You in that dress, my thoughts, I confess / Verge on dirty.” It’s so tame but at the same time also kind of gross. Oh, the 80s, what a time.

Some songs to pair with this one are “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. This array of tunes gives you two choices: One, commit to it and dance. You’ll seem so confident jumping and bopping to such “basic” tunes. Two, act ironic about it. You know the words but you also know they aren’t that cool. Use this playlist to practice your best apathetic shoulder shrug.

Any way you play it, everyone will think of you as a fun and kind person. They won’t know why they smile when they see you walking around; they just do.

  1. “Nobody” by Mitski

Listen, it’s nice out, you like your friends enough, and honestly, by every measure you can think of, you are essentially thriving. But a core part of your identity is being sad and understanding sad things. Which is why, while you take in the sun and watch your close friends laugh, you can keep yourself grounded by singing the lines to yourself: “I’ve been big and small and big and small again and still nobody wants me.”

Let the line “still nobody wants me” really ring in your head, because even if it’s not true, you can do a pretty good job of convincing yourself you are Mitski, you get each other, and she feels your pain.

Hopefully, these poolside songs help you actualize your truest selves as you lounge around in the sun. There are only five weeks left in the school year. Play the music you want everyone to think you enjoy listening to, and take solace in the fact that no one is actually paying any attention to you — unless they’re trying to study!

Anna Koppelman PZ ’22 is just a lone girl trying her hardest to make Nora Ephron proud. If you are looking for her, she’s probably either listening to the newest Vampire Weekend songs or promising one of her friends that she is about to start meditating again “really soon.”

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