“If music be the food of love, play on,” quoth the Bard: “Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.”

Shakespeare never met a Bowdoin College student on the brink of Ivies, did he? Indulging appetite to excess is our job this time of year, and judging by how much brainpower we devote each semester to yearning for these few days, I doubt it ever dies. We’re made of sterner stuff than Duke Orsino.

I’m not at all ashamed to say that the debauched spirit of Ivies has even corrupted the heretofore unblemished hipster cred of yours truly. The ivory tower of the music snob gets lonely, my Buddy Holly glasses have become unwieldy, and my vinyl has stopped playing properly. This week, I will retire my cardigan and take up a pinny. Instead of hipster, I shall Guster.

I have no full album to recommend to you. Time is spare during Ivies, when classes seem to fragment our fun. It would be remiss of me to suggest we all take 40 minutes of our precious drinking time to listen to the new Phoenix album (though if you want to, hit me up), so instead I offer the best songs of the year so far, essential to any hip Ivies playlist that anticipates summer.
Methinks the Bard needs a little updating: Music be the love of drink. So play on, drink up, have at it.

“Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake
This song, Justin’s spectacular return to form after a seven year hiatus and the off-the-mark retro-fest “Suit & Tie,” has been on the Reed House party playlist since it came out, and with good reason. 

Forget the Coldplay-esque intro: as soon as he starts singing, Justin channels his inner crooner (circa “Cry Me a River”) to deliver this bright-and-blue-eyed soul tear-jerker. If anyone is looking to rekindle a dying flame for Ivies, this is your jam. Hopefully you can last all eight minutes.

“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk                                                                                                                       Is there a better song for Ivies debauchery? The robots have returned and I’m excited for the touch-it-bring-it-pay-it-watch-it-turn-it-leave-it-start-format-it-technologic singularity. 

If this is how the robot revolution happens, that’s fine by me. Though if this song is any indication, Daft Punk’s new sound has more to do rhetorically with 2005’s “Human After All” than their computerized image: “Get Lucky” has a very human pulse. The duo eases us into their new sound with Nile Rodgers’ funky guitar riff and Pharrell’s smooth vocals, detailing the very primal—and very Ivies—urge to have sex. Put this song on and hey, get lucky.

“Wakin on a Pretty Daze” by Kurt Vile
If anyone can remind us that Ivies is a marathon and not a sprint, it’s Kurt Vile. I don’t think the man has sprinted anywhere, as this nine-minute sprawl-of-a-song can attest. Sometimes, the constant input of Ivies burns us out. Day drinking since Sunday can take a toll on the best of us. Kurt understands: “To be frank / I’m fried.” Nothing wrong with taking a load off. “But I don’t mind,” he admits amidst swirling guitars, and neither should you. What’s to worry about? It’s Ivies and you’re listening to Kurt Vile and life—well, “life’s awhile.”

“Song for Zula” by Phosphorescent
This is a song for Sunday morning, when the rubble has cleared. We’re soaked in booze, tired as hell, and our voices are nothing short of hoarse—but we carry on. Over the past week, we’ve seen it all, from the asceticism of rejection to the hedonism of a campus-wide orgy. And we’re better for it, jaded but still jumping, bloodied but unbowed. “Song for Zula” offers slow-burning introspection, opening a space for us to steel our hearts and prepare for the blitz of work we now face. But not without a final hoorah.