Bassline junkies are going to rule the world – or at least, that’s what a new report by The Society For Personality And Social Psychology reckons. Their new report says that bass-heavy tunes such as 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ and Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ are much more effective at geeing people up when they’re about to face a job interview or meeting.
Dennis Hsu of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, says that they’re not sure of the exact science behind their findings. “Although significantly more research needs to be done before we can truly begin to understand music’s effects on our psychological experiences, I believe our findings provide initial evidence for the potential strategic use of music, especially in situations where people need to feel empowered,” he said. “People might want to explore whether pumping up their favorite tunes can quickly ease them into an empowered mental state before going into a first date, an important client meeting, or a job interview.”
While the scientists wrack their brains over why 2 Unlimited’s ‘Get Ready For This’ is such a motivational banger, NME writers have chosen their own go-to empowering songs. Let us know yours, too…in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter with #powertracks.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – ‘Tupelo’
A righteous storm: Sir Nick takes the birth of Elvis Presley and his stillborn twin brother and crosses it with WB Yeats’ apocalyptic poem ‘The Second Coming’ as something monstrous is born on one violent night in Mississippi. It’s a howling masterpiece of rattling lightning and booming drums as Cave yells like a demented preacher, and it’s so stupidly brilliant, brash and dark it’ll make you feel like you can control the thunder.
Queens Of The Stone Age – ‘I’m Designer’
Sure, like every other member of the sentient world, I’ve spent a good amount of hours yelling along to ‘Independent Women Pt.II’, but for pure prowling, growling swagger and sass it’s got to be Queens of the Stone Age. ‘I’m Designer’ is Josh at his most condemnatory, strutting past his enemies, flicking them casually off one by one with a cutting put down and a world-weary eyeball roll over jagged slices of deliciously sleazy guitars. “You don’t know what you’re worth… it isn’t much,” he purrs, taking his vacuous, fame-hungry victims to task while sounding like the coolest goddamn motherfucker on the planet. Stick this one on and you’ll be 100% bullshit-proof.
Taylor Swift – ‘Red’
A little while ago when I was feeing perpetually crappy, I listened to the pop hits off Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ a lot and started my days by telling myself I was a “badass bitch” in the bathroom mirror (thanks Tavi G). You feel so daft doing it that you can’t help but laugh. And Taylor is Queen of Thriving and Being Your Best Self, so there’s no way that a bit of her power won’t rub off on you.
Everclear – ‘Local God’
Everclear – what a band! When I was 10 I discovered them via the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, which I used to play in my mum’s car on cassette. At 1 minute 51 seconds, however, I’d have my hand strategically placed on the volume control which I’d then expertly turn down in time for singer Art Alexakis to cry “I feel so FUCKING stupid”. Whenever I want to feel ready to show the world who’s boss, I turn to the song that reminds me of learning how to swear properly – over a solid drum beat, via spiky guitars and with a healthy reserve of spit in the back of your throat.
TNGHT – ‘Higher Ground’
The song I listen to when I need to put some pep in my step is ‘Higher Ground’ by TNGHT. There’s no deep or meaningful explanation to it, it’s just a ridiculously big tune that takes the notion of subtlety and dropkicks it out of the stadium. ‘Higher Ground’ is the sound of an intergalactic warrior bounding through space, using galaxies as stepping stones and swallowing planets whole. It’s impossible to listen to that tune on full blast and not instantly feel six foot taller.
Kanye West – ‘Power’
‘Power’ is four minutes and fifty six seconds of weapons-grade adrenaline. It’s Kanye at his peak. Last year’s ‘Yeezus’ saw the rapper grapple with a very Kanye-specific set of problems – namely, press intrusion and the glass ceilings for black performers in the creative industries face. 2010’s ‘Power’ though was a song for anyone “living in the 21st century and doing something mean to it” – a giant fucking supernova of power chord guitars, chant-along backing vocals and aspirational lyrics about a world there for the taking. Forget listening to 50 Cent before a job interview – listen to this before meeting about a desk job and you’ll come out 15 minutes the CEO of the entire company.
Girls Aloud – ‘The Show’
Usually I just put on the song I’m most loving that week that isn’t a melancholic ballad. So recently that’d be Bill Withers’ ‘Grandma’s Hands’, FKA Twigs’ ‘Papa Pacify’, Holst’s ‘Jupiter’ and Shadz Of Lingo’s ‘View To A Kill’ but there are a couple I go back to that are always guaranteed to make me feel confident. Girls Aloud’s ‘The Show’ – written by Xenomania’s Miranda Cooper – is a go-to, Soda Stream boost. It’s a combination of a hyper-gallop beat, slightly absurd lyrics about butterflies and mascara that will take away any lean towards taking yourself too seriously, and a phenomenal middle eight. The chorus comes at you like a comet out of nowhere: it’s in a completely different key to the verse and always surprises me, just like all the best ones. It’s dark and weird and interesting and hits my chest and makes me feel unfuckablewith.
Leave your suggestions – and why – in the comments below.