Back to the Basics Playlist

A few tracks to keep you focused in the New Year

By Alexis— Yup, it's January. After the mayhem of the holiday season, a sense of calm has taken back over. The air is clear and fresh, intentions have been made and goals set. All that's left is to get up and GO.

We made this playlist to keep things simple and also motivate you to keep on keepin' on when the urge to complicate things arises (yeah, we're looking at you, after work drinks at the local water hole).

Back to the basics playlist

*Editor's Note: New year, new functionality: we are now hosting our playlists on 8Tracks. Check them out - we love them and hope you do too! 

1. Haim - Forever

Danielle, Este and Alana Haim, three sisters from LA, met up with drummer Dash Hutton and put together an entire album clearly inspired by 80's dance parties growing up. Hints of Stevie Nicks and Annie Lennox swirl throughout this track, perfect for warming up and getting inspired by your favorite ladies of rock.

2. Van She - Idea of Happiness

Electro-tinged with enough bass to keep things from getting too sweet. The entire Van She album is awesome. This title track is the highlight.

3. Big Boi (Feat.  A$AP Rocky and Phantogram) - Lines

Ever since releasing Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty, Big Boi has been on a mission to prove that open-mindedness is as important to him as swagger. His new album has him partnering with some familiar names (Sleepy Brown) as well as some new unexpected artists - Little Dragon shows up twice as does electro darling Phantogram. This track is perfect for grinding out tough intervals.

4. Tegan and Sara - Closer

Somewhere along the line, Tegan and Sara decided to ditch their guitars at the coffee shop and go synth EVERYTHING. I was nervous when I first heard they were working with David Guetta ("how does THAT work?!") but the results have made me swallow my skepticism.

5. Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven

Yup, it's the most popular song on iTunes right now. My inner music snob wants to scoff, but no matter: this song is awesome. After I saw Bruno rock out on Saturday Night Live, I like him even more. Does anyone else hear some Police/Sting vibes in this song?

6. Kanye West (Feat. Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chains ) - Mercy

Ever since Kanye's partnership with Jigga last year, he's been putting out some great tunes. Maybe it has something to do with trying to make up for "Lift Off"—the fake Ghostface Killah album review of "Watch The Throne" still has to be the best thing I've read in a long, long time.

7. Royksopp - What Else is There? (Thin White Duke Remix)

It's an oldie and it's still such a goodie. This remix takes a good song and turns it legendary, so much that I struggle not to put it on every workout playlist I put together.

8. Solange - Losing You

Living in Beyonce's shadow probably isn't the most comfortable place in the world. Solange proves on her new album that she isn't a B-grade version of her sister, she's actually completely different—and it's a really good thing, too. This is the best Madonna song that isn't a Madonna song ever (that's a compliment).

9. Santigold - The Keepers

Every time I think I've exhausted Santigold's album "Master Of My Make-Believe", I find yet another track that makes my Top 25 Most Played. This was a highlight at her performance at Coachella last year.

10. Dirty Projector - Gun Has no Trigger

I saw these guys open for TV On The Radio a few years back and was absolutely blown away. If the lead singer's voice sounds familiar, it's because she collaborated with Major Lazer last year on the amazing Get Free. She’s definitely worth seeing live.

11. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (feat. Evan Roman) - A Wake

Right now these dudes are the toast of the town, with good reason. Their lyrics are awesome and the songs are so easy to listen to, from working out to road trips. We can't wait to see what they come up with next.

What music are you kicking off the New Year with? Share with us what's keeping you motivated and focused on your big plans for 2013!