Basement Mixtapes for Bisons: Back to school

A mixtape to survive the first week back

Back to school season, particularly the first week back, has always felt like a time of renewal to me. Summer has technically passed but you’re waiting for the weather to get the memo. Beach towels are getting replaced with jack-o’-lanterns and backpacks but the sun feels hotter than it was back in July. 

It’s a transitionary period that comes with so many possibilities. Who, or what, will you be in the 2023-24 academic year? The excitement and anticipation of a new year doesn’t last long due to the natural weight of academia coming in fast by the first week of October, but it’s important to enjoy those feelings while they last. 

This playlist, curated in the basement of Helen Glass at the Manitoban office, features mostly fast-paced and upbeat tracks from a variety of musicians, including one from Winnipeg. These tracks all have an aura of that mourning period that comes with summer ending and returning as somebody else to a place you know well.

Most of them share genres, but there’s some noisy guitar in here too so you have something to seethe to while grinding your teeth in line at the UM Bookstore, because we both know you put off buying your textbooks. 

Starting off ironically with “Campus” by Vampire Weekend and ending with “Bodys” by Car Seat Headrest, remember to cherish the nuances and feelings that can only come with this time of year. You’ll be wishing you did by the winter term. 

Rest assured, all you Taylor Swift fans out there trying to just make it through University Centre alive: a track is in here for you too. 

Whether it’s your first year or your sixth, remember to observe the leaves changing colour, embrace the thrill of buying new highlighters and savour the satisfaction of strategically picking a locker closest to your study spot.  


Campus — Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Lost — Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE

American Teenager — Ethel Cain, Preacher’s Daughter

Aside — The Weakerthans, Left and Leaving

Savage Good Boy — Japanese Breakfast, Jubilee

My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars — Mitski, Puberty 2

This Year — The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree

Clay Pigeons — Michael Cera, true that

ARE WE STILL FRIENDS? — Tyler, The Creator, IGOR

Cruel Summer — Taylor Swift, Lover 

What Once Was — Hers, Songs of Her’s

Good Days — SZA, SOS

Grace, Too — The Tragically Hip, Day for Night

It Almost Worked — TV Girl, The Night in Question: French Exit Outtakes

Everybody Wants to Rule the World — Tears For Fears, Songs From The Big Chair

Dance Yrself Clean — LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening

Bodys — Car Seat Headrest, Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)

Listen to Basement Mixtapes for Bisons: Back to school on Spotify here: