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Arts Vanity: A STEM Concentrator’s Favorite Music To PSet To

Anna Moiseieva '25, incoming Music Exec and Comp Director
Anna Moiseieva '25, incoming Music Exec and Comp Director By Courtesy of Sofia Andrade
By Anna Moiseieva, Crimson Staff Writer

As a Chemistry concentrator, I’ve spent many a night determining ways to synthesize analogs of morphine and finding values of 𝛾 such that a pacemaker can be automated to prevent abnormal heart rhythms. The common thread between my countless hours of problem solving, aside from me questioning the life choices that led to relearning the Robinson Annulation mechanism for the eighth time this semester, is the music that has kept me sane through it all. Below are some of my favorite tracks to play on those scary pset-ing nights, ranging from classical music to rock along with a mix of new and old pop.

“Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins

The song delivers a much needed message of hope, not only instrumentally but also in its lyrics. With an encompassing drum roll and The Smashing Pumpkins’s vocalist Billy Corgan urging the listener to “believe, believe that life can change,” the song brings light to darkness. Detailing a struggle with self-doubt and a firm belief in the potential for change, “Tonight, Tonight” brings a sense of courage to listeners and reminds me that I won’t be stuck in a Lamont nook forever.

“Watch Me Shine” by Joanna Pacitti

An iconic track from the “Legally Blonde” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, this song plays over a montage of Elle Woods working hard to pass her law school classes after an embarrassing Halloween party where peers doubted her ability to succeed. Pacitti’s backup vocals and the hip-hop style drum beat are staples of 2000s music that create a nostalgic but motivating atmosphere. Lyrically, the song is clear in its theme of ambition, vigor, and overcoming challenges. “Watch Me Shine” is a go-to song for romanticizing finishing a mile-long to-do list.

Étude Op. 10 No.12 “Revolutionary” by Frédéric Chopin

A beast of a piece to play, this étude is beautiful in its thundering, fast-paced start. The series of loud left-hand runs alongside the bright chords creates drama and excitement with only a brief dynamic respite in the last 30 seconds. While the techniques used to solve fluid dynamics problems are drastically different to those necessary to play this sophisticated work, I’m reminded of the beauty in complexity, within and beyond music, when listening to Chopin’s romantic piano solo.

“Head On Fire” by Griff and Sigrid

A prominent beat full of energy makes this a great song for a mini-dance break after sitting hunched over my iPad in the same spot for four hours. Griff and Sigrid’s vocals interchange seamlessly throughout the track and their unified harmony works well with the added texture in the final bridge to conclude the song at a highpoint. I, too, “think I’m losing my mind” and feel like my head is on fire so the additional relatability of the lyrics is a welcome comfort.

“Probabilities” by Maude Latour

This song off Latour’s newest EP “001” is reassuring with its affirmation of a brighter future and moving past the inevitable feeling of wanting to give up. Celebrating the little moments along with all of the randomness and chance that came together to make them happen, “Probabilities” is a healthy reminder to get out of your own head sometimes and just dance.

—Incoming Comp Director and Music Executive Anna Moiseieva will be enjoying her music pset-free until January. For further discussion on these songs or additional recommendations, she can be reached at

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