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I have never approached a New Year with as much enthusiasm as I had for 2021. After 2020’s madness, we all seized upon the New Year as the time when everything would change for the better. Though, of course, our problems didn’t vanish overnight, I think it’s still healthy to look back and embrace the closure of the old year and the beginning of something new. It’s over; we did it; and, hopefully, the best is yet to come.

These songs are arranged around the theme of endings and new beginnings—may we, like Maggie Rogers in “Alaska,” say to 2020 that “I walked off you / And I walked off an old me.”