There’s a scene in the Japanese film Drive My Car that is one of my favorite movie moments from the past few years. It’s about 40 minutes into the film, and you’ve just watched a frankly devastating vignette covering the highs and lows of a marriage. As the protagonist, driving a classic red car, gets on the highway, the soundtrack kicks in and the opening credits start to roll. & in that second, you as an audience member know that despite all the drama you’ve already seen, this story has only just begun.

Somewhat in honor of that movie magic, this playlist is full of Korean (or Hallyu-adjacent-whatever-unlabeled-excellence-XG-are cooking up) songs that seem tailor-made to soundtrack a beginning with baggage. They hint at thousands of memories that led up to this time, and something truly significant just kicking off. So, whether you’re sitting down to complete an arduous assignment, getting ready to cook a delicious meal, or heading out on a loaded road trip of your own, I hope these tracks mark the start of something, big or small, special.