10 Tracks To Welcome The Spring Season

“Caroline!” you might exclaim, “Isn’t it a bit premature to curate a playlist for the spring in the first week of March?”

In any past year, I would have completely agreed with you. However, given the nature of this “winter” with its unusually warm weather and particularly peculiar storms, I think we can all agree that “winter” has long gone. Its springtime, baby.

With any new season, I believe that you need a brand new playlist in order to welcome it properly. If you’re inundated with homework and various papers, you’re probably feeling like you don’t have any time to make a playlist to celebrate the springtime. You need not worry because, once again, I’ve done all of the hard work for you.

Not only are you going to ring in the springtime like a proper music fan, but you’re going to do it with a mix of 80s new wave, shimmering guitars and the effortless coolness of contemporary music. Sit back, relax and enjoy the auditory sunshine.

“Love Plus One” by Haircut 100, off of their album, Pelican West Plus.

Two instruments that need more attention: the marimba and the saxophone. Songs that give those instruments the deserved attention: “Love Plus One” by Haircut 100.

Just listen to that opening marimba work and the smooth playing style floating from the saxophone. The bass is simply to die for and is something you won’t find outside of the New Wave genre as far as I’m concerned.

“Love Plus One” is a song that is the textbook definition of “feel good.” You’ll be singing along immediately with Nick Heyward’s “ai yi yis” and “ring! ring! ring!”s and jumping around with the saxophone and bass interludes. In short, there's no better song to welcome the springtime with.

“1517” by The Whitest Boy Alive, off of their record, Rules.

Despite the band’s name, “1517” is a song that wants you to know immediately that it is cooler than you with that introductory synthesizer melody. It takes the backseat for the smooth, shimmering guitar chords and aggressive bass groove. With warmer weather on its way, you'll need to find a song to accompany your morning walks to class. "1517" is that specific song.

The juxtaposition of the pounding instrumentals and Erlend Øye’s (of Kings Of Convenience fame) delicate vocals makes for a unique listening experience. You won’t know whether to dance with the guitar or sit on your bed in introspection with the help of Øye. It’s a very versatile song – that’s what I’m saying.

“Streets Of Your Town” by The Go-Betweens, off of their album, 16 Lovers Lane.

What I like most about this song is the acoustic guitar. I love it's constant, repetitve presence. For once, repetition isn’t a bad thing. "Streets Of Your Town" is warm and welcoming. Paired with the drum beat, it’s a great song to walk through the streets of, well, “your town” and New York City - once you're finally free from professors and schoolwork. The bass steps gracefully into the guitar melody, bolstering the melody like it was born only to do so. Frankly, you won’t want to listen to another song for the rest of the day.

However, these instruments easily distract you from The Go-Betweens' lyrical impending doom. Such dark lyrics include, “Don’t the sun look good today / But the rain is on its way / Watch the butcher shine his knives..." With midterms on the way, this lyrical darkness is only fitting. It could be the most beautiful spring day, but those blue books eclipse any beauty the sun could possibly provide.

“Sleeping In” by The Postal Service, off of their record, Give Up.

Some of the beauty of the springtime is Mother Earth providing you with the best napping weather. If you ever left your window open while snoozing under your blankets and were blessed with a beautiful spring breeze, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. "Sleeping In" is a song that is encouraging you to sleep in. Its chorus just a repetition of “Don’t wake me / I plan on sleeping in!" Where was this lyric when you needed it over winter break!?

The Postal Service is one of the most iconic indie acts of the past decade. With their gentle, twinkling synthesizer work and bouncing bass, they have crafted a perfect song for a melancholy, quiet spring afternoon.

“Epoetin Alfa” by Lust For Youth, off of their album, International.

Epoetin Alfa is properly used to treat anemia and is now the title of a really cool sounding song.

Lust For Youth is what you get if you smash Depeche Mode and Tears For Fears together. In short, they’re revitalizing and bringing back new wave in the coolest way possible. Despite the bright repetition of the guitar and synthesizer, Hannes Norrvide’s voice is overwhelmingly dark. It probably makes sense, considering that epoetin alfa is abused as a drug in the cycling world.

If you focus long enough on listening to the guitar, it becomes hypnotic and makes you feel like the world is slowing down – especially if you’re walking around campus on a beautiful day. Take it all in – it’ll only be a matter of time before we’re all sweating profusely in classrooms again.

“Things Can Only Get Better” by Howard Jones, off of his record, Dream Into Action.

Brass, brass, BRASS! I love me a good brass section – and you should, too!

“Things Can Only Get Better” is a perfect mid-semester song considering the title alone. Perhaps you’re “feeling scared,” but you should “throw off your metal chains” and “ooh, ooh, ooh!” your way through midterms until Spring Break.

There’s bass slapping, bass melody and soulful singing, a.k.a. all the best musical things. These elements bleed into a smooth, sparkling synthesizer-focused chorus. This song is easy to dance to (as is any 80s song) and is perfect to blow off steam to. Just scream at the top of your lungs that “things can only get better” and soon you’ll find that yes, things can only get better. Good times are only an exam away.

 “Anything You Want” by Spoon, off of their album, Girls Can Tell.

“Anything You Want” is a wonderfully pretty-sounding song. The song opens up with light and short piano notes that give way to the dark hammering of the bass. Britt Daniel’s voice is boyish and tinged with a hopeful sadness and you’ll find yourself desperate for the man to really unleash the power his voice has (this is me telling you listen to more Spoon).

Despite the speaker telling the story about a romance that simply will not work, the upbeat nature of the music makes this song perfect for a brisk spring day. You’ll have this song on repeat all day, frustrated with how short the track actually is, with a big smile plastered across your face. 

“Too Young” by Phoenix, off of their record, United.

Forget Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, United is Phoenix’s best album, hands down. If you can find me another album with a 10 minute long electronic square dance jam, then maybe we'll talk.

The guitar in "Too Young" is quick and smooth, bolstered ever-so-slightly by the long, even smoother synthesizer chords. Thomas Mars’ voice is as high and sweet as ever as he glues the instrumentals together. With each synthesizer chord, you’ll be seeing sunshine and hearing birds. If you needed any song to soundtrack sitting on the stairs in front of Smith this spring, it’s this one.

“I Can’t Help Myself” by Orange Juice, off of their album, Rip It Up.

The opening guitar betrays the springtime, calling up memories of sandy shores and warm summers. Edwyn Collins’ dark, low voice pulls you back to the proper season. With the claps and brass flourishes, you’ll find yourself reveling in the warmer weather and swaying calmly with the drum beat. Basically, you’ll succumb to spring fever and you won’t be able to help yourself.

I am so sorry.

“Obscurity Knocks” by Trashcan Sinatra, off of their record, Cake.

The lyrics of “Obscurity Knocks” are one of the many features of this song that catches my attention. You’ll find yourself strongly relating to the lyrics, “I feel like a veteran / Of ‘Oh, I like your poetry, but I hate your poems’” and “Looking at my watch and I’m half-past caring.”

Just the English majors? All right, never mind then.

This song is full of shimmering, sun-stained guitars with a slight Scottish brogue - basically it's awesome. “Obscurity Knocks” is here to help you fully-embrace the springtime (as if you needed any help to do that) with its full, lush sound that seeks to overwhelm you with auditory warmth and bliss.

Farewell, cruel February. We won’t miss you much.

You can listen to this week’s playlist via Spotify.