Spring soundtrack: Old favorites, new releases from every genre
With a new season comes great new music.
Mar. 08, 2021
By Anna Kochman
As the weather turns warmer, the mood of the MU student body seems to improve drastically. Lazy afternoons in the sun, shorts weather, walks on the MKT Trail: The activities that come with warmer temperatures demand good, upbeat playlists to accompany them.
Fortunately, we’ve got recommendations. This list compiles your old favorite spring and summer tunes from every genre and suggests new releases that you might also like. If the old standard Spotify “Indie Sunshine” playlist just isn’t cutting it anymore, here’s the new soundtrack to your spring.
Old Favorite: “Are You Bored Yet?” by Wallows feat. Clairo New Release: “Close to You” by Dayglow
If the lazy sun-drenched melody of Wallows’s “Are You Bored Yet?” was your vibe in 2019, you’ll enjoy young Texas creator Dayglow’s dance-y new single “Close to You.” Released Jan. 14, the ‘80s-inspired track evokes a coffee-fueled morning walk across Lowry Mall, or maybe a post-class Frisbee session on the quad. Fans of dream pop will love the way Dayglow takes the fuzzy, crooning vocals and echo effects characteristic of that genre and sets them to a tight, catchy beat. It’s also reminiscent of Toro y Moi’s chillwave, but with a more melodic hook.
Old Favorite: “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R. New Release: “Rainforest” by Noname
“Rainforest” distills the best elements of H.E.R.’s self-titled album down to their bare bones, and mirrors the activist sentiments of “I Can’t Breathe,” dripping with sharp wordplay. Noname masterfully maintains a spoken-word, slam poetry feeling throughout the track over a chilled-out guitar pulse. The single, released Feb. 26, doesn’t hold back on anti-capitalist, pro-Black sentiment, and manages to be powerful but sound cool and collected to the ear. It’s an easy transition from H.E.R.’s smooth R&B to Noname’s mellow rap.
Old Favorite: “Blue” by Joni Mitchell New Release: “An Overview on Phenomenal Nature” by Cassandra Jenkins
Joni Mitchell is unquestionably the queen of folk music, known for such masterpieces as “Both Sides, Now” and “Blue,” both the album and the song. But Cassandra Jenkins’s Feb. 19 album, highly praised by Pitchfork, rivals her talent. Deeply emotional and warm, “An Overview on Phenomenal Nature” wanders through Jenkins’s journey with grief. This is not to say it’s sad — rather, tracks like “Hard Drive” and “New Bikini” are tranquil, like a cool spring evening or a gentle March rain. Jenkins can’t match Mitchell’s dazzling soprano, but she puts a fresh spin on tracks very similar to “Blue.”
Old Favorite: “Shattered Dreams” by Earl Sweatshirt New Release: “Winter in America” by Freddie Gibbs
Despite the song title, “Winter in America” is the perfect moody hip hop track for the change in seasons. Hot off the press on Feb. 26, Freddie Gibbs’ new song covers Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s 1974 original. It was released as part of a collaboration with various artists titled “Black History Always / Music for the Movement Vol. 2” in honor of Black History Month. Fans of hip hop collective Odd Future, which featured legendary artists like Frank Ocean, Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, will easily enjoy this dark, mid-tempo track. Though less melodic than Earl Sweatshirt’s early tracks, like “Shattered Dreams,” it still hearkens back to that style.
Old Favorite: “Memories” by Panic! at the Disco New Release: “Playing My Piano” by Weezer
If you miss Panic! at the Disco’s baroque-pop era on “Vices & Virtues,” and specifically the romantic yearning of “Memories,” Weezer’s Jan. 29 album will satisfy you. “OK Human” has a grand, orchestral feeling which is most prominent on “Playing My Piano,” a somber ballad that feels like the counterpart to “Memories,” 10 years later. Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo’s voice even resembles Brendon Urie’s.
To listen to these recommendations plus a few extra spring favorites, check out this Spotify playlist. Edited by Chloe Konrad | firstname.lastname@example.org