'Spring is in the Airwaves' Playlist

As a self-proclaimed music lover with a particularly unusual fetish for playlists, each season presents itself with an opportunity I crave, a time to compile a new list of songs to set the tone for the months ahead.  And now that spring is upon us, I’ve scoured my iTunes Library for the tracks I currently love.  The following represents a selection of songs that will likely echo from my car in the upcoming season – songs that I will sing in the shower, songs that my sister will yell at me for singing in the shower, and most importantly, songs that will come to define the last of my senior year.  So here’s what’s new on my radar:

Anna Sun – Walk the Moon

Anna Sun's album cover for Walk the Moon | Graphic from Amazon.com

I first heard of these guys through my older sister, a couple years ago, when she went to Kenyon College with the band members.  She sent me one of their earlier songs, “Angeline,” now a classic in my book, but it was only recently that I made the connection after seeing their name everywhere.  Though they hail from a school in a rural small town, their album I Want! I Want! has me seeing past the all too characteristic horse drawn wagons of Gambier, Ohio.  A catchy synthpop track of the album, “Anna Sun” is sure to have you on your feet – or at least tapping your toes.  And fun fact: the namesake of this song title is actually a Kenyon professor!

Under Cover of Darkness – The Strokes
The Strokes are back, and it’s a good thing.  Their latest single, “Under Cover of Darkness” is undoutedly a worthy follow-up to their last anthem, “Last Nite.” (Side note: be sure to check out Adele’s soulful rendition of the ’01 hit…unreal.)  And in this new track, the lyrics seem to say it all.  Julian Casablancas croons, “I’ve been all around this town/Everybody’s singing the same song for 10 years,” and he’s right – we’ve been singing the same song and it’s about time for another.

Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
If you are at all like me, in that you could kill for beautiful folksy harmonics (à la Simon & Garfunkel or Mumford & Sons), you will fall head over heels for The Head and the Heart.  Last month, this emergent Seattle band of five wrapped up a tour on which they opened for The Walkmen and Dr. Dog.  A most perfect blending of vocals, piano, violin and percussion, I know “Rivers and Roads” will be one of the songs I will crave on rainy days this April and May.

Breaker Breaker – Peter Bjorn and John
The long-awaited sixth LP, Gimme Some, of this Swedish trio arrived just last month and has already been well-received.  A song that is as pop and upbeat as old classics off the album Writer’s Block, “Breaker Breaker” has a more punk rock, erratic vibe.  And as always, lyrics are as rich as vocals: “Before you break my heart/Before you start/I’m gonna break your arm and concentration.”

Well OK Honey – Jenny O.
Well OK, I’ll be honest: I love this song.  I love it almost as much as its corresponding music video of awkward dance moves and scenic bike rides.  If you are in need of a “feel good” groove, be sure to check out this first track of the quirky pop Southern Cali girl sensation.  (PS: check out her music video if you need to learn a move of two for prom.)

Lotus Flower – Radiohead
Yet another new album of the season, Radiohead’s The King of Limbs is an all new vehicle for Thom Yorke’s infamous on-stage “bopping.”  With an expected mellow tonality, “Lotus Flower” also impresses on the lyrical front.  There are too many great lines to quote here, so you’ll have to check it out yourself.  And to all the Radiohead die-hards, stay tuned for the A Cappella Choir’s cover of “Creep” to take place at the spring concert on April 28 (as if you didn’t fawn enough over the cover you heard on the Social Network soundtrack).

Cardiac Arrest – Teddybears feat. Robyn
This wouldn’t even be a real playlist without a little Robyn.  If you aren’t already familiar with the Swedish pop diva, consider that your biggest musical shortcoming.  (By the way, why do all talented artists come from Scandinavia? Case and point: Robyn, Peter Bjorn and John, Björk, Sigur Rós/Jónsi, José González, Múm…) Anyway, this song shouldn’t put you into cardiac arrest, but it should get your heart racing at least a little bit.