Caroline Richards ’22
Spring is when college feels the most University…if that makes sense. Spring on campus is when college looks like the movies have portrayed it: everyone on the quad throws frisbees and drinks during the day, birds chirp, everyone wears flip flops and flowers, greet each other and laugh uninvited. Being on campus in the spring is the best. Damn winter, that shit was traumatic. I want to bask in the sun and forget that I was depressed for two months. Summer is on the horizon, my bedroom windows are open to fresh air (albeit Hartford’s version of “fresh air”); this calls for a spring playlist! Therefore, here are my all-time favorite upbeat indie songs for your spring awakening. They radiate sunshine and new blooms, letting you seize the day.
- “Heavy Metal Drummer” by Wilco
A classic. I like Wilco more than Wilco likes Wilco. Wilco is unlike anyone else: they are in a separate business, which greatly increases your respect for them. Is it just me or does a lot of new indie music sound exactly the same? We can fight about it when you find a good opposing argument.
- “Near You” by Dayglow
DayGLOWWWW! Unfortunately, Tik Tok may have partially ruined this song for me, but if I focus hard enough, I can block images of influencers posting their “life lately” videos there (which is only a lot of chained clips that all scream “privilege”). #Don’t Let Influencer Culture Ruin Good Songs 2022! Get it trendy.
- “Patience” by Tame Impala
Not every hero wears a cape, including Kevin Parker, our generation’s songbird (quick: what movie is that phrase from?). Either way, add this to every playlist and it’ll do just fine. Besides, it’s a perfect spring song, lyrically. It’ll appease the angry part of you that thinks, “I’ve been fucking patient, now give me some warm weather and sunshine.”
- “Humbug Mountain Song” by Fruit Bats
Also an all-encompassing classical and lyrical spring. It will make you feel alive. their album absolute loser is perfect for a spring walk or when you’re having a personality crisis, which are basically the same thing. I love to cry at “Birthday Drunk” every year on my birthday. I consider it a right of passage after 20 years.
- “Skin to Bone” by Jungle Giants
Please check out Jungle Giants if you haven’t already. They are really fun and feel great. I also recommend “Heavy Hearted” and “Sending Me Loving”, which are sort of pop-EDM but not in a tasteless Loud-Luxury-MEDUZA way. And was it super pretentious of me to say that? Yes. Do I take it back? No, no, I don’t know.
- “Let Go” by Mt. Joy
Mt. Joy makes me think maybe love exists. And doesn’t spring mean hope or whatever? I mean, read these lyrics, “I want to lose myself, I want to make noise with you.” So go. Do people really say things like that to each other? If so, that’s what I want. Mt. Joy’s lyrics are the modern confessions of love that Jane Austen once wrote so well. They also just released two new songs “Lemon Tree” and “Orange Blood” which are adorable and which I recommend.
- Strange Powers by The Magnetic Fields
This song was released in 1999 on my birthday! Therefore, I feel a connection with her. It’s also a great song. It’s kinda weird and there’s a tambourine in it. As you may know, I’m a sucker for a tambourine. It will get stuck in your head. Ideal for running or walking.
- “Golden” from My Morning Jacket
I forgot the name of this song once and it was so painfully stuck in my head that I spent a good 30 minutes of my day typing different versions of the lyric fragment I had memorized trying to find it. Lucky for you guys, I finally found it after lots of desperate googling and now you can get it stuck in your head too. It’s lovely and probably belongs on your main character playlist as well as your spring one.
- “Walking to the Beat of Downtown” by Parquet Courts
A little indie-rocky, a little angsty-upbeat. They wrote this song and this album in quarantine so it’s super relevant and reflects their frustrations of being stuck without much movement during the peak of the pandemic. “How many days in my life will I spend underground? they ask, “And how many ways to feel ugly have I found?” Spring, children.
- “Mountain to Move” by Nick Mulvey
Nick Mulvey should be holy. What a guy, he’s so optimistic. It’s all about seizing the day regardless of your shitty circumstances. Another day another dollar. At one point he said, “Oh, I don’t want to see us waste any more time. Take this advice to heart: you won’t have young children. Drink this glass and dance in the streets.
- “Queen of California” by John Mayer
The presence of this song here is dedicated to Eva Hafner: the embodiment of spring, the sear of days, my queen of 30 days and soon to be an LA follower. In the wise words of Mr. Mayer: “Goodbye cold, goodbye rain, goodbye sorrow, goodbye shame. I like You!
12. “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend
Charming, happy, delicious. This song reminds me of high school and my older sister. She told me she would play this while putting on makeup every morning. The guitar, the bongos, the maracas, it’s very spring-like.
13. “Easy Way Out” by BRONCHO
You might already know their song “Class Historian” (great if you haven’t heard it already), but if you’re unfamiliar with BRONCHO, they exude springtime strolls and sunny urban-rock vibes. Their 2018 album Bad Behavior is an indie staple and definitely worth listening to. These lyrics will get stuck in your head, guaranteed.
14. “Doin’ Time” by Lana Del Rey
Such an iconic cover of Sublime’s 1996 track “Doin’ Time” from their title album. She brings something scary and feminine to the reggae-punk fusion that Sublime does so well. It’s also such an unexpected song that she chooses to cover, which makes it even better and more satisfying to listen to because it sounds so surprisingly good. 11/10.