Well, it appears as if Spring is just around the corner; tiny pink flowers are budding on trees across campus, and the sun’s extended stay into the evening has allowed students to enjoy eating dinner outside again. What better way to initiate this inspiring season than by lounging in the sun with friends, food, and exquisite tunes. Whether you spent this March savoring the final days of sweater weather or convincing yourself that t-shirts, shorts, and dresses are the only appropriate wardrobe items, we can all agree that the changing of the season foreshadows many good times to come. Here are five songs that embody some of my favorite memories from March.
cold/mess ~ Prateek Kuhad
In the first few seconds of Prateek Kuhad’s mellow ballad, one feels as though they are waking up from a dream – or perhaps diving into one. The swirling pattern of the synths mimics the atmosphere of a portal, the end of which we reach the soft crash of a cymbal and the elegant mumble of the words “and I feel cold.” What follows is a delicate melody that rises and falls to emulate the conflicted emotions reflected in the lyrics. Whether this is a song of longing or agony, one may decide for themselves. For this writer, this is the story of the bittersweet love that makes one fall victim to their heart although it may not be the right thing to do. Nonetheless, the pairing of Kuhad’s gentle voice with the drowsy electric guitar and faint, intermittent cymbals puts one at ease, making “cold/mess” an ideal addition to a relaxing afternoon on the grass.
Gone Under Sea ~ Electrelane
In many cases, the songs that resonate the most after just one listen are those supported throughout by a simple guitar or piano riff. United by a pretty strumming pattern, “Gone Under Sea” charms from the start to finish as calm acoustics blossom into powerful, upbeat soundwaves. With plunging alto vocals like Nico, singer Mia Clarke soothes the excitement sparked by the quick-paced drums, producing a sound that is at once so familiar yet so detached from that of typical indie rock. The lyrics are also sung in French, but not in the elegant style of Edith Piaf or Francoise Hardy; Clarke’s raw nonchalance is bewitching and perfectly highlights the undertones of garage rock. The lingering repetition of “Ave Maria” and carefree squeals at the song’s finale, especially, add an unconventional flare that makes Electrelane one of my new favorite alternative groups.
How Soon Is Now? ~ The Smiths
For those of you who are not well-versed in the macabre, melodramatic discography ofThe Smiths, you are in for a treat. Although this song nears seven minutes in length, its warped guitar melody and poetic lyrics have an almost hypnotic effect on the senses. Morrissey captivates the listener by embedding themes of vulnerability into music with a harsh exterior, making “How Soon Is Now?” more than just an ideal song for emo kids to dance their emotions out to. His strained voice sends a provocative and real message about the need to be loved that fuels the intensity of the already raucous guitar, resulting in a plea that almost anyone can relate to. The music itself has such a powerful sound that it makes it almost impossible not to lose yourself in it. As it kindles both outward exhilaration and inner contemplation, “How Soon Is Now?” enriches the mood of almost any situation.
Pressure To Party ~ Julia Jacklin
I think it is safe to assume that everyone has at one time or another found themselves in the following situation. You are hanging out with a group of friends and one of them says, “let’s put on some music!” You now have approximately twenty seconds to sort through your brain’s entire music library and find songs that: A. fit the mood, and B. don’t fall under the category of obscure indie bands with names like Yabadum. For such dire moments as these, Julia Jacklin has you covered with her lively tune “Pressure to Party.” Sunny and inviting with an alternative twang, this pop-rock jam was introduced to me one vibrant Friday night spent in the company of good friends and avid music lovers. Nothing but the feeling of being around them matches the free-wheeling energy created by Jacklin’s rich piano-guitar combo and spirited vocals. The next time you’re in need of some mood-pumping music, remember the name Julia Jacklin.
Annie’s Song ~ John Denver
The song that concludes my playlist for this month is a breath of fresh air; if the feeling of being immersed in springtime could be described in a song, it would be this one. “Annie’s Song” may be a simple tune, but the stunning lyrics tenderly delivered by John Denver will likely cause you to shed a tear. This is a song about love, though not exclusively the romantic kind. For this writer, it encapsulates the warmth of candid friendship and the priceless feeling of belonging. The song does not just describe the qualities of Annie that are so adored by Denver, nor is it just a simple love letter. Each line highlights a reason why Denver enjoys being near her and, similarly, “Annie’s Song” reminds me of the happiness I feel around the friends with whom I spent many March nights singing it.
Come back next month to check out my April Anthems. In the meantime, give the songs you just read about a listen at the link below, or take a leisurely stroll through the rest of the site and check out the glamorous content that fellow students have to offer.