The Sound of Spring
Which Kind of Music Makes You Feel the Season?
Spring does not exist in New York. From March to May, we have a row of days that are almost always more chilly than comfortable. Then, you go outside to what looks like sunny weather and turn back to grab your winter coat. It is such a pain in the butt and in-between time. Still, it is also when flowers and trees bloom, birds sing, and the anticipation for the warmer season rises. Inspired by the latest version of the excellent New York Times music newsletter, “The Amplifier" by Lindsay Zoladz, we want to create our own spring playlist that captures the unique mood of the season.
Turns out that this is not so easy. The first few songs came quickly, but then my mind blanked. You know what a summer song sounds like, don’t you? And what about the moody seasons of fall and winter? They readily resonate in music. But spring? Happiness and anticipation, but not as celebratory as a summer hit? It didn’t make it any easier that Elke and I utterly disagreed on what makes a spring song. But we wanted to give it a try, so we collaborated, of course, and here come our first glamglare Songs For Spring playlist.
Beautiful days exist in any season, but the rush of joy when you can finally drop your jacket, go outside and feel the warm air on your skin, is reserved for spring. U2's “Beautiful Day” was actually released in the fall of 2000, but we listened to it a lot in the spring of 2001 when we just had moved to New York City. “Oblivion” is a rather dark song, but for me, Grimes's musical style is synonymous with spring feelings: upbeat, bright, and full of energy.
The same goes for french synth duo Air, particularly their 1998 album Moon Safari. Listen to “Femme D’Argent,” and you will see a flowering landscape in your mind. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” the Tears For Fears superhit, is an easy one: it came out March 22, 1985, and has a shimmering brightness throughout the song.
I’m not entirely sure why “Queer,” one of the first singles by Garbage, popped into my mind, but it probably has something to do with the excitement I felt about the direction music took in the mid-90s with Bands like Garbage. Fast-forward to 2020: “Stay” by New York singer, songwriter, and producer Mïrändä, released January 31, is so emotionally overflowing that it feels like spring came early.
Once I remembered “Isobel,” it was also a no-brainer. This song, like others on Björk’s 1995 album Post has a soaring quality that I associate with spring. The same goes with “My Love is Waiting” by NYC singer/songwriter Blake Morgan: which other season is more in sync with being in love than spring?
Another beautiful love song actually released in spring 2022 is “Stevie” by Warpaint. It perfectly embodies that transition from winter melancholy to summer carefreeness. Finally, my last track is Mega Bog's 2019 song “Diary of a Rose:” the way the guitar swirls around lifts you up like the first beautiful day of the year.
“Stillness,” by lyrical chamber-pop singer-songwriter Joanna Schubert, who goes by Oropendola, addresses spring directly when she sings: “don't you worry
winter won't last much longer, dear,” and you start to really believe it thanks to this gorgeous song.
Thinking about songs that support a feeling of freshness, Katy J Pearson came immediately to mind. It was love at first listen when I heard Katy’s 2020 single “Miracle,” and I’ve been following her career ever since. “Talk over Town” is an excellent example of her music; for me, even that beautifully quirky video screams SPRING.
“Pearl in the Palm,” by W. H. Lung, with its relentlessly forward-pushing drive and lyrics worth deciphering. Johann Strauss makes an appearance, and who wouldn’t think of ‘spring’ when hearing ‘waltz’ and ‘Strauss'?’
2023 is only 93 days young, but "Runner's High” by Olivia Reid is still my favorite song of 2023 to date. Naturally, it needed to make an appearance on this list. Besides, who doesn’t want to get in shape for summer and experience something close to a runner’s high?
The Los Angeles synth-rockers The Eiffels say it all with “I’m Ready” - aren’t we all ready for spring? What more is there to add to a beautifully infectious song like that?
With all the ideas of getting going and moving, we need something to keep us grounded, and Ralph’s “Gravity” does this beautifully.
Brothertiger's cover of the Talking Head’s hit “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” says ‘spring’ over and over to me. Without any doubt, Brothertiger’s original songs are beautiful, and I love his records with all my heart. But John Jagos (Brothertiger) is a master of covering other artists’ songs and putting his own magnificent spin on them.
“Tunnel of Love” is on Bruce Springsteen's equally named album, and having departed from his E-street band, this certainly made for a new era for him and his music. “Tunnel of Love” sounds so beautifully 80s to me, when I was young, everything was possible! Let’s call it spring, baby!
Grimes’ fourth album Art Angels, came out in December 2015, but it was spring when it finally resonated with me. The “Flesh without Blood” video might be one of my favorite videos ever. It’s quirky and makes no sense, but it’s fun and full of surprises, like a pretty normal day in April.
Why ever put an end to a good thing? Or why slow down when things are going your way? Queen has been raising that question in “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and I’d like to join them in adding let the good times roll.
Thanks for reading glamglare! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.
Song Pick of the Day
Listen to/watch all seven songs on YouTube. Follow our daily updated playlists on YouTube and Spotify for the 50 latest Song Picks of the Day.
The Barcelona-based artist Uma likes to tell stories about her family. Her new song, “Muay Thai,” is about childhood memories and parental advice. She also released a four-track EP of the same name. Lilac Haze is a singer/songwriter from Bath, England. Her new double single, “The Ghost I Once Know // Lilac Haze, “contains two reflective and melancholic songs.
The Helsinki-based singer and producer Krista Myllyviita, aka Detalji, released her debut album Truly last Friday. The single “Keep Me Alive, “a beautiful declaration of love, is a catchy synth-pop song, but other songs on the record are good for cranking up the heat on the dancefloor. With the next track, we remain in the old world with Bristol-based singer/songwriter Franceska Luker. Her new song “Nobody Seems” is about “feeling frequently misunderstood as an autistic woman in today’s chaotic world.”
We stay in Bristol for Hannah Rose Platt, whose new single “Feeding Time for Monsters” is a trip into the dark corners of the psyche. “If a house represents the psyche – what would haunt the rooms of our very own haunted houses?” she asks, and the animated video is a haunting visualization of that thought. Super Plage is the stage name of Montreal-based musician Jules Henry. Magie a Minuit is his brand new record with upbeat, eclectic party music. For the single “+1,” he collaborated with Virginie B and Meggie Lennon.
“Crime” puts on cinematic vibes thickly, even without the visualizer directed by Paige Von Bank. Musicians Kid Moxie and NINA, who collaborated for a five-track EP Lust, want to be “like two sirens inviting you to share your fantasies with them, so that they can make your ‘dreams come true.’“
New Albums of the Week
As mentioned above, Truly by Detalji and Magie a Minuit by Super Plage play on heavy rotation here at glamglare. But also check out the debut EP, A Plan To Get Home, by London singer/songwriter SOMOH and the exquisite pop album Talking to Myself by LA artist Lauren Weller, which are also in our hearts and on our (digital) turntables!