For students, there’s always a week that marks the beginning of the end. There are a few indicators that everybody’s ready for the spirit of summer: blankets on the green, frisbees and finally a mix of long and short sleeves.
For me, the great symptom is a complete shift of music. For instance, the Beach Boys seem a little more appropriate than they did with piles of snow on the ground.
Like a good friend, I’d like to share a spring mini-mix with you. If you haven’t been infected with the sunshine epidemic, these four tracks from 2009 will bring some sunshine in.
Neon Indian: “Deadbeat Summer”
Alan Palomo’s debut album became the face for the music genre trend of 2009, “glo-fi.” Mike Powell of Pitchfork writes, “I’ve heard people say Psychic Chasms sounds like an old cassette. It doesn’t. It sounds like the idea of an old cassette, in the same way pre-faded jeans look like the idea of jeans that have been worn for a decade…It’s the aesthetic of decay taking on a life of its own.”
But before he had a full-on release, he posted this one online and summer came dancing in with blurry 80’s nostalgia: the era’s retro sounds and that slinky guitar aggression. Even if it’s really not reminiscent of our-generation pop, it’s electric—pulsing with youth and memory.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: “Come Saturday”
Yeah, this one’s an 80’s throwback, too, but an entirely different breed. In the late-80’s, there was twee. These artists were making music without the anarchic “bad attitude” and the vocal apathy of punk, but kept all the sonic earthiness.
“Come Saturday” is the last single that the group released from their debut LP, but it’s just a faster variety of the rest of their repertoire. Breathy vocals, check. Mostly treble, check. Polite diction, check. But best of all, it summarizes the rush of waiting for love and the weekend. Both important words for college, and the spring especially.
Washed Out: “Feel It All Around”
This song’s a little thicker than the first two, though it fits in the same lo-fi category. It sounds clean and texturally sweaty, like something you’d hear through blankets or a transparent wall.
Spring is in the air. When you wake in the morning, whether it’s bright or dingy outside, you can feel the season pressing up against the windows. You can “feel it all around.” This relatively unknown artist captures the ubiquitous.
I love synthpop, and I know you do too. To you, it’s probably all about The Killers, and that’s almost fine. But you really ought to acquaint yourself with these Barcelonians.
It’s hard for songs to be this “big” without being dimmed with gimmick or cliché. This one’s bright, though, and aptly titled. It builds without any words. It’s warm on more than just a skin level. It’s like a sunny day. If you think me trite for saying so, go listen.