Song Mix Sundays #9: Spring

March 20, 2011 § 4 Comments

Today marked the first day of spring. Days are lighter, the air is warmer, and even when it’s still chilly everything feels fresh and clean. Here are 15 songs for sunlight, rain showers, wildflower bouquets, and throw-open-the-windows-to-expel-the-cabin-fever weather on perfect blue sky days.

1. A Sunny Spring Day – Three Berry Icecream, Apricot (2000) Three Berry Icecream is a solo project of Japanese artist Mayumi Ikemizu, who plays accordion, piano, and glockenspiel and writes the happiest music on earth. This song feels like sipping coffee outside of a quaint French coffee shop on, well, a sunny spring day! [download]

2. Glider – advantage Lucy, Echo Park (2005) – advantage Lucy is another indie band from Japan. Formed in the late 1990s under the name Lucy van Pelt (yes, just like the Peanuts character), they’re known for their easy-breezy 60s jangle-pop style that’s fun loving and upbeat. This is a song to thrown open the windows and relish the fresh air to. [download]

3. Marathon – Tennis, Cape Dory (2011) – My little sister recently turned me on to this band by ever so cleverly posting YouTube videos of some acoustic live performances on Facebook on the most appropriately warm spring-like days in February and March. And I was hooked. “Marathon” feels like a picnic on a sailboat on a bright, breezy May afternoon. [download]

4. Let’s Get Out of This Country – Camera Obscura, Let’s Get Out of This Country (2006) “Let’s get out of this country / I’ll admit I’m bored with me… // We’ll pick berries and recline / Let’s hit the road, dear friend of mine / Wave goodbye to our thankless jobs / We’ll drive for miles, maybe never turn off…” The perfect song for banishing cabin fever and hitting the road to find new weekend adventures. [download]

5. Daffodils – Charlene Soraia, Daffodils and Other Idylls (2008) “Strolling past the daffodils / I won’t forget how it feels / to be lost in the maze / Lying on a sun-kissed patch of grass / We found ’round the back / Of that palace garden place…”  I discovered Charlene Soraia when this song was the featured iTunes single of the week sometime during the spring of 2009. She offers the perfect soundtrack for sipping lazy cups of green tea on muggy April shower days daydreaming about love. [download]

6. Portable Rain – Gutevolk, tiny people singing over the rainbow (2007) – Gutevolk is the solo project of Japanese artist Hirono Nishiyama. I’d classify Gutevolk as sort of ambient, chill electro-pop. Another good rainy spring Saturday track. [download]

7. Born to Hum – Erin McKeown, Grand (2003) “Once in the spring of my 24th year / I had nothing to say / With a dangling promise and a terrible past / I threw all the words away / We were born to hum…” [download]

8. Running Wild – matt pond PA, The Dark Leaves (2010) “In bare feet / In back yards / In brown grass and blood / A piece of the high life / Digs into my heel / Give back to the soil to see / What can come up from the spring…” [download]

9. Fitz and Dizzyspells – Andrew Bird, Noble Beast (2008) “Comes and goes / Like in fits and dizzy spells / Like the weather…” I have no idea what this song is about. Like most Andrew Bird songs, its meaning is obscure but the lyrics are brilliant in their wordplay and sound. His lyrics always seem to be more about the sound of the rhyme and rhythm than the actual meaning. And that’s what makes upbeat near nonsense songs like this perfect for the light, fresh step of spring. [download]

10. Shortcut – Bonnie Pink, Daisy – EP (1999) A short and sweet instrumental acoustic track from Japanese singer-songwriter Bonnie Pink. [download]

11. Asleep On a Sunbeam – Belle and Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003) “All I need is somewhere I can feel the grass on my feet / A walk on sand, a fire I can warm my hands / My joy will be complete…” This song just sounds like spring. The whole album feels like spring, really. [download]

12. Summer Holiday – Wild Nothing, Gemini (2010) – This song is so sun-soaked I can’t stand it. It makes me want to drive to the shore for a day with the windows rolled down and the radio loud and play arcade games while a sticky salt breeze wafts over the boardwalk. [download]

13. Sink/Let it Sway – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Let It Sway (2010) “Head low but you’ve got to let it sway / No miracle’s gonna happen when you feel that way / Bent up but you’ve got to let it sway / No firecracker in the dark’s gonna light your way / Blown out but you’ve got to let it sway / Come on, now, come on, come on…” [download]

14. Ridin’ In My Car – She & Him, Volume Two (2010) Everything about She & Him says carefree springtime, even the songs that are about missing a lost love. [download]

15. Ants – Ham Sandwich, White Fox (2010) Closing things off with a quieter acoustic song from Irish indie band Ham Sandwich. Check out the video for this one on YouTube; it’s heart-breakingly adorable and clever. [download]

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