It’s getting warmer, the sun is shining, the trees are resplendent in their flowering glory, and everyone around me is sneezing. Yes friends, it’s finally spring time in the Music City. Here are some songs that I’m really excited about at the moment to help put you in a springtime frame of mind.
1. Shelter Song by Temples: I’m really into English band Temples right now, they have a retro-inspired, buzzy guitar sound, and are riding the wave of neo-psychedelic rock popularity (think Tame Impala). Some are saying they’re the best new band from Britain.
2. Good As New by Vacationer: How could a song with this title by a band with that name not make you excited about the promise of nice weather?? This song just makes me happy. I’m pretty excited to see Vacationer open for Hellogoodbye next week here in Nashville; I’m set to interview them before the show, so stay tuned for more about Vacationer.
3. Hot Tonight by Tokyo Police Club: Canadian alt-rockers Tokyo Police Club have been around for a little while now, but “Hot Tonight” from their new LP Forcefield is the song that got my attention. Not to mention, it’s a perfect song for riding in the car with the sunroof open and the windows down.
4. Katie Queen of Tennessee by The Apache Relay: I was introduced to Nashville’s The Apache Relay in 2011; they opened for Young The Giant, and I might have downloaded the album before they even left the stage that night. They released their new eponymous LP a couple of days ago, and so far, I really like it. The first track, “Katie Queen of Tennessee” is a sweet, dreamy, retro-sounding tune that makes me imagine I’m riding in a vintage convertible with the top down at twilight when there’s just a tiny hint of a chill in the air. I know, that’s pretty specific, but I think in pictures, so bear with me. I can’t get “If you see me running/Through the streets I’m calling/Into love I’m falling/Katie be my darling/If you hear the sirens/I hope you find it charming/I’ll be out in the morning/Katie be my darling” out of my head. And that, my friends, is a good thing. I’m feeling inspired to craft an album review…
5. Be Okay by Oh Honey: I saw Oh Honey for the first time a few weeks ago, and I admit, I have a crush on them. When Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard sing “Can’t complain about much these days/I believe we’ll be okay,” I truly believe it. Thank the Lord, we’re here and now. (Listen to the song, you’ll understand).
6. Got To My Head by Waters: When I first heard this song a few weeks ago, I thought the band Grouplove was singing it. Nope, it was California native Van Pierszalowski and a band comprised of fine Norwegian gentlemen, collectively known as Waters. This song evokes in me images sunshine, of surfers, and, well, of water (hee hee).
7. Bridges by Broods: New Zealand is knocking it out of the park with their musical exports these days, and brother-sister duo Caleb and Georgia Nott, a.k.a. Broods, is no exception. This delicate, dreamy, echoing electro-pop song is what flowers must sound like when they bloom.
8. Waves by Sleeper Agent: Bowling Green, Kentucky is also garnering attention for its growing music scene, with bands like Cage The Elephant and Sleeper Agent making us take notice. “Waves” is from their sophomore album, 2014’s About Last Night; a rollicking and bouncy song, “Waves” is a perfect pick-me-up to get you in the mood for warm weather. In sharp contrast to Georgia Nott of Broods’ ethereal vocals, Sleep Agent’s lead singer Alex Kandel’s voice is strong, bright, and assertive, with plenty of attitude.
9. Shake by The Head and The Heart: The Head and The Heart released this song in August 2013 as the first single from their second album Let’s Be Still. I love the foot-stomping rhythm at the beginning that gives way to one of my most favorite melodic bass lines; it weaves around and through all of the other parts of the song, bubbling and flowing along like a stream. Its bouncy musicality makes my day.
10. Best Friend by Foster the People: I’ll never forget being introduced to FTP’s music; I was in Los Angeles on a quick trip, listening to the radio when “Pumped Up Kicks” came on, and I was hooked. I saw them perform shortly thereafter at SoundLand Nashville (which is kind of like a music festival here), and they played to a couple hundred people in a parking lot. Boy, have they come a long way! I will be seeing them perform a sold out show at The Ryman auditorium tonight, and while their new LP Supermodel isn’t my favorite, this song, “Best Friend” is probably my favorite song on the album, reminding me of all those awesome dance-worthy songs on their debut, Torches.
11. It’s You by The Soft White Sixties: I’ve been recently introduced to The Soft White Sixties. Have mercy. They have that Black Keys-like gritty soul sound, and I really dig this particular song. It’s got this sexy swagger, with swoon-worthy lyrics like “I could never leave you alone/It’s you that makes it feel like home.” Hey, The Soft White Sixties, can you head this way as soon as possible?
12. Work It Out by Knox Hamilton: This song has it all, a synth-y ocean of sound, catchy guitar riffs, a bouncy, dance-worthy beat, and those handclaps in the background that I just really love in a song these days. With a chorus promising “I know we can work it out,” it would almost be criminal not to include this optimistic little tune on the playlist.
13. Elevate by St. Lucia: Maybe it’s the rich vegetation depicted on the cover art for their 2013 album When The Night, maybe it’s the memories I have from witnessing their energetic opening performance for Two Door Cinema Club this past winter, or the 80’s-oozing sunny throwback that is St. Lucia, but it just seemed like a given that this song be on this playlist. It’s a feel-good kind of song. That is all.
Last, but certainly not least…..
14. Ten Times by Money For Rope: I had a hilariously good time interviewing singer Jules McKenzie of Money For Rope not too long ago, and in preparation for it, I got really familiar with their music. This surf rock-inspired song is so much fun, probably my favorite one of theirs.
I hope you enjoy this soundtrack for your spring! Listen by clicking here and let me know if there’s a song you think I should add!