Seasonal Playlist: Six Songs for Spring


Photo Credit: Shawn Brackbill

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile: “Pure Pain”

While it starts with an aggressively strummed guitar and staccato drum stomp, this track soon melts into a dreamy sway and back again. The gentle lulls in this tune are my favorite soundtrack for breaks from the action of life this spring as I ponder how gorgeously lush Pulaski Street is these days (is it like this every spring?) or enjoy a dusky porch beer with friends. [Rachel Bailey]

Beachwood Sparks: “Sparks Fly Again”

A sleeper fave of mine from last year, Beachwood Sparks’ The Tarnished Gold was an explicit celebration of artistic re-awakening, new and bright ideas flowing forth from long-too-dormant minds. Interestingly, this concept was at odds with the actual music on the album, which was achingly familiar. This, to me, is the sound of spring: the promise of uncertainty, and vice versa. [Gabe Vodicka]

Tom Waits: “You Can Never Hold Back Spring”

“Oh, let me be mawkish for the nonce! I am so tired of being cynical.” The line is from Lolita, and when Humbert Humbert speaks it, monster that he is, you almost, almost, want to give it to him. Waits has more than a little bit of monster in him, but on this track from Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, he plays it straight—almost. As he growls his way through the ballad, you wonder when he’ll drop the treacle act. The song’s so pretty, though, you’re glad he never does. [Marshall Yarbrough]

Moondog: “Symphonique #3 (Ode to Venus)”

Spring can be so lovely that you just want to get outdoors, abandon the trappings of modern life, appropriate the likeness of a Norse god, and claim the streets as your home. No? Just me? Sometimes you have to embrace the wrong just to get at the rightness within, I suppose. That sort of wacky inverse logic is the sort of thing that might’ve appealed to Moondog, ne Louis Thomas Hardin, the great composer/poet/inventor of musical instruments who spent much of his life as a willful nomad, homeless by choice. The post-Gershwin romance of this “Symphonique” brings to mind nothing so much as the Disney-esque bloom that we forget is possible while our bones are in winter’s grip. [Jeff Tobias]

Rites of Spring: “Spring”

I immediately thought of “Spring” by Rites of Spring (with Guy and Brendan, later of Fugazi), but it’s not very spring-like—lyrically or musically. Great tune, though. [T. Ballard Lesemann]

The Zombies: “This Will Be Our Year”

I listened to Odessey and Oracle in the spring of 2011 as I prepared to graduate from UGA. The Zombies’ melancholic ecstasy is perfect and tortuous for imminent change. When I hear it, I remember my last few hours of college, sitting in the air-conditioned student center scrolling through notes for my last final. After I finished, I walked deliriously into the heat of North Campus to ring the bell until my spirit recovered. And then I got drunk. [Sydney Slotkin]

Hear the playlist on Spotify.


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