Winter may still be putting up a fight, but it’s evident from the weather that the awesome part of the school year is finally upon us. It’s time to bust out the longboard/bicycle/open-toed shoes and get exploring this beautiful city of ours.
If you’re the type who enjoys some aural accompaniment to your walkabouts, these jams should provide a jovial kick for your spring escapades. Without further ado, here’s the CU Independent‘s official playlist we’re titling on our iPods as “Getting Ready for Sunny Days”:
“Who Could Win a Rabbit” – Animal Collective
If there was ever a song that could soundtrack the first day of spring and all the joy and glory that comes with it, it would be this one. Backed by sounds akin to toys being wound up and birds whistling, Panda Bear and Avey Tare prance through this tune with harmonies so sincere and rhythms so random that only a golem could hold a frown. The two-chord jumble charges at such a breakneck speed that by the time the song is over it’s only a matter of time before you’re hitting the replay button to experience the glee over and over again.
“Steal My Sunshine” – Len
Usually, when I jam out to the Top 40 songs of the ’90s, I can only enjoy what I’m hearing as a guilty pleasure. This isn’t the case with “Steal My Sunshine”. Even though the gravelly, overenthusiastic vocals and clap-a-long giddiness of the whole song scream of an era way too obsessed with a hyper goofy version of cool, the beat is undeniably catchy and the sample literally bounces with excitement. Put the top down, slip on the shades and feel the pop.
“Lysergic Bliss” – of Montreal
Of Montreal has a knack for channeling decades of pop music into technicolor vignettes that stick like candy on a hot day, but “Lysergic Bliss” reigns supreme as their most frolic-happy song. The song juxtaposes simple chord progressions and strumming patterns with over-the-top vocal harmonies and super-literate lines like “Love the way you wear your curly hair/Sanguine and spiraling tied in a bun/Love the way it falls about your face/Mercurially gilded by the sun.” It paints the lovely picture of an intellectual leaving his room to smell the flowers, and finding no words or metaphors comparable to the simple, sweet joys of a spring day.
“Transformer” – Marnie Stern
If pure energy had a sound, it would be this song. Marnie Stern’s breakneck guitar matched against Zach Hill’s furious drumming produce this two-minute slice of pop-rock gold. With all the charging force of a herd of raptors and the most rock-worthy female vocals this side of Sleigh Bells, this song bursts through the gate and demands you to go out and have a good time whether you like it or not. If Andrew W.K. has a girlfriend, she’s probably something like Marnie Stern.
“Eye Know” – De La Soul
Why doesn’t more music feel like this? De La Soul’s ultimate flower-power hip-hop opus stands as the perfect song for springtime. Coming from a time when hip-hop was mostly known for its danger and its wild cockiness, this heartfelt declaration of love stands out with its liberal attitude towards sampling and its honest, sweet message. Had hip-hop gone further in this direction, we might live in a very different musical world today, but as is this song still remains an essential part of any feel-good playlist.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sam Goldner at Samuel.Goldner@colorado.edu.