Caroline Richards ’22
The weather is warming. The quad beckons. You buy a frisbee. It means it’s time to stop listening to the sad winter anthems that plagued January and February (nothing against them, but they have their time and place), and start playing songs that emanate sunshine and floral.
These songs generally feel as though they’re pumping you with serotonin and that maybe summer isn’t as far away as you think. They’re also great for getting work done because spring isn’t just about the weather getting warmer, it’s also about self-growth, learning, and change. So: here are a few albums to get you started! Listen to them on your walks, in the library, or on a picnic blanket with your friends.
1. Today by Babe Rainbow
Psychadelic rock group from Australia. Will make you want to convert a van and learn how to surf. Really good for getting work done but being happy about it… Also really good cover art. Notable songs: “Something New”, “Electrocuted”, and “Funky I Like It”.
2. Somersault by Beach Fossils
Indie rock band from Brooklyn. Guitar riffs that will soothe your soul, and the main singer Dunstin Payseur’s vocals are fine-tuned. Airy and dreamy without being tiring and boring. Notable songs: “Tangerine”, “Social Jetlag” and “Down the Line”.
3. Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1 by Calvin Harris and Funk Wav
You know it, you’ve heard it, it reminds you of the summer 2017. Calvin Harris really did us all a favor. The features on this song are ridiculously good: Frank Ocean, Migos, Kehlani, Travis Scott, Snoop Dog, and Nicki Minaj among others. Listening to this album makes me think of the beach and the smell of sunscreen. Let’s bring it back? Notable Songs: “Heatstroke” (Young Thug has too much fun in this song), “Skrt on Me”, and “Rollin”.
4. Kauai by Childish Gambino
Technically a mixtape. A short and sweet classic. I listen to this every spring and summer like clockwork and it never seems to get old. Really funky lyrics (that tell a story!), and bouncy vocals. I feel like Childish Gambino invented his own genre here. Notable Songs: “The Palisades”, “Retro [ROUGH]”, and “Sober”.
5. 2 by Mac Demarco
Obvious. You knew Mac would show up on this list at some point, it would be a sin to leave him out. Happy riffs. Lyrical King. Notable Songs: “Cooking Up Something Good”, “Dreaming”, and “The Stars Keep Calling My Name”.
6. Surf Trap by Felly
A musical tale as old as time: after graduating from USC, Felly and his college roommate (now Gypps) started making music in their garage. Now he’s collaborating with Santana and has a cult following. Beachy rap with attitude. Very distinct, playful voice. If you don’t know Felly yet you should take some time to get into him (it won’t take much time, he’s really good). Notable Songs: “Dying To Tell You”, “Reinvention”, and “Maple”.
7. Oracular Spectaculor by MGMT
Old but timeless. I love that they’re having a resurgence right now (thanks Tik Tok). I saw them live at Osheaga and they are everything I knew they would be and more. So much wild energy and chaotic fun. Andrew VanWyngarden was wearing a poncho. Main characters. Will make you feel like a main character also. Notable Songs: “Pieces of What”, “Time to Pretend”, and “Kids”.
8. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
Completely and utterly self-explanatory. Notable Songs: “With A Little Help From My Friends”, “When I’m Sixty Four”, and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.