I never feel ready for spring.
It’s not that I don’t want it to arrive–I look for the first bulbs to bloom more than watchmen for the morning. It’s more that I never feel quite in sync with the season. Maybe it’s the emotional and spiritual baggage I have around Easter, or the rush of academic events and responsibilities before the summer, or maybe it’s just the general allergy fog of living in the Ohio River Valley.
Whatever the reason, my ambiguous feelings probably explain why my spring playlist is a mix of light and happy and just melancholy-lite. These are a handful of the songs in constant rotation on my playlist lately.
1. How Loud Your Heart Gets (Lucius)
I’m a solid fan of Chris Thile’s Prairie Home Companion reign so far, in large part because it has introduced me to Lucius. I put this on when I’m walking to campus in the morning and the sun is out and everything feels possible and lovely, and you should find it to it right this second. I don’t want to tell you how many times I’ve listened to it but I am obsessive, after all, so trust me–it’s a lot (and by “a lot,” I mean “any normal human would be sick of it by now”).
2. Two of Us (The Beatles)
Two of us Sunday driving, not arriving
On our way back home
Spring is the time for planning summer travel, and this classic is good brain-storming material. Best listened to while driving the winding green hilly roads of bluegrass country, when possible. I mean, listen to it and tell me you don’t want to live inside this song for a weekend at least.
3. If You Find Yourself Caught in Love (Belle and Sebastian)
My favorite Belle and Sebastian, after “Expectations.”
4. Mariestad (Erato)
The harmony here is on point and no, of course I don’t cry every other time it plays because that would be ridiculous. Okay FINE, it wrecks me and I can’t stop listening to it. Are you happy now?
5. Milk and Honey (Billie Marten)
I’m pretty sure I stole this song from Jim. Most of my musical tastes are informed by Jim, Erin, PHC, and, much as it pains me to admit it, Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature. Wherever I found it, ohmygoodness it’s so lovely.
6. I Want It That Way (Brittany Howard and Jim James)
The neighbors are
probably undoubtedly sick of me singing this constantly (in the kitchen, in the stairwell, in the shower) and while I might apologize to them, I can’t apologize for loving this cover.
7. Tennessee Me (The Secret Sisters)
This song is everything sweet and heavy and fragrant about spring in the South, in a gardenia and honeysuckle way, and these Florence, Alabama-grown sisters are exceptionally talented.
8. Sabra Girl (Nickel Creek)
You know those rainy spring days drenched in Eliot’s memory and desire and an extra dose of melancholy just for good measure? THIS.
9. And Am I Born to Die (Abigail Washburn)
I can ALWAYS be got by plaintive Appalachian ballads. This is no exception, AND it’s a Washburn/Fleck collaboration so I was born to love it.
10. Sicilienne Op. 78 (Gabriel Fauré)
Re-discovered my deep, deep love for Fauré in the past month, and this cello/piano piece is a) my favorite two instruments ever, and b) perfection. The end.
11. Bloom (The Paper Kites)
Obvious for titular reasons, but this song is lovely in its own right. I think The Paper Kites were a begrudging Spotify discovery and this has become my second favorite spring anthem.
12. The Calculation (Regina Spektor)
A top favorite from the queen herself.
13. Scar That Never Heals (Jeremy Fisher)
And this is what I listen to on my walk back home from campus. See what I did there with all the melancholy stuff in the middle and ending with a happy song? Except OH WAIT don’t listen to the lyrics.
Stay tuned for the next post, which features talk of summer travel to California, Irish poets, and a new Sacred Harp singing group.