A Very Indie Feel-Good Spring to You! Embrace College in Spring with these Playlist Recommendations

6 min read

Caroline Richards ’22

Arts Editor

Spring is when college feels the most college…if that makes sense. Spring on campus is when college feels like how movies painted it out to be: everyone out on the quad throwing frisbees and day-drinking, the birds are chirping, everyone’s wearing flip-flops and florals, greeting one another, and laughing unprompted. Being on campus in the spring is the best. F*ck winter—that shit was traumatic. I want to bask in the sun and forget I was seasonally depressed for two months. Summer is on the horizon, the windows in my room are open to the fresh-air (albeit the Hartford version of “fresh-air”); this calls for a spring playlist! Ergo, here are my all-time favorite upbeat indie songs for your springtime revival. They radiate sunshine and new flowers, empowering you to seize the day. 

  1. “Heavy Metal Drummer” by Wilco 

A classic. I love Wilco more than Wilco loves Wilco. Wilco also sounds like no one else: they’re in a realm of their own which significantly increases your respect for them. Is it just me or does a lot of new indie music sound exactly the same? We can fight about this when you come up with a good opposing argument. 

  1. “Close to You” by Dayglow 

DayGLOWWWW! Unfortunately, Tik Tok may have partially ruined this song for me, but if I focus hard enough, I can block out the images of influencers posting their “life lately” video dumps to it (which is just a lot of strung together clips that all scream “privilege”). #Don’t Let Influencer Culture Ruin Good Songs 2022! Get it trending.  

  1. “Patience” by Tame Impala 

Not all heroes wear capes, including Kevin Parker, the songbird of our generation (quick: what movie is that phrase from?). In any case, add this to every playlist ever and it will somehow fit perfectly. Also, it’s a perfect spring song, lyrically. It will soothe the angry part of you that’s thinking, “I’ve been patient, goddamit, now give me warm weather and sunshine.”  

  1. “Humbug Mountain Song” by Fruit Bats 

Also a classic and lyrically spring encompassing. It will make you feel alive. Their album Absolute Loser is perfect for a spring drive or when you’re having a crisis of personality, which are basically the same thing. I greatly enjoy crying to “Birthday Drunk” every year on my birthday. I consider it a right of passage once you pass 20.  

  1. “Skin to Bone” by The Jungle Giants 

Please check out Jungle Giants if you haven’t already. They’re really fun and feel-good. I also recommend “Heavy Hearted” and “Sending Me Loving,” which are sort of pop-EDM but not in a Loud-Luxury-MEDUZA tasteless way. And was that super pretentious of me to say? Yes. Do I take it back? No, no I don’t.  

  1. “Let Loose” by Mt. Joy  

Mt. Joy makes me think that maybe love does exist. And isn’t Springtime all about having hope or whatever? I mean, read this lyric, “I want to get lost, I want to get loud with you.” Come on now. Do people really say stuff like that to each other? If so, that is what I want. Mt. Joy lyrics are the modern love-confessions which Jane Austen once wrote so well. They also just released two new songs “Lemon Tree” and “Orange Blood” which are lovely and I’d recommend.  

  1. “Strange Powers” by The Magnetic Fields 

This song was released in 1999 on my birthday! Therefore, I feel a connection to it. It’s also a great song. It’s a little weird and has a tambourine in it. As you may know, I’m a sucker for a tambourine. It’ll get stuck in your head. Great for a run or walk.  

  1. “Golden” by My Morning Jacket 

I forgot the name of this song once and it was so painfully stuck in my head that I spent a good 30 minutes of my day typing in different versions of the lyric fragment I had memorized trying to find it again. Lucky for you guys, I eventually found it after many desperate Google searches and now you can get it stuck in your head too. It’s lovely and probably belongs in your main-character playlist as well as your spring one.  

  1. “Walking At A Downtown Pace” by Parquet Courts 

A little indie-rocky, a little angsty-upbeat. They wrote this song and this album in quarantine so it’s super relevant and reflects their frustrations of being stuck without much movement during the peak of the pandemic. “How many days in life will I spend underground?” they ask, “And how many ways of feeling lousy have I found?” Springtime, kids. 

  1. “Mountain to Move” by Nick Mulvey 

Nick Mulvey should be sainted. What a guy, he’s so optimistic. He’s all about seizing the day regardless of your shitty circumstances. Another day another dollah. At one point he says, “Oh I don’t want to see us lose any more time.” Take this advice to heart—you’re not getting any younger kiddos. Have that drink and dance in the streets.  

  1. “Queen of California” by John Mayer 

The presence of this song here is dedicated to Eva Hafner: spring incarnate, seizer of days, my 30-Day Queen and soon-to-be LA goer. In the wise words of Mr. Mayer: “Goodbye cold, goodbye rain, goodbye sorrow, goodbye shame.” I love you!  

12. “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend 

Lovely, happy, delightful. This song reminds me of high school and my older sister. She told me she’d play this while putting on her make-up every morning. The guitar, the bongo drums, the maracas, it’s all very springtime. 

13. “Easy Way Out” by BRONCHO 

You might already know their song “Class Historian” (very good if you haven’t heard it already), but if you aren’t familiar with BRONCHO, they exude springtime walks and urban-rock sunshiny vibes. Their 2018 album Bad Behavior is an indie staple and very worth the listen. These lyrics will get stuck in your head, guaranteed. 

14. “Doin’ Time” by Lana Del Rey 

Such an iconic cover of Sublime’s 1996 track “Doin’ Time” off their title album. She brings something angsty and feminine to the reggae-punk fusion that Sublime does so well. It’s also just such an unexpected song for her to pick to cover, which makes it somehow even better and more satisfying to listen to because it sounds so surprisingly good. 11/10. 

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