Singing in the sunshine

Songs to help embrace the sunshine, sunshades and warm spring breeze

By TORI ROSEMAN
On April 22, 2014

After a long Buffalo winter, it can be easy to forget that sunshine and green grass do in fact exist. Spring has sprung, and students can finally be found enjoying the outdoors. There's few better ways to celebrate spring than some music to relax to while sitting outside and breaking in those new sunglasses.

"Do The Trick" - Dr. Dog

The groovy melody of this track takes its listeners on an adventure as the singer croons over guitar and keyboard. The indie-rock band has been around since the '90s, but has morphed a neo-psychedelic sound comparable to music from the '70s. The song tells a simple story, and it's easy to become lost in the steady drumbeat that keeps it moving forward like a springtime parade.

"Hell in a Bucket" - Grateful Dead

This one is for the Dead Heads who love to kick off their shoes and enjoy the sunshine. Classic guitar dominates the track, and the familiar tune is perfect for driving around with the top down. It's difficult not to smile as Bob Weir's voice tells listeners, "I may be going to hell in a bucket babe / But at least I'm enjoying the ride."

"Sing" - Ed Sheeran

Sheeran is kicking off the summer with his new upbeat, fast-paced jam. In this single off his latest album, X, the singer has created a melody with potential to be a hit summer song. Sheeran keeps to his roots, singing gently during the bridges, while he puts a new twist on his style with his clever lyrics.

"Santeria" - Sublime

This throwback is perfect for those warm spring nights, the smooth guitar and storytelling setting the scene for the perfect end to any day. The track is filled honest vocals, reggae percussion and a quiet but powerful guitar solo to break up the verses. It's easy listening at its finest, appropriate for Buffalo's slow and steady change from the dreary winter to a brighter spring season.

"Acceptable in The '80s" - Calvin Harris 

Not one of Harris' better-known songs, this exciting techno selection is perfect for enjoying the outdoors. There's no longer a need to stay inside, and the catchy tempo is perfect while walking from class to class. Harris keeps his singing to a minimum, expressing his love for the '80s and those that living during that time with an infectious tune and electric keyboard. Unlike much of his other music, this song uses a classic techno sound and less bass, keeping the focus on the fast pace of the song.

"Dirty Vibe" - Skrillex

Right off his new album, Recess, Dirty Vibe introduces the artist's ever-changing style. The bass is hard and fast, exploring trap music influences and breaking away from the dubstep sound Skrillex is known for. The drop, or lack thereof, is not the usual heavy bass as much as a transition into slower, higher-pitched electric music. The song is made for a night out with friends on the town and will end sooner than you'll want it to.  

"Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand

Full of surprises, this song suddenly changes its tempo in the middle of the song, keeping a fresh sound throughout. The track begins with quiet vocals and steady drums that push the song forward, with a relaxed guitar that lies underneath it all. Suddenly after the first chorus, the guitar picks up and grows louder, the percussion more intense, and a keyboard is added. The track is exciting, and a good listening choice when preparing to face the outdoors that is finally free of snow.

"Strawberry Fields Forever" - The Beatles

The Beatles are a necessary part of any springtime playlist. The flowers are slowly beginning to form on the bare Buffalo trees, and the relaxed melody from the Magical Mystery Tour album provides an apt background for walking around the park or exploring the woods. The guitar picking and the use of orchestral instruments only add to the ambiance created by the famous band. The idea of strawberry fields in the springtime sun is easy to enjoy, and listen to on repeat.

"Electric Worry" - Clutch

This song may sound familiar, considering its common use in video game commercials. The singer's voice is deep and purposeful as he tells a tale of determination and excitement. The guitar solos rip through his chorus, and stop as suddenly as they start, returning back to the slow tone of the singer. Before you know it, you'll be screaming the lyrics along with the band.

"Float On" - Modest Mouse

Another throwback - this ballad isn't a stranger to listeners. Its comforting message is familiar. The quiet guitar in the beginning and the whammy bar throughout the song are characteristic of the band, and the slow tempo gives the song a gentle vibe. The song is perfect for the first bonfire of the season, reflecting on memories of the past semester with friends and family with a song of hope and recognizable lyrics.

"Vegas Lights" - Panic! at the Disco

A track off the band's latest album Too Rare to Live, Too Rare to Die, "Vegas Lights" is a playful tune about going out and having a great weekend without worrying about the upcoming Monday. The song starts with a chorus of children, and then the beat drops to introduce Brendon Urie's vocals. Quiet verses accentuate an exciting chorus, and the song's varying volume levels are what make it so good. The band-gone-duo's sound is more pop, and their usual cryptic lyrics have become more mainstream than previous albums, but this song delivers perfectly sunny sound.

 

email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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