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Monday, June 17, 2024
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Sun’s up, I listen: a playlist for the spring

It’s time to spring into new tunes

<p>Chapell Roan, The Avalanches, Eugene Record, MiNt ChOcOlATe, Luiz Bonfa and Antena all make for great spring listens.&nbsp;</p>

Chapell Roan, The Avalanches, Eugene Record, MiNt ChOcOlATe, Luiz Bonfa and Antena all make for great spring listens. 

With the changing of the seasons, it’s the right time to not only clean your closet but to get rid of all the things holding you back. 

The Spectrum has put together a selection of songs that could be fresh and fitting for jumpstarting a spring playlist with new sounds.

Chapell Roan - “Good Luck, Babe!”

The way Roan sings of a past relationship with someone who was in denial about their identity is incredibly freeing. The 80s synth bursting during the chorus while she sings “You can say it’s just the way you are / Make a new excuse, another stupid reason” make for a revelatory moment. The delicate instrumentals of the violin combined with her operatic voice reveal another dimension to her vulnerability. Her attitude throughout the number compels you to wish it “Good Luck, Babe!” 

The Avalanches, MF DOOM - “Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life”

This sample of Nancy Wilson’s “Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life” still keeps the charm of its 60s sound while adding a dreamlike texture to the piano. The song’s instrumentals are relaxed further by MF DOOM’s charisma as he reassures a woman with his verses. 

Eugene Record - “Here Comes the Sun”

The dramatic trumpet fare at the beginning of this track feels like it should accompany the sun rising. It’s impossible to not get swept into Record’s optimism. His suave voice and groovy beats will have you feeling like the main character.

Ryan Beatty - “Powerslide”

Beatty immerses you into a warm climate with the sound of a skateboard hitting the pavement at the beginning and the sounds of skateboards passing throughout. The song’s RnB sound helps capture the feeling of cruising on a skateboard and the excitement of liking someone. The brevity of the lyric “Sun’s up, I glisten” is a reminder of how easy it can be to embrace life with open arms. 

Cocteau Twins - “Squeeze-Wax”

Cocteau Twins is often classified as bedroom pop, this song feels like it’s outside-of-your-bedroom pop. It’s the song you play outside when your day is coming to an end and you feel like prancing from how relieved you are. Elizabeth Frasier’s fluid, effortless and nostalgic voice does wonders on this track. 

Hamid Al Shaeri - “Ayonha”

Al Shaeri sings, “Take me in your hands / Take me to a moon in the clouds,” and his way of sustaining each note and harmonizing with them gives off a yearning for adventure. Al Shaeri surprises us with various sequences of the synth in this Egyptian funk and pop track from the 80s.

Luiz Bonfa - “Pernambuco”

The bossanova and isolated sound of Bonfa’s guitar will leave you bare and reflective. Its simplicity steers you into a renewed appreciation for the little, everyday things. Although Bonfa switches between quick and sharp and aggressive strums, there still remains a lightness to them so that the tenderness isn’t lost on us.

Donald Byrd - “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”

While there tends to be a tone of defeat when you realize something is “just your imagination,” Byrd sings with pride in his imagination that’s complemented brilliantly by the variety of lush sounds by the trumpet. It’s an ode to how beautiful and wondrous your imagination can be. The trumpet runs embolden you to run freely in your mind.

Antena - “Seaside Weekend”

This dance track from the 2000s makes it difficult to resist swaying your hips. The electronic maraca and marimba will transport you to the idyllic seaside that Isabella Antena sings of, while the bass sonically translates waves hitting the shore. 

1999 WRITE THE FUTURE, BADBADNOTGOOD, Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine - “MiNt ChOcOlATe”

The seamless notes of flute between Westside Gunn’s well-paced and personable delivery and Conway the Machine’s lyricism is so intentional and graceful. The brothers, natives of Buffalo, make their lines seem natural.

Tenzin Wodhean is the senior arts editor and can be reached at



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