Many people are gonna protest in Summer’s name, but Spring has to be the most amazing season. You stop wearing a jacket, you start remembering what it’s like to be outside, Final Four, Masters, NFL Draft, Baseball, and NBA playoffs all start to happen, pretty girls start to break out the sundresses, and for those of us in school or college, you start to see the end of the tunnel of the school year, and begin devoting as much time as possible to hanging out and having good times. Spring inevitably brings optimism along with it’s frisbee sessions and cold beers on the porch. This mix is a celebration of that. You know the drill..download the mix, put it into an itunes playlist, and then burn it to a CD or drop it on your iphone/mini-disc player. Make sure the windows are rolled down and there’s something cold in your cup.
1 – St Lucia – All Eyes on You
What a great sonic portrayal of the first days of spring. Everything from the chirping bass to the synthesized ocean effects feels like an emergence from a long winter. The lyrics and melody have the kind of perfect poignant optimism for the changing seasons. And when the sax appears, the windows will practically roll themselves down.
2. Fun. – Some Days
I don’t know about you, but when March and April roll around, I have nothing but unbridled excitement for what lies ahead. The second single from Fun. encapsulates that mood flawlessly with a Simon and Garfunkle infectiousness that rivals “We Are Young”. Who cares if some nights we don’t know what we stand for. The vocal layering is absolutely perfect on this song, as is the completely organic f-bomb.
3. Miike Snow – The Wave
The staccato snare hits and ringing piano chords immediately set the tone for this jam. A perfect anthem for laughing with friends at the park, or for the more literal minded, the beach.
4. Sleigh Bells – Crush
Ah Sleigh Bells. The masters of volume and forcibly mating pop vocals with big riffs and bigger drums. This Weezer-on-steroids song is loud, obnoxious, and inescapably hummable. I don’t know if this fits any springtime activities, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
5. Bassnectar – Vava Voom (ft. Lupe Fiasco)
Nooooow the party starts. Lupe Fiasco’s recent obsession with dubstep is reaping some awesome, if off-kilter, dividends. But when the bass drops on this banger on your drive through the city with your shades on, you will be ready to conquer the new warm weather.
6. Kanye West – Mercy (Ft. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz)
Hard to not include this posse cut off of the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music collabo album. Save this one for the drive going out in the city. Absolute banger, even with all the DJ tags littering the track.
7. Stori – Just Another Day
This song came out in January or so, but I immediately reserved it for the warm weather. The early 90’s cali feel of this beat with Stori’s buttery flow makes an on-point day drinking/porch sitting anthem.
8. B.O.B. – So Good
If you listen to the radio, you know this song. It’s gonna be played out but for good reason. Bobby Ray weaves references to Gershwin and Giza over a bouncy piano beat and then delivers an absolutely soaring chorus. B.O.B. may be the most versatile rapper in the game, and he knocks his radio-friendly jams out of the park. Love this.
9. Big K.R.I.T. - Country Rap Tunes
K.R.I.T. channels some 1999 vintage Nelly for this beat, and then spins a tale of his favorite subject: country life. This one is practically dripping with lemonade and slow barbecues and lazily tossed footballs.
10. Logic – Are You Ready
I’ve been listening to Logic’s tape nonstop since I discovered it a few weeks ago. This song is his most instantly accessible with a dreamy Suzanne Vega vocal sample juxtaposed against a far more energetic beat. Love the combination, love the flow, love Logic.
11. Made In Heights - Wildflowers
Made in Heights EP came out several months ago, but I recently discovered it after my boy Goon at sweaty320 recommended it for it’s instrumentals that would make excellent beats. The beats on this EP are jaw-dropping, and the vocals transform them into memorable songs. Wildflowers sounds like its namesake, only in some futuristic utopia, sang by one of the blue aliens in Mass Effect. Ok..so maybe this song makes my imagination run a little wild…
12. Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans
Lana Del Rey is probably the most polarizing musician of 2012, but I am absolutely all in on her hazy, sappy, trip hop croonfests. The melody on Blue Jeans has been spinning in my mind interminably. Thought about including the excellent RAC remix of Blue Jeans, but I honestly think the original is as good as any remix. Say you’ll remember.
13. Flosstradamus – Total Recall
Oh man…we’re gonna switch the mood just a bit here. I don’t know exactly how to classify this jam, other than saying it brings back fond memories of the Fifth Element opera scene, which is about the highest compliment I can think of. The huge synth leads replicating the vocal melody backed with some very gully Flaka-esque “Hey”s is absolutely sublime.
14. Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound
A shot of adrenaline for the impromptu dance party or late hours of a road trip. Yep it’s a song from a commercial. But it’s really damn good. The keyboard break at 2:49 will tear the building apart…be careful.
15. Madeon – Icarus (Keys N Krates remix)
Keys N Krates are fast becoming one of my favorite remix artists, and their transformation of Madeon’s jazzy dancer into a big, contemplative banger makes it sound like this is how Icarus should have always been written. The ticking clock at 2:01 is the bridgeway into waves and waves of layered synths that are held together with some very prominent syncopated drums. Should be listened to with a drizzly spring rain and a hoodie.
16. Zeds Dead ft. Omar LinX– Jackie Boy 2.0
17. Daughter – Youth (Love Thy Brother remix)
You can practically see the light rain gathering on the windowpane during this song. Love Thy Brother adds a lot of big sounds to the simple sorrow of the original, but it feels completely natural instead of forced. The chopped up guitars are a nice touch, and the switch between huge electro beats and sparse acoustic guitar is the definition of complementary.
18. Usher – Climax (ft. Diplo)
The quintessential post-party song I have on every seasonal mix. A surprisingly restrained Diplo gives way to Usher’s forgotten emotional power. The song rises and falls satisfyingly, and is a good launching point into some contemplation.
19. WZRD – Teleport 2 Me, Jamie
Easily the best and most listenable song on Cudi’s demonized WZRD project, Teleport 2 Me heartbreaking in its simple distant love lyrics. Cudi’s vocals are amazing on the second verse and shows what he is capable of when he more fully develops his musical ideas.
Missed the old mixes? Get at them.
Tags: 2 Chainz, B.O.B., Bassnectar, Big K.R.I.T., big sean, Daughter, Diplo, Flosstradamus, Fun, kanye west, Keys N Krates, Kid cudi, Lana Del Rey, Logic, Love Thy Brother, Lupe Fiasco, Made In Heights, Madeon, Miike Snow, Omar LinX, Pusha T, Sleigh Bells, st lucia, Stori, Swedish House Mafia, Usher, WZRD, zeds dead