Spring is usually a non-existent season here in northern Michigan. Snow falls right on through April and then we enjoy 6 weeks of blustery rainy days until sometime mid-June when things become lovely once more.
This year we’ve had an unusual warm streak though, and I must say it is fabulous.
Sometimes it’s a little tricky to find the right music for temperate weather… Bon Iver and Sun Kil Moon and other super-chill slow tunes have been retired along with the dark and cold of winter, but I’m not quite ready for party pop and punk rock that gets me going in the summer time.
Here are a handful of great between-season records perfect for spring weather.
Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks
The first Dylan album I ever bought and is still probably my favorite. I think if you had to choose one of Bob’s records as a masterpiece, this would be it. Early folk rock suits the birth of spring quite nicely.
R.E.M: Automatic for the People
This one works right on through summer, but the way it maintains that steady pace without getting too worked up makes me happy. “Nightswimming” is obviously a summer song, but one of my all-time favorites so I’m going to include it in pretty much any list I ever make.
Anathallo: Canopy Glow
Anathallo can seem a little inaccessible if you haven’t seen them live, but if you have they become transcendent. On the comfortable clear nights we’ve had all week this week the sky is full of stars for the first time in months, and if you haven’t seen the night sky from the Michigan northwoods, you simply haven’t seen it at all.
Band of Horses – Everything All the Time
I’m not even going to comment on this one. Just add it to your playlist. You won’t regret it.
Bowerbirds: The Clearing
This new Bowerbirds record just released and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. It is mellow but not too mellow and kind of delicate. I can totally listen to this while driving through cherry blossom fields of Old Mission Peninsula in a few weeks
Wait… am I a senior citizen?
Well… yeah, I guess I kind of am.
Vetiver: The Errant Charm
I actually discovered Vetiver last year when I saw they were touring with northwest Michigan darlings Breathe Owl Breathe. Hooked instantly, perfect for just about any occasion. Kind of a Velvet Underground vibe but not as boring or weird.
The Smiths: Louder Than Bombs
Not to sound like a sap, but I love listening to The Smiths in the spring because it reminds me of early days with my wife. The years (decades) since then seem to be flying by, but if I close my eyes while “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” is playing can see, hear, smell my old vintage Monte Carlo and remember simpler times.
Churchill: Happy Sad
Churchill is a Denver band that quite honestly I don’t listen to all that often, but when I do it sure does seem to hit the spot. Especially during these mellow, fresh-scented spring days.
Subscribe to the perpetually-growing Strong Odors playlist on Spotify for songs from these albums and a crap pile of pungent tunes.