Springtime is here, and with it comes the Arts Desk’s seasonal music recommendations so you know all the gems that you should be listening to once you get tired of listening to the new Billie Eilish album.
“Sylvan Esso” — Sylvan Esso
Spring is an odd time for casual music listeners everywhere. It’s too bright outside for the moody vocals of James Blake, but we’re all still too stressed out to enjoy the bouncy, tropical-pop beats of reggaeton. This shift in seasons is hard on NYU students in particular, who are forced to witness the quasi-warm weather from the windows of Bobst Library, watching our compatriots frolic around Washington Square Park in their Vans and Fjällräven backpacks. If this sad scene is one that resonates with you more often than not, I suggest you check out Sylvan Esso, especially their eponymous debut. It’s mellow, but maintains a nice electro-beat that’ll keep you from nodding off during the most important time of the year: the all-nighter stretch, that last push before summer starts and we can all listen to the same four tired tracks for the entire season. In the meantime, “Sylvan Esso” will keep you calm. It’s hipster, it’s sleek, it’s techno-ish; I promise you’ll like it. For a sneak peek, try listening to the first track on the album, “Hey Mami,” and make sure you make it past the chorus; the bass-drop is phenomenal. — Claire
“Sing Street” — Gary Clark, John Carney, Ken Papenfus, Carl Papenfus, Graham Henderson, Zamo Riffman, Adam Levine
When springtime rolls around, the weather starts getting better, and there’s just the right blend of warm temperatures and a cool breeze to undercut the humidity. Although the weather is lightening up, the semester certainly isn’t. As the end of the semester approaches, I have to plan out my whole summer and fall at the same time. It’s a mixed bag of feelings, and an album that helps me navigate the joy and stress of this season is the extremely underrated album from the 2016 Irish coming-of-age rock musical film “Sing Street.” This movie was overshadowed by the hype surrounding “La La Land” that year, but it is just as high quality. Set in the 1980s, the film follows Conor, a teenager who attends a new school because of his family’s financial struggles and starts a band to impress a girl that he has fallen in love with. The film explores Conor’s journey to discover his musical identity and break free from the restrictions and stresses caused by his school and family, and the music is peppy, catchy and motivating. The climactic song “Drive It Like You Stole It” will go down as one of the most rousing rock anthems of this half-decade. Despite however many obstacles that come my way during this time, I immediately turn to the “Sing Street” album to pump myself up or just have a laugh at the cheery and encouraging lyrics. — Guru
“Mass Romantic” — The New Pornographers
Sly, playful and upbeat, this is indie rock at its best, and its sunniest — perfectly suited to a newly-warm spring day. I first discovered this album a few years ago, when NPR’s Linda Holmes mentioned it on her podcast “Pop Culture Happy Hour.” I remember Holmes very specifically talking about it as a “spring album” — she recommended listening to it in a car with the windows rolled down, something that perfectly evokes the album’s mood. The jocular lyrics and driving beat will put a smile on your face from the first song. — Alex
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