Spring has most certainly arrived on campus. The birds are singing, flowers are blooming and people are dressed like it’s 85 degrees, even though the thermostat barely reads 50. But regardless of the temperature, spring brings an air of excitement to the Hilltop. Suddenly, it seems, no one has class or homework, and there are endless hours to fill sleeping on Healy Lawn.

If you’re a senior like me, none of this applies to you. You are probably busy tearing out your hair and pacing in circles as you read this, thinking that if your parents ask you about your plans for after graduation one more time, you will bar them from watching you graduate. But for underclassmen, at least, spring is a hopeful time — one deserving of a truly carefree soundtrack. So without further ado, here are three songs to accompany you in your next round of Frisbee throwing, sunbathing or whatever it is you do to relax this time of year.

The first song on the docket is Alabama Shakes’ “You Ain’t Alone.” Alabama Shakes just released their first album, and it’s quite the genre-bender. At times, the group sounds like Animal Collective on a trip through the American South, like an old-time crooner in the vein of Otis Redding- and, at times, like a funky, sharp twin of the Black Keys. “You Ain’t Alone” falls on the crooner side of the spectrum, with classic lyrics about love and loss as well as an equally classic use of the snare drum for a steady beat and a wedding-song style piano accompaniment.

Next up is “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. Listening to this song will make you consider going full hippie. I have a moment every spring when I declare that I will only eat local foods and probably stop bathing, and when I do, it’s songs like this I want to hear. “Ho Hey” is a folksy anthem driven forward by hand claps, a skillfully employed tambourine and a banjo that sounds more granola than bluegrass. The entire effect is not entirely unlike that other hippie folk band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. You’re going to want to wear aviators while listening to this one.

What’s the last song that will help you relax fully this springtime? “Strangers” by Lotus Plaza. This song’s a bit more electronic than the first two, but no less tranquil. “Strangers” sounds a bit like aDeerhunter track, which is not so surprising given that Lotus Plaza is the solo project of Lockett Pundt(one-fourth of Deerhunter). But Lotus Plaza isn’t entirely derivative — its sound is a bit more focused, precise and melodic. The end result sounds like a low-fi interpretation of a Broken Bells song, odd but lovely, and perfect to play while stargazing on your back porch.

So there you have it: three songs to chill you out, wind you down and generally relax you for the mellifluous season of spring. For all of you who have nothing but time to braid each other’s hair and work on your tan on the esplanade, I hope that these songs become the backdrop for your picturesque spring memories. The rest of you can come visit me in the library, as I work on my thesis.


Kinne Chapin is a sophomore in the College. FACE THE MUSIC appears every other Friday in the guide.

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