Since moving from my hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii to Vancouver, B.C. two years ago – that is, surviving two winter seasons my island kinfolk know not of – I’ve developed a deep affinity for taking long strolls when it’s not raining. There is probably no better season than spring for whimsically wandering around town. The chill of winter rushes past your face, while hints of summer keep it at a welcoming temperature. The air is crisp, the ground is dry, and iterations of sunlight bend at your feet from the cherry blossom trees above. Spring is finally here.
During my amblings, I find that listening to songs of a specific mood truly amplify my sense of gratitude toward creation. Music has the power to slow us down. It casts new light on the mundane, reframes the monotonous, and might even allow us to feel things we didn’t know we felt. The tracklist below consists of seven songs which always seem to lift me up and slow me down.
The Owls found a way to capture the light of the sun, wine in the park, and twenty shiba-inu puppies, and encapsulate it all into a song. Usually bright and upbeat, this song will motivate even the laziest of us to put on some pants for a nice stroll.
2. Belle and Sebastian – “If She Wants Me”
The dreaminess of Belle and Sebastian seems to be especially magnified in this track. It’s been a favourite since high school, and still has me driving with my windows down, arm gliding through the air.
In their most recent albums, The Sea & Cake are unstoppable in producing the most chill and understated beats that accompany the smoothest of vocals. The perfect weekend song that can be put on repeat for hours.
This track is one of my favorites from Washed Out’s newest album, Paracosm. Its reduced tempo and mesmerizing synth will having you seeing every cherry blossom petal falling in slow motion.
“Pacific Theme” starts a bit interestingly for some, but this instrumental track rhythmically unfolds into a methodic, percussive daydream.
I was hooked on Youth Lagoon when I first heard of their melodic beats and unconventional vocals, and then almost cried when they were used in the unveiling of some Apple product in 2012. “Afternoon” is probably one of the band’s best known songs, and is a great backdrop for urban explorations.
For the electronic-inclined listener, this track from the lord of chillwave is thoroughly energetic and upbeat. “Freaking Out” will set the mood for enjoying a still-lit Saturday evening out as beautiful spring flows into summer.
Flickr photo (cc) by Mait Jüriado