Top Five: Ultimate Spring Playlists

This month’s issue is all about Spring and its aspects.  This is why we here Loco Magazine wanted to provide you guys, our readers, with five Spring-themed playlists to help you embrace the turn of the seasons.  Each playlist consists of a spring-related theme and offers eight tracks hand chosen by LoCo staff members.  Go ahead and give us a listen by clicking on each of the headers (which link to the playlists on 8tracks.com).  Don’t forget to tell us what you think and leave us your song suggestions in the comment section below!

Road Trip

The sun is out and the weather’s getting warmer.  It’s about time to hit the road with the windows rolled down and the music turned way up.

1) “Drive By” by Train.  Hailey says: “This song is so catchy and the playful, it’s fun to listen to on repeat and sing along at the top of your lungs. Plus, it even mentions driving!”

2) “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. Amanda says: “For me, it’s not a road trip until I’m blasting Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road, and nothing describes having freedom at the wheel like this song.  This ultimate road trip song makes it impossible not to roll down the windows, attract the attention of passengers in surrounding vehicles and scream out at the end of the chorus the long drawn out ‘thunder road.’”

3) “Paradise” by Coldplay.  Sammy says: “The beat in this song is fantastic and perfect for a car ride–especially if you have a great system. Crank up your bass and roll the windows down, because when the beat drops, it’ll send shivers down your spine!”

4) “Counting Down the Hours” by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. Michael says: “When I actually did drive across the country from Miami to LA, II must have played this album 50 times. I never want to drive that far again, but I’ll never get tired of this song.”

5) “California” by Phantom Planet. Lauren says: “The OC got me hooked on this song. and every time that I hear it I imagine driving across the country to California, which is my ultimate summer destination!”

6) “Coffee and Cigarettes” by Jimmy Eat World.  Bri says: “I always make sure to have this track on hand when I’m in the car, even if I’m not driving. Whether I’m just going down the street or to upstate NY to visit a friend, this song always puts me in a good mood and gets me pumped for the road. With the windows down and this track blasting, I’m good to go.”

7) “Shut the Front Door” by Forever the Sickest Kids. Becky says: “This song screams youthful rebellion, quite literally. With the hook, “we don’t have to listen to you” this upbeat song is perfect for driving in the car, windows down, singing along with a group of friends.”

8 ) “Disorganized Fun” by Ronald Jenkees. Jeff says: “I personally would loop this song so that it lasts the entirety of the road trip, but at the same time I wouldn’t do that because I like to be surprised at how amazing it is every time I listen to it. If you are a fan of instrumental techno, pop, and hip hop styled music, I HIGHLY recommend giving this song a listen, It may interest you and increase your appreciation even more if you watch the video of him recording the feature melody on YouTube.”

Studying

While freedom from school is just around the corner, the Spring semester isn’t done quite yet. Here’s a playlist to help you hit the books and the finish the school year out with a bang.

1) “Sleep” (Azure Ray cover) by Jason Min. H: “I prefer to listen to songs that are on the chill side when I’m trying to focus on writing a paper or study for a test.  This song is both beautiful and peaceful.”

2) “Brain Stew” by Green Day.  A: “Maybe this isn’t the best song to listen to while actually doing assignments, but when I need a temporary study break after hours of work and there’s a good chance I’m going to be pissed off and feeling angsty, why not listen to a song that matches my mood?”

3) “I’ve Got This Friend” by The Civil Wars.  S: “With beautiful, soothing voices and chill acoustic instrumentals, this band is absolute perfection, and this song is just what I need to relax while I’m hitting the books.”

4) M says: “This depends on when I’m reading or writing. If I’m reading, Neko Case’s ‘Deep Red Bells’ is one of my absolute favorites. I’m hopelessly, passionately in love with her voice. If I’m writing, then I’m all about Raphael Saadiq’s ‘100 Yard Dash.’ There’s something in the driving sound of it that keeps my motivation up when it starts to sag.”

5) “Let Go” by Frou Frou. L: “This song is all about letting go of all of your worries and focusing on the positive things in your life. It’s so soothing and it helps me forget about everything and jump into my work.”

6) “Equestrian” by U.S. Royalty. Bri: “When I study, I like listening to songs that are somewhat soft, yet something that’s powerful enough to push me to finish cramming. This track has all of that. The vocals stand out, but not enough to be distracting, it’s a little more upbeat to help keep my focus and I find that I can’t study without it.”

7) “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys. B: “Studying gets incredibly stressful, so I always like to play music that instantly puts me in a better mood. I put on the Beach Boys, sit back, and remember that summer is never too far away.”

8 ) “Never Meant to Belong” from the Bleach anime series. J: “NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU’RE EASILY DEPRESSED! This song has a sound which seems to cue the sadness, but also has a sad yet strong-willed and outstanding violin solo with a voice that is cradled by the piano in a way that, personally, doesn’t make it depressing for me. Sounds like this are soothing and calming to me and allow for an easier flow of thoughts. If interested enough I would recommend Googling and listening to the mash-up of this song and Rainy Mood.

Exercise

Spring marks the approaching beach season, baby!  It’s high time to break out the tunes to help you sweat off those winter pounds and work towards developing a new you.

1) “Call On Me” by Eric Prydz.  H: “Running outside is one of my favorite things to do when the weather gets warmer.  Without fail, this song always gets me pumped up and ready to hit the pavement.”

2) “Can’t Stop” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  A: “Just listening to this intro with the guitar and drums slowly building and getting louder and louder is all the inspiration I need to kick it into high gear and get motivated to move.”

3) “Without Me” by Eminem. S: “This is an oldie, but a goodie. I’ve seriously listened to this on repeat for over half an hour during one of my workouts. It’s catchy, it pumps you up, and it helps to boost your confidence if you’re feeling down on yourself in the middle of a run!”

4) “Another Chessboxin’ Argument” by Wugazi. Doomtree.  M: “The Minneapolis hip hop collective produced this mash-up of Fugazi and Wu-Tang Clan last year. Both bands were enormously influential, talented, and radical in their own ways, but both of them have been overshadowed a bit. This track is a reminder of what a big mistake that is.”

5) “Starships” by Nicki Minaj.  L: “I am addicted to this song. It gets me moving and is so upbeat that I can’t help dancing along to it!”

6) Twist and Shout” by The Beatles.  Bri: “Something about John Lennon’s raw and gritty vocals on this track just makes my blood pump and energizes me to work my hardest. The way he tells me to just work it out, honey, and to twist a little closer…my butt gets into gear and I go hard on the treadmill. Even though it’s not the bass-pumping, heart-pounding jam that most people usually go for at the gym, it gets the job done AND puts a huge smile on my face, which is a feat in itself when I’m working out.”

7) “The Downfall of Us All” by A Day to Remember. B: “If the opening chant of this song isn’t enough to get you motivated then I don’t know what will. This song is the perfect balance of high energy and angst to match with a good workout.”

8 ) “What Have You Done (Body Combat 34)” by Within Temptation. J: “Body Combat?! Need I say more? If yes, my choice of words would be ‘High Intensity Martial Arts Inspired Cardio.’ This would not only have you ready to exercise, but it would have you ready to do so on a hardcore level (even if you’re not actually capable).”

Inspiration

Spring doesn’t necessarily have to do with the season.  If you say you want a revolution, well, why not have some music to help you “spring” into action?

1) “If You’re Out There” by John Legend.  H: “In this song, John Legend is basically calling for people to come together and change the world. If this doesn’t inspire you to do something, I don’t know what will.”

2) “In The Beginning” by K’naan.  A: “This is an anthem about the progression of freedom in the world and what that means for the youth today presents itself in this contagiously catchy song.”

3) “Be Here Now” by Ray LaMontagne.  S: “The inspiration in this song is more subtle than some, but the lyrics are the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. It’s a wonderful reminder that even at your worst moments, there are people around who will help you up, and that you have enough inner strength to do anything.”

4) “#1 Must Have” by Sleater-Kinney.  M: “One of my favorite bands looks back on the Riot Grrrl  movement that spawned them and sees how it has been transformed into marketing slogans. At the same time, you have misogyny and sexual assault all over music. But rather than wallow, Sleater-Kinney reminds us that ‘Culture is what we make it’ and ‘now is the time / to invent.’ It might as well be a personal motto.”

5) “Have No Fear” by Bird York. L: “As one of my all-time favorites I can’t help but be relaxed and inspired. It’s all about letting go of your fears and facing the hard times that you face head on.”

6) “Every Hero” by Donora. Bri: “While it’s not the typical inspirational song, the whole premise of the track is about heroes and always believing in them. For me, this song is an upbeat way to appreciate all the people I’ve considered heroes in my life, whether they are real or fictional.”

7) “Do You Feel” by The Rocket Summer. B: “Between the song itself and the music video that accompanies it, this song is a huge motivator. The chorus chants lines like ‘do you feel/ the weight of the world singing sorrow/ or to you is it just not real?’ The song makes a lot of big claims on social responsibility that put me in the ‘revolution’ mindset.”

8 ) “300 Violin Orchestra” by Jorge Quintero. J: “Personally what I believe makes this song inspirational are the occasions  it has been used for thus far, like: motivating the spread of Christianity to those who do not know about it, background music for visually stunning sports highlights, and pumping up the athletes themselves before a game. The rhythm of the beat combined with the power and motive of the violin melody, topped with the ambience of choral vocals just makes for a solid piece that can almost literally be used to inspire or motivate you for anything.

Rainy Day

Spring means May flowers, but not with a couple of April showers.  Our list wouldn’t be complete without a rainy day playlist.

1) “Big Blue Sea” by Bob Schneider.  H: “There’s something about a rainy day that makes me want to sit around and do nothing all day.  I think this song pretty much captures that lazy vibe.”

2) “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson.  A: “Smooth acoustic chords paired with a soothing voice and the added audio effect of a literal rain shower makes Banana Pancakes a great chill song that exudes relaxation and good vibes.”

3) “After the Storm” by Mumford & Sons. S: “Yup, you knew one of us would go for the pun. I chose this one because a) the obvious and b) Mumford & Sons in general is the perfect ‘rainy day’ band with their calming instrumentals and soothing voices.”

4) “Dying is Fine” by Ra Ra Riot.  M: “From 2007 self-titled EP (NOT the version from the 2008 LP The Rhumb Line, he emphasizes snootily). I love the extended interplay between the viola and the cello in this song, and the pop elements are lovely and invigorating. Good band to pull you out of the dumps.”

5) “Sylvia Plath” by Ryan Adams. Bri: “The piano is the glue that holds Ryan’s heartfelt, yet gloomy lyrics and his rough, imperfect voice together. This song is the perfect soundtrack to wasting your day away imagining and longing for things just out of your reach.”

6) “Jealousy” by Darren Criss. B: “So most people would know him for his work as Blaine on Glee, but Darren put out an EP in 2010 that features acoustic music, such as the song mentioned. It’s feel good music that is perfect for rainy days. His sweet lyrics, smooth voice, and acoustic vibe are the best for curling up on the couch and watching rainfall from the lyrics.”

7) “Just for Now” by Imogean Heap. L: “Every time that I listen to this song it makes me want to crawl under the covers with my PJs on and relax, which is why for me it’s the perfect rainy day song.”

8 ) “Life Begins” by John Fluker. J: “This is a song with a beautiful string of atmospheric pads underlining very beautiful piano melodies. That, plus the subtle tweeting of birds in the background, creates this ‘the sun will come out tomorrow’ vibe that resonates the new life that Spring brings each year.”

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