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What makes us associate certain pieces of music with certain times of year? Vivaldi got it when he wrote his Four Seasons, and we tend to do it without even really meaning to: treacly jazz-pop tends to fare well in the winter, and bombastic pop hits usually pop up in the summertime. So what about spring? Like many, spring is one of my favorite seasons, and my favorite springtime activity is driving around with the windows down, blasting upbeat, warm-sounding tunes to anyone unfortunate enough to be stuck at a red light with me.

Ask anyone who knows me and you’ll find out that as soon as the temperature starts to average above 70 degrees, I start bombarding them with music recommendations to fit the vibe. I do this absolutely free of charge, in my own time, but I figured that I use my professional opinion to spread the love with some spring-appropriate music recommendations that you can access for free with your HCPL library card.

The album cover of Paul Simon's Graceland
Image is in the public domain.

Graceland by Paul Simon

For me, Graceland is THE springtime album. It is absolutely bursting with the happy-go-lucky energy that I tend to look for from the music I listen to in the spring. Chances are, you probably have already heard much of this album, because it is packed with all-time classics like “You Can Call Me Al.” Released in 1986, Graceland combines Paul Simon’s signature witty folk-pop sound with the vibrant, percussive musical traditions of South Africa, creating something completely unique and absolutely incredible. Fair warning, though: if you listen to this in your car, I can’t guarantee that you won’t be pulled over for speeding.

Album cover for Revolver by the Beatles

Revolver by The Beatles

In my opinion, any Beatles album (aside from maybe The White Album and Let It Be) make excellent springtime listening, but Revolver sounds like the best backyard barbecue you’ve ever been to. It’s right there in the titles! Songs like “Good Day Sunshine” and “And Your Bird Can Sing” have this great springy energy (and very fitting lyrical content for this time of year as well). But more than the words, Revolver has the vibe I’m looking for from spring music: joyous, energetic, and optimistic. I mean, just look me in the eye and tell me that the horn section of “Got to Get You into My Life” doesn’t make you want to get up and dance. You can’t, so don’t fight it. Pop this in your CD player, take off on the highway, and thank me later.

The cover of Bjork's album Post
Image provided courtesy of Freegal.

Post by Bjork

Bjork is not for everyone, and I understand that. I just think that she should be. Post is probably the closest she’s ever come to releasing a straightforward pop album, and it doesn’t get more straightforward than the pretty universal appeal of her cover of 1950s jazz standard “It’s Oh So Quiet.” It’s hard to listen to it and not want to want to join her as she shrieks and sighs about the pained ecstasies of love. Back in true Bjork art-pop territory, though, you have the gorgeous “Hyper-Ballad,” with its glittering synth work, and the flirty “Possibly Maybe.” If you are wanting to use the spring as an opportunity for reinvention, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting role model than Bjork.

All of the albums I listed here are part of HCPL’s CD collection, but we also have access to free music downloads and streaming through Freegal. A lot of the artists I mentioned in this blog, including Paul Simon and Bjork, have music available on Freegal, so be sure to take a look around and see what gems you can find!

What are you listening to this spring? Let us know in the comments!

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