As the snow fields melt and the flowers start to bloom, I’m feeling blissful that spring is in the air. As the sun’s rays gently caress my face, I walk my dog to the tempo of the songs that I love.
Listening to music while walking is a form of therapy — a constant reminder to start appreciating the little things (like these walks) that make life enjoyable. Especially since I’ve stayed remote this entire academic year as a freshman, I’ve suffered from a lack of human connection, often feeling lonely and tired of the repetitive routine of Zoom University. In these times, music lets me enter a different, carefree sphere by reminding me of when life was normal, pre-COVID-19. Here are five songs currently on my playlist, along with a gentle reminder to go outside and enjoy the spring breeze.
- “La Thune,” by Angèle
Angèle is a Belgian singer/songwriter who initially gained global fame with her single “Balance ton quoi.” Her song “La Thune” (English translation: “money”) has a fun reggae rhythm, and the lyrics are rather meaningful as they discuss the superficiality of social media in today’s world. Throughout the pandemic, many have relied on virtual interactions and social media for entertainment, so it’s important to hear Angèle singing, “Photo sur Insta’, c’est obligé / Sinon, au fond, à quoi ca sert?” In doing so, she asks the question: “Why do we post on Instagram for our physical appearances to be judged and praised, when we’re all just lonely behind the screens?” This song is a great reminder to start taking breaks from social media and acknowledge the toxicity of solely depending on social media for validations and interactions.
- “One More Weekend,” by Maude Latour
Maude Latour is an up-and-coming pop artist that is immediately striking for her voice resembling Lorde’s, given her deep, husky tone. An ode to her past lover, the song embodies the duality of romance: “It’s about love and loss, those things are closer than I knew.” Though her lyrics may seem melancholy — “Nothing lasts forever / One more weekend in the city / Breakup through the summer / Leave me all on my own” — you will be pleasantly surprised by the juxtaposition of the sad lyrics with the energetic and upbeat beats. I interpret this contrast as symbolizing our generation’s way of coping with heartbreak by outwardly displaying (or feigning) happiness. I imagine the ode as Latour’s majestic farewell to a bittersweet chapter of her life with her ex-lover. You’ll want to blast this song with your windows down, to leave behind the hurt that came with your recent breakup or any other stresses that have weighed you down. Ultimately, it’s a beautiful representation of youthful love and will leave you in a euphoric state.
- “Carried Away,” by Surf Mesa & Madison Beer
Surf Mesa created a quarantine hit with his “ily“ ft. Emilee. His new collaboration, “Carried Away” with Madison Beer, is one that perfectly embodies the romantic hues of spring. Beer’s previous hits like “Selfish” had touched upon personal stories of heartbreak and were often belted with crippling affliction. However, Beer transcends her comfort zone with this new song and even admits that it’s “refreshing to explore the other side of love … the excited nerves you get from meeting someone and falling in love for the first time.” As Beer softly sings, “I love to love, I love all the ways / I feel so much, I get carried away,” she embraces the dreaminess of falling for a new lover and the universal feeling of having butterflies in her stomach. As my heart flutters, I can’t help but set my current worries away to ruminate on the beautiful complexities of love. Whether you’re deeply in love with your significant other or actively seeking to practice self-love, this song is perfect to feel some love in the air.
- “Love Thru the Computer,” by Gucci Mane (ft. Justin Bieber)
It’s almost as if Gucci Mane and Justin Bieber predicted the new norms of digital relationships in COVID-19 as they contemplated loving through the computer back in 2019. On this uplifting electro-funk beat, Gucci Mane raps, “You want a long distance love, I want computer love,” while Bieber flirtatiously sings, “You can meet me, you can meet me on my laptop.” This spontaneous collaboration between the hip-hop and pop giants is harmonious and inspiring. Given its old school inspiration from Zapp & Roger’s 1985 “Computer Love,” this song is perfect for a pumped-up, sweat-sesh workout.
- “Love Affair,” by UMI
I know the past two songs have already been on the topic of love, but I can’t help but think of love when I think of spring. As UMI soulfully sings, “Don’t overthink this is love / Maybe it’s just a crush / Baby is this your love affair, love affair?,” one can’t help but immediately feel a sense of calm from the easy-going track. UMI fervently explored the concept of love throughout her EP Love Language and mentioned how in this song, “love can be bubbly, new and a bit confusing.” As someone who is indecisive and often overthinks about the topic of love, I feel like UMI talks sense into me, reminding me how it’s best to just let life take its own course, even with love. Over its groovy melody, the joyful listening experience hypnotizes me to no longer second guess my inner thoughts because carpe diem.
With little normalcy in today’s world, it’s incredibly important to soothe our souls with music. Sometimes, new music recommendations like these can act as a catalyst for a splendid day — a refreshing switch from our trite playlists. It’s spring, so grab your headphones and head down to the Arb for a stroll or to a small Ann Arbor business for coffee or boba. “When words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen
MiC Columnist Rachael Kong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.