No one will ever be able to convince me that humans weren’t meant for hibernation. That, like bears, snakes and certain groundhogs, we were destined to spend our winter months in an inanimate stupor, living off stored body fat and holed up somewhere deep underground. Instead, we are forced to spend these hellish Mich. winters knee-deep in snow, living off the rays of a friend’s SAD mood lamp and developing unhealthy attachments to space heaters.
Yet, failures of evolution aside, man and beast alike find themselves in similar places as Feb. comes to a close: Venturing out of respective shelters (be it a cave or a heap of blankets) and rejoining the world as ice begins to slowly de-thaw. These are a few songs for that transition — a playlist for when the sky starts to look a little less bleak and the Diag starts to look a little more green.
At first, it’s hard to remember that the cold will not last. “They Say It’s Spring,” but Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow; these cruel premonitions of a prolonged winter have ripped the gossamer of Blossom Dearie’s voice to shreds and shattered the song’s delicate crystal melody. Don’t give up hope. Let the garage rock of Girls’s “Lust For Life” fill your ears and lead singer Christopher Owen’s throaty yells of “I wish I had a suntan / I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine” fill your soul with energy.
But it’s a hard vitality to maintain. After all, fantasy can only go so far against early-Mar. slush. Find solace in the nostalgic longing of “A Dream of You and Me” by Future Islands as you google cheap flights to Florida and queue up “Spring Breakers” for the fifth time in a row.
And then one day you step outside to see that all the snow has melted. You look up to notice the sun has been out more times than not in the past week, and you realize you have no longer been dreading the moment you have to step out of the warmth of your shower. There’s a certain excitement that’s making the slight warmth in the air tremble, and this rising anticipation of winter’s imminent death perfectly matches the thrumming tempo in the beginning of “Half Full Glass Of Wine.” Guitars crash together as Kevin Parker reflects your sentiments towards spring’s creeping approach: “It’s been so long / Since I’ve held your hand / You don’t know how hard it can be.” Briefly think back to how many cans of Meijer brand chicken noodle soup have been recycled in the past few months, acknowledge that yes, it has been hard, but those days have past. Instead, “Let The Beat Build;” let Lil Wayne take you into sunnier days with looped soul samples and breezy rhymes.
“Good Morning,” Kanye declares, because tulips are on sale at Kroger and the spring equinox has officially passed. Your neighbors have started to blare that one Chainsmokers song you secretly love in order to bless the start of day-drinking season, which means it’s time to put aside the computer and ease into “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.” The open blue sky above the warped wood of your sun-drenched balcony is a revelation of all the growth to come, and your elation blooms through the hypnotic optimism of “GLOWED UP.”
The lo-fi strains of Ariel Pink add a rosy tint to the awakening happening around you, frontman Ariel Rosenberg’s voice holding new meaning as he croons, “Just like heaven / Feels like heaven.” Revive yourself; it’s finally spring.