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  • Amy Norton

The Broad’s Seasonal Recommendations: What to Listen to this Spring

Illustrations by Megan Le Brocq 

The Broad's Creative Editor, Amy Norton, has selected ten songs to help you shake off those wintery blues as we step into spring. If you want to put an extra spring in your step as you walk through the meadows, you can listen to the team's wider playlist, including Amy's top picks, here.

Matilda Mann - "Four Leaf Dream"

Matilda Mann, Atwood Magazine

My first spring pick comes from 23-year-old singer-songwriter Matilda Mann. "Four Leaf Dream" is about letting go of the idea of someone you have created in your mind. She sings: “I was so mad at me for seeing what was never there. I painted pictures with the words that you prepared.” In an interview with Genius, Mann discussed how she has been guilty of moulding a person she likes into a perfect version of them, tricking herself out of seeing the reality. She turns this personal subject matter into an uplifting track, and I think the optimistic sentiment of moving on is fitting to the spring season. She isn’t very well known but I’ve been a fan of Mann’s music for almost three years now and was thrilled when her song "Paper Mache World" was featured in the soundtrack of Netflix’s Heartstopper.

The Coral - "In the Morning"

The Coral, Domino Publishing

My next spring song is "In the Morning", released in 2005 by English rock band The Coral. I’ve loved this song for as long as I can remember, well since I first heard it in the Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging soundtrack (which I still listen to often). It’s played at the bit where Georgia does a bit of spring cleaning and starts her life as “the new me.” For this reason, I’ve always associated the song with positive change, despite the line “I’ve watched it change, but it’s still the same, in the morning.” Whichever way you interpret the lyrics, I think the backing piano melody is undeniably cheery and possibly what has made this song so well-loved.

Peter Gabriel - "Solsbury Hill"

Taking it back to the 70’s for this pick, the debut single of Peter Gabriel: "Solsbury Hill". This was suggested by a good friend of mine who insisted a spring selection would be incomplete without this song and I think she’s right. The title refers to a hill in Somerset in which Gabriel sings of climbing, but fans suggest the hill is metaphorical for his decision to leave the band Genesis. A simple flute arrangement and mix of acoustic riffs builds this track to exhilaration and the lyrics about a booming heartbeat are mimicked by the constant thump of the drum throughout. On a similar thread to the previous two choices, this song is about revelations and new beginnings.

Beabadoobee ft. Clairo - "Glue Song"

Glue Song (feat. Clairo), Spotify

"Glue Song" captures the floaty feeling at the beginning of a relationship, with an almost childlike honesty. Bea and Clairo’s voices melt together like butter, it’s simply gooey and gorgeous. I think there’s something immediately likeable about this track, without realising I played it enough in 2023 to grant it a place in my top 10 most listened to songs of the year. For being exceedingly sunny and sweet without being too sickly, I’d recommend "Glue Song" alongside all of Beabadoobee’s discography. NME described her most recent album Beatopia as feeling like “watching a hazy cloud float by on a balmy spring day”—perfect!

Fionn Regan - "Dogwood Blossom"

Dogwood Blossom, Fine Gardening Magazine

This song by Irish folk singer Fionn Regan is less cheery than my other choices but still beautiful. I was introduced to it from its place on the soundtrack of BBC3’s Normal People and it’s stuck with me ever since. To me it feels very intimate but solitary at the same time, making it perfect for this particular show. The track is calm, reflective, and melancholy— best listened to with headphones.

Jack Johnson - "Banana Pancakes"

Jack Johnson, ‘In Between Dreams,’ Spotify

Jack Johnson’s 2005 album In Between Dreams was an absolute staple CD in my childhood family car. My love for it has been unwavering, and this song as well as "Better Together" emit so much warmth still. Johnson explained "Banana Pancakes" is about him convincing his wife to ignore their alarms and demands of the day and opt for a slow cozy morning instead. He sings: “Maybe we can sleep in, I’ll make you banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the weekend.” The song’s setting is a rainy morning, which could be any time of year, but its brightness feels spring-like to me. Although personally this song is pure nostalgia, I’m confident I’d fall in love with it if I heard it for the first time today.

Tears For Fears - "Everybody Wants To Rule The World"

Tears For Fears, ‘Songs From The Big Chair,’ Spotify

Moving on to this 80s synth-pop track by British band Tears For Fears. It’s refreshing, catchy and vibrant but has a darker lyrical message of humanity’s greed for power and its harmful consequences. It wasn’t until I did some research that I started to recognise all the political references scattered throughout this song, I’ll admit I’ve always been distracted by the upbeat musicality of it. The iconic intro feels plucked right out of a coming-of-age movie and makes this track un-skippable when it comes on shuffle. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" will make you spring into action!

The Beatles - "Here Comes The Sun"

The Beatles, NME

The timeless and cheerful acoustic riff of "Here Comes The Sun" could melt away any frost—nothing screams spring quite like this song. In his autobiography, George Harrison said “it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it.” He’s not wrong at all and this song sums up the joy we all experience when we feel the first bit of spring sun on our faces.  The everlasting popularity of this 60’s track is evidenced by it surpassing a billion streams on Spotify last year.

Corinne Bailey Rae - "Call Me When You Get This"

Best known for her 2006 single “Put Your Records On,” singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae has a voice like golden sunshine. My chosen track "Call Me When You Get This" is from the same album and like "Glue Song" is about a new relationship blossoming. Specifically, a yearning for her partner to understand the depth of her feelings and repeatedly questioning who could possibly love them more than she does. The message is simple and sweet: “I need you more each day, baby if you’re still awake, call me when you get this.” I think this song is elevated deliciously by the string section that opens and crops up throughout—alongside the funky guitar riff. These elements, paired with Bailey Rae’s effortlessly gorgeous voice, are demonstrated perfectly in the live orchestral version of the song from 2007.

Harry Styles - "Cherry"

Harry Styles, Rolling Stone

From mushy romance songs to breakup songs, my final track is "Cherry" from Harry Style’s second album Fine Line. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Styles explains this track reflects on the “petty” and “pathetic” thoughts you have after a relationship doesn’t work out the way you thought it would. This can be heard explicitly in lines like “I can tell that you are at your best, I’m selfish so I’m hating it.” It’s addressed to his ex-girlfriend Camille Rowe, who even features in a short voicemail clip at the end of the song. This section directly follows Styles singing the final note in increasing intensity until it’s practically screamed at us. I think this encapsulates the way we cling onto and torment ourselves with scraps of evidence of existence from ex-partners. Like a lot of Style’s music, "Cherry" hides intimate and revealing personal feelings behind a catchy and upbeat melody. Whether it be from the songs themselves or the associated memories of seeing him live, Harry Styles’s whole discography reminds me of sunshine.

Make sure you check out The Broad’s other seasonal picks on the creative section of our website!

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