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SCINQ Guide to Spring: The Sun, Love, and Allergies Playlist.

Who: Stevie B.

What: Spring Love.

Why: This 80’s freestyle classic was an absolute beast of a tune when it dropped. Stevie B’s tale of lost love was the perfect articulation of the type of romance urban youth like and my friends experienced during our adolescent years. Stevie said it all on this one. The funky synths and bass line helped out a lot too.

Who: Biz Markie.

What: Spring Again:

Why: ‘Spring Again” was the lesser of the two main hits off of the diabolical Biz Markie’s second solo LP “The Biz Never Sleeps”. Accompanied by an off the wall video and buoyed by the success of the his previous chart-topper “Just A Friend”, this record enjoyed steady play on the urban stations across the US and cemented Biz as a mainstream hip hop star. Biz’s underrated charm on the mic really comes off on this lighthearted ode to the joys and printemps and is a must listen in Biz’s catalog. 

Who: Johny Nash.

What: I Can See Clearly Now.

Why: This is probably the most well known and covered song about the springtime season. Esteemed musical luminaries such as Jimmy Cliff, Ray Charles, and Josh Groban have all tackled this pop classic but none have gotten close to the sheer emotion conveyed in the original. Personally, this was one of my favorite songs as a kid. Radio stations in NYC used to play it as April rolled around and I just knew good thing and good times were ahead. That’s what great songs are supposed to do.

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Who: The Beatles.

What: Here Comes the Sun.

Why: Arguably George Harrison’s best song as a Beatle, “Here Comes the Sun” is the opening track on the B side (remember those?) of the album, Abbey Road. By itself, the song is a sonic springtime. Up-tempo. Written in a happy key (A major to be precise).

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here.

If you consider it in the context of the album, the transition from John Lennon’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – a dense and murky track – “Here Comes the Sun” really feels like the first nice day after a brutal winter.

Who: Angel Olsen.

What: Spring.

Why: Angel Olsen’s “Spring” of her acclaimed album All Mirrors is more about the shadow of spring than the sunlit season itself. It’s about looking back at the sun from a much darker time.

Days that keep slipping
A life that I’m missing
I wish it were true love
I wish we were kissing.

The song deals with the transience of the good times. They don’t last forever. Nothing does. So don’t take them for granted.

Who: Arlo Parks.

What: Black Dog.

Why:  Spring is about rebirth. As anyone who’s ever emerged from a dark mental spray space can attest to Breaking Free from depression can feel like rising from the grave. In Arlo Parks’ song, she tries to coax a depressed friend into come out of her apartment. Her lyrics capture her uncertainty and concern while the music and tender delivery express hope. The tension between those elements creates a song that is ominous and optimistic at the same time.

WORDS: Greg Cee; brice.

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