Photo: Kathryn Schledwitz
As the top on my convertible slowly drew back, and my shades slid on, I knew spring had arrived! I blasted some tunes as I cruised down the hills with skis wedged in the middle of the car from my runs earlier that day (Seattle perks!). With spring in mind, I’ve created a playlist of upbeat songs. So get outside and dance, run, play!
Note: There are two ways to listen on Spotify: Click here for the QL: Spring Songs playlist that includes the 15 songs below plus my additional recommendations from that artist. Want more? Then click here for the Qlette’s Discover This master playlist with the 15 songs below plus the featured songs from previous articles (You can also just hit play on the playlist embedded at the end). Subscribe to get the monthly updates!
1. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young
- Sounds… rock and roll!
- Like it? Check out: the new album when it’s released May 14, 2013
- Hails from: the band met at Columbia University and named themselves after a short film project that Erza Koenig (lead singer) worked on
- Tour Destinations: Coachella & Cali (April), NYC (4/28), London (5/2), Boston (5/15), Sasquatch (5/24), Firefly Festival (6/23), Europe (June & July), Lollapalooza (8/4), Squamish Festival (8/9) & more!
2. LEAGUES – Mind Games
- Sounds… indie-pop
- Like it? Check out: Spotlight, One Hand
- Hails from: Nashville – this city’s producing a whole lot more than country these days
- Tour Destinations: Midwest (April), Stray at Home Festival (5/11)
3. Lorde – Royals
- Sounds… poppy, Florence + the Machine style
- Like it? Check out: the EP for free on Soundcloud, The Love Club is my next fave
- Hails from: the 16 year old (!) is from New Zealand
- Tour Destinations: Aussie and NZ for now (she’s got high school, folks)
4. Electric Guest – This Head I Hold
- Sounds… electro-soul, indie rock produced by Danger Mouse
- Like it? Check out: Under the Gun, The Bait, the whole CD (I’ve been obsessed for a year now)
- Hails from: Asa Taccone (“an electric guest of the universe”) and Cornbread are based in L.A.
- Tour Destinations: 11 stops in France & UK (Apr-May), Chicago (5/17)
5. Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built
- Sounds… garage rock
- Like it? Check out: the rest of the album is a little too hard rock for my taste, but Rolling Stone called their single one of the 50 best songs of 2012.
- Hails from: the duo is from Vancouver, Canada
- Tour Destinations: festival circuit… Coachella, Sasquatch, Free Press Festival, Governor’s Ball, Orion Festival, Bonnaroo, Firefly Festival, + 6 European Festivals, & more!
6. Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground – Dress Like It’s Summer
- Sounds… jazz-funk, for fans of Jamiroquai
- Like it? Check out: White Jeans Clean, the other single released prior to the full album
- Hails from: Seattle!
- Tour Destinations: they’re likely awaiting the album release before announcing tour dates
7. The Sheepdogs – Feeling Good
8. Icebird (RJD2 & Aaron Livingston) – Charmed Life
- Sounds… funk + soul + hip hop + rock = groovy
- Like it? Check out: Going and Going. And Going.
- Hails from: RJ lives in Philly and is known for instrumental tracks, such as A Beautiful Mine, opening theme for Mad Men!
- Tour Destinations: L.A. (4/18), Denver (4/27), Montreal (5/17), Wakarusa Festival
9. M. Ward – I Get Ideas
- Sounds… whimsical and folky
- Like it? Check out: his 2006 album, Post-War
- Hails from: the Portland singer-songwriter is also a band member of Monsters of Folk and the other half of She & Him with Zooey Deschanel (Elf, (500) Days of Summer, New Girl, etc)
- Tour Destinations: Matt’s busy with Zooey on tour for She & Him’s new album set for May 7 release
10. The Belle Brigade – Where Not to Look for Freedom
- Sounds… like Fleetwood Mac
- Like it? Check out: I Didn’t Mean It, Lonely Lonely
- Hails from: brother/sister duo from L.A. are the grandchildren of Oscar-winning composer John Williams, who wrote the film scores for Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T., Home Alone, Jurassic Park, etc etc etc!
11. Eric Clapton – Gotta Get Over
- Sounds… bluesy
- Like it? Check out: if you’re not familiar with the “2nd greatest guitarist”, immediately go listen to The Cream of Clapton to catch up. Hurry! You’re behind!
- Hails from: England and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (x3)
- Tour Destinations: Europe (May/June)
12. Harlan – Dancing on the Bed
- Sounds… electro-pop meets soul & funk
- Like it? Check out: The Come Down, I Never
- Hails from: Berklee College of Music, where he learned to play all the instruments (sans drums) he recorded in his songs
13. Ben Rector – The Beat
- Sounds… singer-songwriter, similar to James Morrison, John Mayer, & Jason Mraz, except his initials are not JM
- Like it? Check out: the free sampler! and Let the Good Times Roll
- Hails from: born in Tulsa, lives in Nashville
- Tour Destinations: South (mid-April), DC (4/24), NY (4/25), Boston (4/26), Toronto (4/29), Chicago (5/4), Denver (5/7), & more!
14. The Shoes – Time to Dance
- Sounds… electro-dance-pop
- Like it? Check out: Stay the Same, The Wolf Under the Moon
- Hails from: French duo from Reims
- Tour Destinations: Berwyn, IL (5/4), Evanston, IL (7/27)
15. Lady Antebellum – Downtown
- Sounds… pop country – come on, give country a try!
- Like it? Check out: the new album, set for release on May 7, 2013
- Hails from: Nashville
- Tour Destinations: Mountain View, CA (4/26), Indio, CA (4/27), Baton Rouge (5/25), Detroit (6/13), Taste of Country Music Festival (6/15) & more!