Sprung Fever

12 Apr

Spring is approaching. Can you feel it in your lungs and in the air? That wonderful two weeks (in Canada at least) where the promise of summer has never been closer. This playlist will get your ass off the couch and ready for sunny days of barbeques, brews, young love, new kisses, patios, road trips, lake swimming, and nostalgia for all that has come and gone and will come again. Go on, get sprung!

  1. The Matinee “Young and Lazy”: A promising new band hailing from Quebec channeling more than a little American Girls era Tom Petty here. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The rest of their album attempts early Ryan Adams meets Bon Jovi, but unfortunately not as good as that arranged marriage of Americana sounds. Just stick to thinking about days when you were young and lazy and the world was easy.
  2. The Eagles “Already Gone”: I just watched two documentaries on the Eagles, which might have been one too many. I discovered that Glenn Frey might be one of the most arrogant men in rock; someone asked him why the Eagles have stood the test of time, and his answer involved a deadpan and lengthy listing of his greatest hits catalogue. Pompous. Still, the Eagles from ‘72-76 were untouchable, and this hit the road FU anthem is a perfect example. Long live the Eagles and take it easy.
  3. Royal Wood “Not Giving Up”:  Canada’s latest adult alternative star. Why does that sound derisive? It shouldn’t….the man known as Royal Wood has a grown up sound that is just starting to catch on, like a mature Electric Light Orchestra with catchy piano bits and heartfelt song writing. Check out “On Top of Your Love” as well.
  4. Fitz and the Tantrums “Out of My League” This band deserves your love for their name itself. Their new album is out now and promises to be another great mix of ‘60s retro soul twisting, funkified for modern times. May you find love this summer that feels out of your league and more than a dream.
  5. Tame Impala “Not Meant to Be” – if you’ve never heard Tame Impala, Unsung has got you covered. Throw on either of their albums and just let a lazy afternoon drift by. I hear so much Lennon in the vocals that it’s eerie.
  6. The Strokes “Chances” – I’m still trying to comprehend the Strokes new album. It’s a bizarro mix of Thriller-esque beats, falsetto, and enough 80’s synthesizer to make Ah Ha blush. But it’s good, and different good, and they can’t keep making ‘Is This It’ over and over again, as much as the 7 remaining Strokes fans would like. As long as they keep taking Chances, we should be alright. See what I did there? Thanks, I’m here all night, try the fish.
  7. Thin Lizzy “Cowboy” – Everyone knows the Boys are Back in Town and Jailbreak, two other classics for good weather days. But this little known gem is perfect for a road trip up the country. It’s a mystery why a quintessential Britrock band can sing a song about the wild west in 70’s rock fashion and still make that sound convincing and damn near endearing….when lead singer Phil Lynot wails “lonesome on the trail….LORD I’m just thinking about a certain female!” you really wonder what the story is. Does anyone know why they pronounce Thin Lizzy as ‘Tin’ Lizzy? Beats me.
  8. Father John Misty “Well You Can Do It Without Me” The one time drummer of Fleet Foxes is a talent all his own. He reminds me a lot of the Wolf King of LA, who deserves an Unsung all his own…don’t worry, its coming. But back to the Father. This is a tune that could have been recorded in 1970, and it just has that natural ramshackle quality of effortless songwriting. The rest of his latest album ‘Fear Fun’ is well worth checking out, as is his highly amusing website.
  9. Stereophonics “Indian Summer” They’ve done it again…..changing tastes and times and the death of a drummer (someone I interviewed once, lovely bloke) still  don’t seem to stop lead singer/songwriter Kelly Jones from seizing the moment and crafting brilliant pop rock songs. And this second single off their new album is the perfect anticipatory post summer anthem….are we getting ahead of ourselves?
  10. Steely Dan “Dirty Work” – we close the set with a forgotten classic about the pitfalls of booty calls and home-wrecking. May that be a word of warning as you embark on your summer of love.  Enjoy the beer and hamburger at the bbq, but as Paul Newman says, don’t forget that you have steak at home.

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