Say Hello To Spring With These 15 Fantastic Tracks

Ahh, Spring. Is there any other season that offers such an upswing in mood, such sweet relief, such good vibes? As we gladly shove our winter coats into the far recesses of our closets and embrace the sunshine, it seems like our favorite bands have begun to do the same with their music. Our spring playlist is full of buoyant rhythms, bright synths, and songs that trade gloom for glam. From the triumphant return of Yeah Yeah Yeahs to the rhymes of the most promising young rapper in years, we've got tracks that celebrate good vibes. Even the darkest additions have a vaguely tropical lean to them (we're looking at you, The Knife).
Click through for streams of each song and to the last page to access our Spotify playlist!
Illustration by Bil Donovan
Austra — "Home" single
After 2011's gorgeous Feel It Break, opera-trained vocalist Katie Stelmanis is back with what may be her best track yet. House piano bolsters Stemanis' unmistakable voice, as she laments a lover who hasn't yet returned to her bed. The result is gorgeous and marks a big leap forward for the Canadian chanteuse and her band.
Click here to buy the album.
SavagesSavages — Silence Yourself
“She Will”
A breakout from this years SXSW (or last year's CMJ — who's keeping track?), all-female post-punkers Savages arrived in 2013 like an ice-cold tsunami of rock attitude. With searing vocals from lead singer Jehnny Beth, riotous guitar work, and the tightest rhythm section we've heard in ages, the band is one of 2013's biggest rising stars.
Click here to buy the album.
Vampire-WeekendVampire Weekend — Modern Vampires Of The City
The uptown-indie kids in Vampire Weekend return with "Step," an ingenious track that plays to virtually all of the band's strengths. With lyrics ranging from twee academia to world travel, and a stuttering, deceptively complex arrangement, it's a great reintroduction to the band.
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The-KnifeThe Knife — Shaking The Habitual
“A Tooth For An Eye”
Aggressive, enigmatic, irreplaceable, Swedish brother/sister duo The Knife have become one of the most influential bands in the world, and the group's return to the scene after a seven-year absence has been massively anticipated (to say the least). "A Tooth for an Eye" displays everything that makes the siblings great: bizarrely poppy, yet in-your-face aggressive, "A Tooth for an Eye" is punk rock reimagined as techno outrage.
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RhyeRhye — Woman
“The Fall”
Rhye's Woman is an erotically charged tour de force, and "The Fall" displays the L.A.-based duo's mastery of sound and mood. Over looped keys, singer Michael Milosh's smooth-as-Sade croon (yes, Michael is indeed a man), morphs simple lines like "don't slip away" and "why can't you stay?" into a meditation on romance and intimacy.
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Mosquito
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a made a triumphant return with the upcoming Mosquito, and the southern gothic "Sacrilege" is one of the album's most explosive cuts. With production that sounds simultaneously raw and epic, the trio (assisted by a gospel choir) tears through its new material with the same bravado it brought to NYC warehouses more than a decade ago.
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Kendrick-LamarKendrick Lamar — good kid, m.A.A.d city
“Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe (Remix)”
There's nothing like Jay-Z joining you for a victory lap, which is exactly what's happened with "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe (Remix)." Better still, Hov actually puts some effort into his appearance, rapping like he's got something to prove. It may be crazy to say this, but next to Kendrick, maybe he does.
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The-Juan-MacleanThe Juan Maclean — "You Are My Destiny" single
“You Are My Destiny”
The Juan Maclean has been releasing disco-house gems for ages, but with "You Are My Destiny" the longtime D.F.A. affiliate seems reinvigorated. Nancy Whang (also of LCD Soundsystem fame) adds some fantastically dry vocals to the nearly 10-minute dance-floor epic. An early favorite for one of the best dance tracks of the year.
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“Now Is Not The Time”
If you were looking for the intersection of Cyndi Lauper and Purity Ring (and, of course, you were), then British electro-pop trio Chvrches occupies that sweet spot perfectly. "Now Is Not the Time" is a beautifully romantic ballad sprinkled with just the right amount of John Hughes-indebted sweetness.
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Young-GalaxyYoung Galaxy — "Fall For You" single
“Fall For You”
With a loping rhythm, island percussion, and a big hook from lead singer Catherine McCandless, the Canadian band taps into island vibes and strikes gold. "Fall for You" reminds us of Graceland-er Paul Simon in the best way possible.
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Pure X — Crawling Up The Stairs
“Things In My Head”
Austin psych-rock trio Pure X has made a big leap forward fidelity-wise with "Things In My Head," but the band's stoner/bummer vibes fortunately remain as strong as ever. Listening to "Things In My Head," you can almost smell the, uhm, incense.
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Jessie-WareJessie Ware — "Imagine It Was Us" single
“Imagine It Was Us”
Last year was great for London songstress Jessie Ware, but she isn't resting on her laurels. "Imagine It Was Us" is a gorgeous new piece of '90s house-inspired pop produced by Julio Bashmore. It's Ware's most club-friendly forray so far, and it shows the singer as equally adept in dance-floor glam as she is with R&B-saturated pop.
Justin-TimberlakeJustin Timberlake — The 20/20 Experience
While we initially had mixed feelings about the somewhat schizophrenic "Suit and Tie," Justin Timberlake's return to the scene hasn't been without its near-perfect singles. "Mirrors" is one them, with its mid-tempo beat and sucrose-saturated hook. While there's nothing flashy going on, JT does big, romantic R&B better than just about anyone. We're glad he's back.
Click here to buy the album.
Mount-KimbieMount Kimbie — "Made To Stray" single
“Made To Stray”
U.K. production duo Mount Kimbie may have been one of the first acts to be labeled "post-dubstep," but with Made Me Stray," Dominic Maker and Kai Campos seem more interested in pop hooks than dark bass rhythms. While the track may be one of the duo's most straightforward to date, it's also one of the most immediately pleasing.
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Grizzly-BearGrizzly Bear — Shields
“Gun Shy (Lindstrøm Remix)”
Who knew Edward Droste could be sing a dance-floor hook with such effortless bravado? In space-disco pioneer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's hands, Shields standout "Gun Shy" becomes an entropic club groove with Droste's quavering voice serving as the only discernible element of the original remaining. If only Lindstrøm would get his hands on Grizzly Bear tracks more often.
Click here to buy the album.
Click through to hear most of these songs in one Spotify player!

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