Spring has finally begun, and its time for some upbeat and easy-listening tracks for a sunny spring afternoon. Enjoy the playlist that starts slow and builds to the hottest single from Kendrick Lamar.
Rivers In Your Mouth - Ben Howard
English singer-songwriter Ben Howard begins this month's playlist with his minimal, lyrically-driven, talent. I was a fan of Ben Howard's first album from 2011, but was unaware that he dropped another in October of last year entitled I Forget Where We Were. This is the latest single from that release that I haven't had time to give a full listen through, but I assure you it has been moved to the top of my to-do list.
Homesick - Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish and the Bottlemen are great indie rock band from Wales that will be on a European festival tour this summer. This song is the first single that was released in 2013 from their debut album, The Balcony, released last year. The song and album are a great listen that are sure to please.
Hold Back the River - James Bay
British singer-songwriter James Bay is a joy to listen to. Fresh off of a Brit Award for Critic's Choice, the student of music has released his debut album, Chaos and the Calm, topping the charts in three countries. This track, Hold Back the River, has gotten the most radio play and is a good taster for the full-length experience. The Album is fantastic, listen to it now.
St Jude - Florence + The Machine
What can I say about Florence Welch? Her voice is stunning. She is without a doubt one of my favorite female vocalists and I am so excited that Her and The Machine are back at it. This is the second single released from an upcoming Florence + The Machine album, the first since 2011. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful will be released this June to much anticipation.
Seasons - Olly Murs
Olly Murs released this single last fall, but I was just exposed to it through the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. Murs, who's fourth album Never Been Better, released in November, was a runner up on the X-Factor. He has been able to pump out lots of top-40 songs in Europe with even a few making it to the US. This song is a nice up tempo track perfect for spring.
Worship - Years & Years
Years & Years is my favorite group right now. Olly Alexander has a high pitched voice that speaks to me. Their first studio album, Communion is going to be released in June. I just hope that there are some songs on it that I haven't heard before. This song, about worshiping a partner and promising to keep a relationship quiet to keep it going, is great. Each song that has been released causes me to fall deeper in love with this group.
Treasured Soul - Michael Calfan
This paired with the previous song bring us into our shorter-than-usual Electronic section of this month's playlist. Michael Calfan, a french DJ and music producer hits hard with a great dance track that I will be listening to all month.
What I did for Love - David Guetta (feat. Emeli Sandé)
This single pulled from David Guetta's most recent album Listen, features beautiful vocals from two-time Brit winner, Emeli Sande. The track has a great beat as is usually provided by David Guetta. Emeli's first solo album, Our Version of Events, was a favorite a couple of years back, and I am excited for her upcoming second album.
Stronger - Clean Bandit
Clean Bandit is on a run, they first gained exposure for their 2010 track, Mozart's House and hit it big in 2014 with Grammy-winning tune, Rather Be. This is the album version of the Song from their 2014 debut, New Eyes featuring vocals from Years & Years front-man Olly Alexander. There is currently a re-released single getting European airplay, featuring two other vocalists Alex Newell and Sean Bass. You can hear that version, which is also great, here.
In the Summer - IAMDYNAMITE
IAMDYNAMITE is somewhat of a local band for me. The indie-rock duo comes from Ann Arbor, Michigan and gained critical exposure for their debut album SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC. The group is back again with this up-tempo spring/summer track from a forthcoming album. The tune is great and sure to be on repeat for a while.
The Seeds You Sow - Prides
This song and group is a recent discovery for me. Prides is a Scottish synthpop band that was formed in 2013 in Glasgow. This song was released over a year ago, but I think fits in well with the overall theme of this month's playlist. The band has released another newer single this month that is currently getting UK airplay and may be headed our way soon. From what I've heard so far, I hope a full-length album won't be far behind.
Street Fight - Smallpools
Four-piece American indie pop band Smallpools had a hit in the US Alternative chart in 2013 with their debut track Dreaming and they released an EP that same year but have been pretty quiet since. Their first full length album dropped on March 23rd and is great. I suggest taking a listen through LOVETAP! as soon as you get a chance, it will be well worth it.
Give Me A Try - The Wombats
I'm featuring a single from The Wombats for the second month in a row for good reason, this one is also great. The solidifies my high-hopes for their upcoming album. Put this on repeat.
Home - Madeon
Madeon is a French house producer who has been composing and performing music since he started on YouTube when he was only 11 years old. His 2012 EP brought fantastic original music along with burgeoning success. In recent years he has produced songs for massive artists like Lady Gaga, Muse, and Ellie Goulding. Now 20, Madeon finally released his first full-length album last week and will be supporting it with a North American tour this summer. Adventure is a great collection of tracks we have heard before and fresh ones sure to blow up.
King Kunta - Kendrick Lamar
There isn't much I can say about this HUGE track from Kendrick's HUGE album To Pimp a Butterfly that hasn't already been said. I considered writing a full review of the Album, which isn't just a collection of singles but a poetic narrative that is the best album of the year so far. Kendrick is already being considered one of the best rappers of his time. I highly suggest reading this review on The Verge that adequately sums up my thoughts on another amazing rap album from 2015.
So those are my picks for April, what are you listening to?
Make sure to follow my on Rdio to keep track of all of my Playlists and musical selections (even the embarrassing ones): http://www.rdio.com/people/jaredweseman.