“Do you realize,” Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1 by the Flaming Lips
After what has been the coldest winter in 50 years, if you want spring to hit you in your face like an acid trip in the Mojave Desert after biting into a cactus out of desperation, you should start with the Flaming Lips. The entire Yoshimi
album is a trip and a half, but this combination of songs should give you a good first taste. Also check out their live performance with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at the Hollywood Cemetery in front of Hitchcock’s tombstone for the best morning feels ever. Finally, search “Do You Realize” by Stanley Colours on the Internet. Thank me with the tears in your eyes. Congratulations; you haven’t frozen to death. You’ve made it back to us alive.
“Electric Love” by BØRNS
This has been my winter ending jam, and the bane of all that is cold in my existence. The song is both, as its name suggests, electric and love. If you’re not dazzling (and weirding out) pedestrians with an electric grin while this blasts on your headphones, you’re doing spring wrong. Send the YouTube link to the person you fancy and see the magic work. Bonus: try everything on this Michigan born elf’s debut studio effort Dopamine
, then check out the acoustic version of Electric Love with the beautiful Zella Day, then check out the After Dark Sessions. Obsess; now you’re doing it right.
“Jhoriye Dao” by Shunno ft Fuad Almuqtadir
This is Ground Control to Major Tom: Mission Control says we have to come back down now. To wean you off the, ahem, spring in your step, while maintaining the spring fever, aka new love, here’s the most beautiful chorus line I’ve heard in some time. Shunno does get a lot of flak from the more cerebral musicians of our era for being ever so formulaic, but it does not take away their innate ability to write a hook, and to catch the flutter of the hearts of the adolescent waiting to fall in love every February. Being produced by the most able hands of Fuad, there is no doubt about the mainstream appeal of this song; yet, it crosses over to even the cynics and has them humming, like bees lazing in the springtime sun.
“The Pink Song” by Petty Never Grew
I tell you, man; if you’re looking to fall in love this spring, get on your early morning commute, and then once you’re settled in, plug this song into your ears. The first single of this little known Dhaka based outfit is one that will make you pull out your phone and write “Sup” to that person who’s got you all head over heels, and you haven’t yet figured out how to start a conversation. By the time you’ve reached your destination, you’ve probably played the song thrice on loop, flustered by both the song and her lack of replies. This song is butterflies in the pit of your stomach, the softness of the sun, and your goosepimples from the early spring wind’s cold bite. Simplistically written, atmospherically driven, it is rare to see such maturity in a young band’s songwriting. Plus, girls, the band’s full of pretty boys, too! Time for you to scream for posters and make a new pop sensation!
“I’d Rather Dance With You” by Kings of Convenience
I think we’ve had enough of that calm and sweet melancholia. Let’s try and shake it a little; it’s springtime, after all! This is a 90s kids classic, when we were veering away from the heavy vibes of nu metal, and searching the weekly Billboard Top Charts for something more relatable to our hormones settling in, when spring came a little early and the curves and sways and smiles and sashays were all the charm. Kings (not to be mistaken for the All American Leon kind) are an indie-folk-pop duo from Bergen, Norway, and have a way of combining the indie sound of the acoustic guitar and piano with a catchy beat and hook, something that has paved the way for the alternative trendy sound of 2017. Catch the sound at its roots, make way for the spring boys and girls to orchestrate their courtship dances to the beats of this one in your ears while you watch from your park bench. Enjoy your sandwich.
“Astronaut (Something About Your Love)” by Mansionair
We have to keep the beat going. This song was released in October 2017, and has received quite a lot of indie cred for Mansionair to get a lot of festival slots this coming season. The simplistic lyrics expected from a pop EDM song of the time speak of getting out, leaving this town in search of that something, that might be your love. The break in the song is an electric scat, which makes your heart pound despite the chill feeling that is overwhelming in the song. I guess that’s what makes spring. The winter is thawing out, and these new feeling are erupting through the cracks like a new flowering plant looking at the late winter sun for the first time. Oh darlings, the things that music does to you!
“Rongin Feresta” by Meghdol
I cannot properly express how frustrated I get over how seldom Meghdol gets credited for their contribution to this scene. A combination of sheer poesy and wonderful taste and ability in both writing and performing music, they represent the other side of Dhaka’s scene: the hidden yet burgeoning Dhaka University based acts that push the envelope of music that represent our city in a more honest, middle class approach. “Rongin Feresta” is a song that defines spring in this city for me; a picture of clearing skies, the drunken stars laughing with the night sky at the mere mortals so melodramatic over the shifting of a planet on its axis, gaping at how wondrous the world can be sometimes. Maybe stop looking at your phone so much!
“Pathorer Arale Phool” by Indalo
Forget the spring sunshine; I’d love to invite you out on a midnight walk in Minto Road one of these days. There’s no better place than that stretch of road in this city to see how the weather changes, and also, to maybe to fall in love. Winter is slowly leaving this city, and the trees seem to be awakening from their deciduous slumber, and it’s always a little more magical here in the springtime. They might even catch us stealing a kiss if this song plays.
“Take Me” by Miso
Continuing with the quieter half of this playlist, I love how Nujabes chill-hop production meets unashamed pop aesthetics on this track, and it has been a constant companion on my regular playlist at the fag end of this year’s winter. Kim Miso is a notable Korean producer and collaborator, brought up in England in her earlier years; I am highly attracted at the mysterious aura she insists surrounding her promotions, with no EPs or interviews at all. The song is a wonderful, though slightly banal, description of all the different aspects on the cusp of a relationship. The loops, though, are what you’re here for, and Miso’s bewitching voice.
Do check the music video out as well; you’ll be doing your springtime a favour.
“Free, Dumb Kid” by Sparky Fluff
Mostly because that’s what we all are; free, dumb kids, living in a melancholic city, suspended in ennui, adventuring only because it’s trending. Springtime is the time for kids to get out, get lost, sometimes in the Great Outdoors, sometimes in each others’ arms. Yet, times have changed, and Sparky is an artist for the changing times. Lo-fi indie best defines his/her genre. Another artist based in Dhaka, Sparky Fluff is prolific, and has tons of material on YouTube (singles, jams, EPs, live albums, studio albums, including a very recent alternative rap album called “Enar Ki?”), and is not for everyone’s taste. Yet, to spring is not always to jump. I end my list with Sparky Fluff because it is the future, and one must look ahead at 2018 and hope that it’s not as bleak as all that we don’t desire. Have a good one.
Erstwhile known as Rushnaf Wadud, [R, the Mothership], after a decade in the Indian print media jungle as a freelancer, returned to Bangladesh to work as a creator of programs and content, and a curator of music for Radio Shadhin 92.4 FM for the past six years. He now serves as a curator and producer for his own underground liberal arts-music-entertainment label, the Mothership, and also as a proprieter of bookstore Hooked on Books. R has served as a singer/instrumentalist/songwriter for a plethora of independent acts such as Blunderware, Stitch, Rushnaf and the Hiuen Tsang, Fairooz Nazifa and the Twisted Tangents, and Pieket.
R is also a seldom published poet, writer, and a connoisseur of walks, and his personal thought and music curation and blog can be found at fb/rthemothershipcurations