☆Spring Playlist☆

text by digital-media

17 April, 2024

Spring has sprung in Isla Vista! The sun is out and Santa Barbara’s students are taking on their final quarter of the 2023-2024 school year. This April, KCSB’s Excomm put together a track list of songs to accompany our students and community members this spring. Whether you’re exploring the bluffs, biking to class, or laying out in the sun, KCSB curated the perfect playlist for you!


  • “Anywhere” by Yoshiaki Ochi

Ochi is a percussionist and composer who uses natural sounds in his songs including water, wood, and stone as instruments. You can hear a woody, marimba-like instrument in this song accompanied by bird sounds! This song is so lovely and makes me want to go outside.

  • “Can I Trust The Flowers” by Jonnine

A melancholic, minimal track for the warm spring nights spent walking. Jonnine sings, “Can I trust the flowers / they are only here for the springtime.” In Spring, everything is warm and newly beautiful, but the blooms soon shrivel or turn into fruit and the heat only increases. The beauty of Spring lies in its change and uncertainty.

  • “Momfie Has to Pay” by Tomaga

The layered percussion that subtly shifts throughout this song is so beautiful, it feels very lush and green. A perfect song for a warm spring day.

  • “Fleur Tropical” by Francis Beybey

Francis Beybey was a Cameroonian musicologist, novelist, composer, and broadcaster who lived in France throughout his musical career. This song is off of a compilation album called African Electronic Music 1975-1982, which was released over a decade after his passing by Born Bad Records. His style uniquely combines synths, drum machines, traditional African instruments, and distorted guitar. He uses French, English, and Duala lyrics. This album is incredible, though I chose this song because it’s particularly lush and beautiful. It’s a fantastic song for Spring in an oceanside town like Isla Vista!

  • “A New Living Being Opens its Eyes For the First Time” by Dylan Henner

Dylan Henner produced the album You Will Always Be after a period of reflection on life that came after the passing of his grandparents and, shortly after, the birth of his daughter. Each track on this album is a carefully crafted, minimal electronic soundscape titled by different stages in the cycle of human life. In this song, long breadths of sound are interlaced with the sound of people talking and laughing. About halfway through the track, an angelic choir comes in with a glitchy beat and an ever changing, melodic synth. The sounds on this album are beautifully moving and intertwine growth and decay.


  • “Out on the Weekend” by Neil Young

Nothing says spring to me like some mellow folk, and nobody does that better than Neil Young. I really love the nostalgic lyrics of this song. In particular, the first lyric, “I think I’ll pack it in and buy a pick up/take it down to LA,” has been reminding me of the fact that the school year is winding down and that it will soon be time to pack it in. 

  • “Shane” by Liz Phair

This song begins with a half-time drum beat which prominently features the ride cymbal hitting on every quarter note. Throughout the song, the drummer maintains this beat, which creates a sonic base-layer reminiscent of waves crashing on the beach. The electric and slightly fuzzed-out guitar comes in relatively early on in the song with a super cool riff which reminds me of a feeling of indecisiveness. Liz Phair’s voice is low throughout the tune, and she employs the vocal technique of speak-singing. I’m not sure why this song seems right for spring, but I have been obsessed with it lately. 

  • “Sorrow” by David Bowie

Although this song is named “Sorrow,” the instrumentals are distinctly hopeful. This song has an amazing saxophone solo, which is played by Bowie himself. A nice detail in the instrumentation that I really love is the delay/reverb effect that’s put on the piano- it’s not often those effects are applied to a piano. There’s nothing in the lyrics about spring specifically, but this song is sure to put a pep in your step as you walk around a city like New York on a spring day. 

  • “Accidente” by Las Ligas Menores

This song starts in the middle of a story- “and all of the sudden, an accident” Sometimes, Spring feels like that, like things suddenly change- the sun sets later, the air is warmer and full of pollen, and the people happier. In this song, the singer talks about wanting to go outside to enjoy the sun but being stuck inside. Often when I get stuck at the library or in classes and meetings all day and look outside at the sunny spring possibilities, I feel the same way. 

  • “Loungin’” by Guru, Donald Byrd

This song doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with spring, but I’ve been listening to this album so much. This song is incredibly mellow, while also pushing forward ceaselessly in its lyrics. I love the saxophone lines scattered throughout. I would recommend listening to this song as you get ready to go out on the weekend. 


  • “aisatsana [102]” by Aphex Twin

One of my favorite things about ambient music is the ability to sample smaller, unique sounds from everyday life and build an atmosphere around it. In “aisatsana [102]” the track is built around the recordings of the wind and birds chirping, while the sound of a gentle piano dances around it. Aphex Twin’s music catalog spans a variety of different sounding music but it’s the use of these field recordings that make this song a favorite springtime listen of mine.

  • “Pusher” by Joanne Robertson, Dean Blunt

The combination of Joanne Robertson’s voice and stripped down guitar playing come together to form such a pleasant and joyful experience. Along with Dean Blunt’s production, this is a track you can comfortably get lost to while listening. 

  • “All The Time” by Acetone

 It feels strange placing a band known for slow, lethargic rock in a spring playlist, but one listen to Acetone and your day will become substantially better. “All the Time” is a warm, even danceable song that plays out like the rays of sunlight gently laying upon your skin.

  • “Ants To You, Gods To Who ?” by Andre 3000

 The music world was all equally confused when news broke that legendary hip hop musician Andre 3000’s new album would be an instrumental, flute based record. New Blue Sun is a really creative and personal step into instrumental/ambient work from 3000 and with the minimalist approach to song structure we hear in “Ants To You, Gods To Who ?”, it also encapsulates the feelings of spring.

  • “piece of wick alight in a pine” by Soulwhirlingsomewhere

 “piece of wick alight in a pine” by Soulwhirlingsomewhere is a slow, hazy track with both haunting and soothing voice of  Michael Plaster. Somehow despite the melancholy and emotion, the song gets rid of all anxiety and stress as you are able to float along.


  • “Flowers on the Wall” by Nancy Sinatra

Spring is all about new beginnings, growth, and (finally) sunshine. Although it’s currently raining while I write this, I can always count on Nancy Sinatra’s cover of “Flowers on the Wall” to give me the energy to go out there and get it done, whatever “it” looks like! The song is all about marching to the beat of your own drum – the hard part is finding out what that rhythm looks like.

    • “I’m Movin’ On” by Les Paul and Mary Ford

    The steady guitar strumming and bass line feels like a train chugging straight to its destination, and nothing can stop it from getting there. I love the layers to this song; the backing is made up of only different guitars that sound so cohesive, and Mary Ford’s harmonizing with herself really emphasizes the idea of independence and going your own way.


    • “Cupid De Locke” by The Smashing Pumpkins

    This Is A Song About Frolicking. 


    Part 1: Yearning for a Spring Fling. Daydreaming about the cutie across your dorm hall. It hurts to know they don’t like you back, but oh how sweet it would be to be in their arms.

    • “Tibet” by Rose McDowall

    Part 2: The bitter realization that you can’t have that person. They don’t realize how much you care and how bad you want to be next to them. You can’t make them stay. The spring air does nothing for you – even the blooming flowers seem to bleed to cry.

    • “Hunnybee” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

    The city, the weather, the whole world is weird and changing too fast. In the midst of it all, there’s No Such Thing as Sweeter a Sting from your Hunnybee. 

    • “Everybody Wants to Love You” by Japanese Breakfast

    The days are brighter when you get to wake up next to the person you love most. How wonderful and surreal it is that you found each other and how lucky you are to be loved.

    • “Choking on Flowers” by Fox Academy

    A hazy picture of warm days, growing up together, and being closer to each other than anybody else in the world


    • “Tsuki no Koibumi” by c418, Laura shigihara

    It’s a song about the mythic tragedy of the Moon being in love with the Sun although truth be told I never paid much attention to the lyrics until now because I just enjoyed how the song felt to me. It’s got all the whimsy you’d expect from a C418 song and in equal parts the nostalgia. The sweet and gentle instrumental just makes you want to go on a walk while the air’s crisp and the sun’s bright. 

    • “Wonderland” by genki rockets

    Genki Rockets!!! In 17 years this song will be released. I just love how uncomplicatedly sweet and girlishly fun Genki rockets is in general. Just makes you feel young(er) again.

    • “The Trees Are Alive” by Michael Melvin

    A quieter, sadder song than the ones I’ve chosen previously and one I wanted to include because I have paid closer attention to the lyrics and how they tie into the feeling of spring in general. Spring’s about new beginnings but it can also be about the banality and tragedy of cyclical nature. Or planting yourself down so that even when the seasons change, the impression of you still remains. I don’t know but it makes you think huh.

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