#MusicMonday Welcomes Back Spring

Ah, spring is in the air in State College. That means you’ll probably be breaking out the spring playlists to relax outside to. But it’s nice to add a few tunes to the list of spring hits each year, and we’re here to help. Here are some new jams to add to your list, as well as a few older ones you might not have considered before. This week’s selections are brought to you by Matthew D’Ippolito (who’s in here twice), Alex Robinson, Sam Cooper, Dan Vecellio and David Morar.

The Ting Tings – “Soul Killing”

“Sounds from Nowheresville,” the followup to the Ting Tings’ 2008 debut, dropped a few weeks ago before the start of March, just in time for spring. And while this album doesn’t have any hits that will be as memorable as “That’s Not My Name” or “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” it is chock full of the kind of fun, easy songs that are perfect for the spring weather. “Soul Killings” has a sweet ska beat and vocals from Katie White that sound pop one moment and layered and chant-like the next. It’s definitely the kind of sound that’ll put you in the mood for chillin’ in the sun.

Chiddy Bang – “Handclaps and Guitars”

The Philly-based alternative hip hop duo consisting of Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin dropped new album “Breakfast” about a month ago. The album shows once again that Chiddy Bang knows how to have a good time, and no other song on the album (except, perhaps, its popular single “Ray Charles“) exemplifies that attitude as the carefree, party-praising song “Handclaps and Guitars.”

Otis Redding – “Try a Little Tenderness”

This track by Otis Redding is a classic. Most people know it from the Kanye/Jay-Z song “Otis“, but this 46-year old song was a hit single when it was first released. While ‘Ye and Jay might be the more popular artists today, it’s nice to take a step back every once in awhile and listen to the old school jams. Plus it was produced by Chef from South Park, so that’s gotta count for something, right?

The Shins – “Simple Song”

It’s been a while since we’ve last heard from the Shins. In fact, it was over five years ago when James Mercer and company released their last album, “Wincing the Night Away,” and even longer since they changed your life. Since then, the band left Sub Pop Records and Mercer teamed up with Danger Mouse to release an album as Broken Bells. The Shins are finally back and will release their new album, “Port of Morrow,” on Tuesday. This time around, Mercer has a new backing band but they don’t miss a beat. “Simple Song” was the first single from “Port of Morrow” and was recently performed by the band on SNL. Enjoy!

Justin Timberlake – “Summer Love”

The hit single from Timberlake’s 2006 album “FutureSex/LoveSongs” is a great song to celebrate the early spring weather that has settled over State College. It’s been feeling like summer lately, the type of weather that puts many in the mood for their own summer love. So sit back and enjoy the smooth, medium-tempo bass groove and lustfully longing vocals.

Italian Secret Service – “Bla Bla Bla”

We here at Onward State have a very wide range of musical tastes, and we’ve been everywhere from mainstream to indie. But so far in our Music Monday ventures, we’ve skipped nu-jazz. While jazz may not be very popular with the college crowd, nu-jazz has the needed funkiness to make you feel just enough of a hipster, without having to do too much work. In honor of one of the most important names in jazz, Wynton Marsalis, playing Eisenhower Auditorium this past Friday, our last suggestion this week comes from Italian Secret Service. With several fresh beats, classic and contemporary jazz instruments and some cool lyrics (bonus points for the Australian lady providing the bla-bla-bla throughout the song), Bla Bla Bla, off of their 2001 album “ID Super,” is a great upbeat track to get you motivated for the rest of the week. Its eclectic character sets nu-jazz appart and should definitely earn it at least a try from those that are on the fence about it.

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