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The Dartmouth
May 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Soundtrack to Spring: Music from around campus

Sofia Ortiz ’26 asks students what they have been listening to this term.

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Tulips blossom from beneath the melting snow. Blue jays glide along cerulean skies. The dreary Dartmouth winter has drifted away, despite the occasional late blizzard. The Green transforms into a prime location for lounging and becomes, dare I say, more crowded than Collis Cafe at lunchtime. But what is an impromptu picnic or sun tan session by the river without the perfect soundtrack? Don’t worry — I’ve got you covered with some spring music inspiration from fellow Dartmouth students’ playlists. 

Kara Davis ’26 shared her favorite springtime EP — fittingly titled “Spring EP” — by the indie rock band Wallows, which she recommended listening to while “on a walk down North Park Street.” 

“Spring EP” encapsulates the truly “inexplicable, beautiful and nostalgic” essence of spring at Dartmouth, Davis said, adding that her personal favorite is the track “Let the Sun In.”

For R&B and hip-hop lovers, Melissa Gonzalez ’25 recommended Drake’s album, “More Life.” Gonzalez said she loves listening to the album while she gets ready in the morning because it gets her “pumped before the day starts.” 

To those who romanticize the gloomier days of a slushy, rainy spring, Daisy Dundas ’25 recommended one of her “favorite albums of all time,” Wolfe Alice’s “Visions of a Life.” Dundas described March and early April in Hanover as a muddy transition period between winter and spring. She claimed the album truly captures the bleakness of the season in a “surreal and dreamlike way, while maintaining clarity.”

Dundas also said she appreciated the album’s ability to smoothly mix together multiple complex emotions, from despair to hope. The album does this by perfectly combining its “dark-toned songs” with lyricism that “describes looking forward to and imagining the future,” she explained. 

Dundas added that the album captures the search for a sense of self, which she said many students seem to be reaching for in the spring term. “Don’t Delete the Kisses,” “Planet Hunter,” “Space & Time” and “St. Purple and Green” are among her favorite songs on the album. 

For those sun-soaked sprawls on the Green, Margot Luria ’24 insisted that Zach Bryan is a staple. Although she said she is typically not an “album person,” Luria said she appreciates Zach Bryan’s artistry as a whole. Her top song of the spring, she added, is “Spotless,” featuring The Lumineers — she said the acoustic guitar on the track gives the song a very springtime feel, perfect for lounging outside in the sun or going on a springtime drive. 

“It’s perfect because you’re listening to it anticipating the summer, and I feel like spring and summer at Dartmouth always converge,” Luria said. 

For those quiet, solitary stargazing nights, Sophie Cohen ’26 recommended a trio of songs: Fiona Apple’s “Across the Universe,” Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” and Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet.”

In Cohen’s opinion, these songs — which “will make you feel like you’re working in a fluorescent lit gas station in the middle of the desert at night” — perfectly capture those midnight walks to CVS or Domino’s.  

According to Cohen, the songs are also perfect for sitting on a roof or balcony for some fresh air. Cohen described her first time listening to these songs as similar to “flying away in an alien spaceship and seeing the whole world below.” To Cohen, “that’s what spring time at Dartmouth is all about.” 

Here are some songs I’ve personally enjoyed so far this term. For a starry 2 a.m. walk back from the Tower Room, I recommend finding yourself bewildered by the beauty of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Strange Magic.” 

As a big “woccom” enthusiast, I feel that the music you listen to during your stroll is crucial. For an early morning promenade, I suggest immersing yourself in the serene beauty of Donovan’s “Catch the Wind.” The song’s gentle acoustic guitar is a perfect, soothing tune with which to start your morning, offering you a chance to appreciate the tranquility of Occom Pond while the sun rises. 

For an evening car ride with friends, Empire of the Sun’s mystic and upbeat “Standing on the Shore” is a perfect choice. The pulsating rhythm is truly infectious, and there’s such an underlying sense of adventure to the track. 

When planning the ultimate picnic in Nathan’s Garden, Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” is a must. Its nostalgic essence, along with its calm soothing melody, serves as a perfect backdrop to conversation. 

Whether sitting on the Green or by the river, music is intricately woven into our experiences, acting as a melodic backdrop to the moments — or places — that shape our lives.  Music is such a potent tool to ingrain memories and capture moments with friends; it has the power to evoke emotional responses for years to come. Hopefully this spring, you will create a playlist of memories that, when remembered, will always bring you back to this special time and place.