Having lived in Massachusetts my whole life, I have found that one of the worst symptoms of New England winter is the feeling of restlessness that comes with being packed in by snow and cold. By the time January gives way to February and March, the confined feeling borders on cabin fever, and the need to get out and go hangs over my head. In the spirit of ditching this feeling, I’ve put together a set of songs that go well with road trips, spontaneity, and motion. These tracks transport me to a time that’s warm, free, and full of possibility.
1. “New Old” – Restorations
From the piercing melody of the opening guitar riff to the furiously paced cymbal work, “New Old” is LP2’s most driving track. Restorations is the type of band that looks good in whichever hat they choose to wear, and among a set of dense, sprawling rock songs, “New Old” stands out as a breath of fresh, clean air. Lodged in the second half of a quick, 9-track album, it was the track that first hooked me on the band, and one that I go back to time and time again.
2. “Adrenaline Nightshift” – Japandroids
Japandroids is one of the few bands that have exceeded the hype that I heard about them prior to taking a listen. It’s not my favorite track on Celebration Rock (that would be “The House That Heaven Built”) but thematically, “Adrenaline Nightshift” is the perfect track for this list. The way the snare hits build through the intro as if they’re trying to keep up with the pace of the track gives it an almost frantic feeling, as if the song only has so much time to be born from the speakers. The gang vocals in the chorus just seal the deal on this gem.
3. “Daggers” – Banquets
“Daggers” took a while to really lodge itself in my brain, even as I was playing Banquets’ self-titled album over and over last summer. There’s something about the way the lyrics in the second verse segue into the chorus that feels massive before the song builds to the album’s end. When singer Travis Omilian sings “If I could spread myself through wide open spaces / convince myself my time had never been wasted” the room seems to grow with his voice. This one has strong ties to better weather and open air for me – it’s a sprawling, but concise song that doesn’t get old even after many, many listens.