13 Beats: Stargazing Edition

Spring is here (sort of), and summer is around the corner which means bonfires and late nights outside! This week’s 13 Beats features a combination of songs to accompany those laughs and memories made while stargazing:

“Old Pine” – Ben Howard (2011)

RIYL: Sufjan Stevens, Gregory Alan Isakov, Ed Sheeran

“Old Pine” features dreamy vocals and warm acoustic guitar to bring the song’s pristine and blissful lyrics to life. Ben Howard croons, “We stood happy as the stars in the woods, so happy-hearted, and the warmth rang true inside these bones”, as an ode to the beauty of nature and how much happiness one can get from immersing themselves in it.

 “To the Mountains” – Lizzy McAlpine (2020)

RIYL: Gracie Abrams, Phoebe Bridgers, Maisie Peters

“Oh I’m headed to the mountains, the only place I feel at peace”, sings Lizzy McAlpine in this slow but sweet track about needing to go “to the mountains” to get a fresh start. McAlpine acknowledges that she knows her lover might want to follow her on her new path, but that she needs to be on her own in order to grow.

“Bloom – Bonus Track” – The Paper Kites (2013)

A classic song that trended on TikTok, “Bloom – Bonus Track” combines earthy guitar and intimate lyrics to depict the revealing of feelings. Sam Bentley gently asks his lover, “Can I take you to a moment where the fields are painted gold? And the trees are full with memories of the feelings never told?” solidifying something magical between them.

RIYL: Hollow Coves, Gregory Alan Isakov, Novo Amor

“Catch & Release” – Matt Simons (2015)

“Catch & Release” is a slightly more upbeat track that emphasizes the need to unplug from the pressures of life and find inner peace. Matt Simons croons, “Everybody got their reason, everybody got their way, we’re just catching and releasing what builds up throughout the day,” to illustrate the ebb and flow of the good and bad parts of daily living. 

RIYL: Jack Johnson, JP Cooper, George Ezra

“Big Black Car” – Gregory Alan Isakov (2009)

“You were a phonograph, I was a kid, I sat with an ear close just listening,” sings Gregory Alan Isakov about someone he has loved for a long time. Isakov wants to confess his feelings but realizes the window might be closing, as the sweet and somber guitar emulates his nostalgia.

RIYL: Hollow Coves, Sufjan Stevens, Novo Amor

“Young Blood – Acoustic” – Noah Kahan (2017)

Noah Kahan sings about the importance of keeping your individuality in this youthful, acoustic track. “So keep your time, keep your mind, keep it humble,” warns Kahan as a mantra to not change yourself and succumb to the pressures of adult life.  

RIYL: The Lumineers, Yoke Lore, Caamp

“The Woods – Acoustic” – Hollow Coves (2017)

This track layers acoustic guitar and Ryan Henderson’s airy vocals to create a peaceful ode to the calming and unifying powers of nature. Henderson croons, “And we all sit around the fire and we feel a little warmer now, and we all sit around the fire and we feel so much better now,” to emphasize how healing nights in the woods can be.

RIYL: Gregory Alan Isakov, Sufjan Stevens, The Paper Kites

“swings” – carwash (2020)

carwash provides their listeners with a glimpse into an innocent relationship in this nostalgic-sounding track. Lyrics like “I ate too many Skittles, now my cheeks are aching, but the pain went away when we started kissing,” depict the sweet dynamic between Garrett Seamens and his lover.

RIYL: girl in red, Beach Weather, Strawberry Guy

“Tennessee” – Lizzy LeBleu (2017)

Lizzy LeBleu uses her soft, country tone to bring this song about needing her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee to fall back on. “It’s a crime to forget where you came from when you came from the mountains and the rivers and the cities and the dark magnolia green,” croons LeBleu emphasizing the importance of staying true to your roots.

RIYL: Carly Bannister, James Spaite, Lizzy McAlpine

“Rivers and Roads” – The Head and The Heart (2011)

A popular camp song, “Rivers and Roads” is an ode to friendship and the difficulties of being separated from your tightest bonds. Lyrics like “A year from now we’ll all be gone, all our friends will move away”, will make anyone emotional and susceptible to crying in your friends’ arms.

RIYL: The Lumineers, Vance Joy, Gregory Alan Isakov

“Beige” – Yoke Lore (2017)

“You know you’re beautiful, but that ain’t half the gold treasure in your soul” croons Adrian Galvin about the person he wants to confess all of his love to. The raw and earthy banjo helps emphasize the song’s goal of showing love in a non-cliché way. 

RIYL: Noah Kahan, Caamp, Hollow Coves

“Miles Away Acoustic Edit” – Years Around The Sun (2010)

This acoustic track captures the beauty of thinking about nothing except for the wonders of nature around you. “And our minds were meant to sail, take a rest from our thoughts, take a break from this world” repeats the chorus, letting the listener know that it’s okay to release the stress they’re holding.

RIYL: Yoke Lore, Hollow Coves, Gregory Alan Isakov

“Ribs” – Lorde (2013)

“And I’ve never felt more alone, it feels so scary getting old”, croons Lorde in this nostalgic track about the bittersweet feeling of growing up. Lorde’s ethereal vocals accompany the emotional lyrics about mourning childhood and innocence.

RIYL: Lana Del Ray, Taylor Swift, Tove Lo