DC Travel Guide  |  Things to Do

This Is the Perfect Piece of Music to Listen to When You See the Cherry Blossoms

Photograph by Flickr user Alan Kotok.

The throngs of visitors, rumbling tour-bus engines, and clicking of a thousand selfie sticks can really suck the joy out of visiting the Tidal Basin to take in the cherry blossoms. Fortunately, there’s a better soundtrack available: a “symphonette” by the DC band Beauty Pill.

The composition was first released in 2010 when Washington experimental musicians Ryan and Hays Holladay (then working under their Bluebrain mantle) commissioned short tracks from seven other artists for a compilation cassette that was used for a “Cherry Blossom Boombox Walk,” in which participants walked around the Mall and Tidal Basin with boomboxes, blasting the music for anyone in the area to hear.

There are no Boombox Walks scheduled for this weekend, but Beauty Pill frontman Chad Clark is making his contribution available on Soundcloud until summer. (“Seems to feel right,” he tells Washingtonian.) Clark’s song, which clocks in at just under three minutes, eases the listener in for a few seconds as it builds toward a soaring string section.

“…I see no cause to deny the moment of its intrinsic loveliness,” Clark told Washington City Paper when the Boombox Walk cassette was first released. “I’m going Claude Monet. Whatever that means. Sparkly, metallic, glistening, shimmery sounds.”

It’s the perfect music for tuning out the din of the crowd and pretending you have the cherry blossoms to yourself.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.