Music reflects moods. When one must conquer the negative feelings that come with a rainy day, there is a certain breed of morose, slow strumming, hopeful, and introspective songs that do just that.
Different artists go about crafting these types of songs in different ways. Sometimes the artist will isolate an acoustic guitar and rely on slow strums to comfort. Other times bands will rely on effects and unique vocal structures. Either way, it is important to stay dry.
No one is more skilled at creating a perfect rainy-day soundtrack than Frightened Rabbit. Hailing from Scotland, Scott Hutchison records incredibly gloomy and morose melodies. Lyrically, he talks about never measuring up and retreating into a bottle of whiskey to escape. “The Wrestle” has quiet echos in the background. “Keep Yourself Warm” yearns for a blanket. “Not Miserable” features motifs of recovery.
One of my other favorite rainy day bands is Interpol. Interpol is dark. Very dark. The band excels with the lights turned low. The motifs are complicated and conflicting at times. Songs like “Stella was a Diver and She was Always Down,” “Slow Hands,” and “Next Exit” are perfect for these kinds of days.
There are more classically morose artists like The Smiths and Radiohead. These bands are perfect for rainy days in similar ways. Both hail from rainy-olde-England and are quite dynamic. They address their locale quite differently, however. While The Smiths are weak at wimpy (at times), Radiohead creates a perfect storm with their electronic effects.
No rainy day playlist would be complete without a detour into emo. Dashboard Confessional wrote the book on retreating into despair, a common rainy-day reaction, with his earlier material (So Impossible EP and Swiss Army Romance). Jimmy Eat World‘s Clarity is another key album with songs like “Table for Glasses” and “12.23.95.” Other bands, like The xx, Owen, American Football, Sun Kill Moon, and Fionn Regan also fit the bill.
So dry off, grab a blanket and check out the playlist below featuring selections by these bands and others.