You know the phrase: "April showers bring May flowers." Whether you like it or not, April is full of rainy days. While the rain may cancel outdoor plans and make driving a hassle, they are wonderful in evoking a deep, relaxing, and emotional mood. There's nothing better than cozying up on a rainy day with some coffee, a good book, and lots of warm blankets.
Since we're still in the beginning of April, we thought we'd provide you with some tunes to listen to while watching raindrops trail down your windowpane. This isn't your stereotypical rainy day playlist of jazz music or lo-fi beats. We made sure to keep this selection chill and reminiscent of a grey rainy day mood. Here's Live365's picks for 10 rainy day songs!
1. "Dog Days Are Over" - Florence + The Machine
Originally released in 2008, this song was the first big hit of Florence + The Machine's career. This track is best suited for heavy rain, strong winds, and maybe even some thunder. The booming percussion evokes impending storm vibes, while the harp solos are reminiscent of the soft pitter-patter sounds of rain. There's even some water imagery in the lyrics: "With every bubble she sank with a drink / And washed it away down the kitchen sink."
"Dog Days Are Over" is about suddenly finding happiness but being unaware it's actually there. Florence Welch stated most of the sounds on this song came from a Yamaha keyboard. The percussion was simply “hands on the wall while hitting a drum underneath it at the same time."
Welch also told NME in 2010 that the 2008 music video for this song is her favorite. "Because it was our first, but also because of the people involved. I just made it on a whim. We went down to the woods and we only had one camera. I got my dad to put a clown costume on and my friend’s nephew to dress up as the baby clown while we decorated the woods. Dog walkers gave us the weirdest looks. It was really fun."
2. "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" - Death Cab for Cutie
While this song may be about death, it's ultimately a peaceful acoustic tune about the power of love. It's cozy yet melancholic, and perfect for a grey sky day.
This song was an accidental hit for Death Cab for Cutie. It was recorded unexpectedly while the band was having technical difficulties in the studio. Chris Walla, Death Cab for Cutie’s lead guitarist and producer, said the following:
"We were going to track the vocal for another song and there was something screwy happening with the headphone mix. We were having problems, so I said, 'Ben, this is gonna be a few minutes. Take a break.' Ben’s version of taking a break while we addressed the headphone problem was to pick up this Stella guitar that he loves and start playing this song we were planning on recording sometime later during the sessions. He was still coming through the vocal mic as he was playing this, and it was sounding really cool to me, so I went up and said, “Let’s track this real quick,” and we did and that’s what’s on the record. It was a mono recording with no effects. Nothing. I added a little compression and de-essed it a bit. It’s really weird. It’s totally there and it’s happening."
3. "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" - The Smiths
This one's a nice song to accompany an afternoon drizzle. Something about Johnny Marr's guitar melody in this Smiths classic is refreshing, lush, and totally otherworldly.
Released in 1984, "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" is a delicate song about hoping for a better future. It's a relatable track to listen to if you've made a rain check in your plans and feel like there's a personal storm cloud over your head. Morrissey's vocals are both desperate and hopeful. Like a rainy day, this song is gloomy, but also revitalizing.
4. "I Can't Stand the Rain" - Ann Peebles
If you're really not enjoying the rainy day, this song might be a good pick-me-up. “I Can’t Stand the Rain” is a song originally recorded by Ann Peebles in 1973. It was written by Peebles, Don Bryant, and Bernard “Bernie” Miller. While this song is about heartbreak, Peebles got the inspiration for "I Can't Stand the Rain" before she was about to go to a concert. The heavens opened, and she used her disappointment to craft this song.
5. "The Sound of Silence" - Simon & Garfunkel
The iconic opening lyrics of this song, "Hello darkness, my old friend," is enough to evoke the imagery of charcoal storm clouds. While this song may be played more as a meme in recent years rather than a serious track, it's still a legendary ballad from Simon & Garfunkel about the hardships of communicating emotionally.
Paul Simon originally wrote the song for Simon & Garfunkel's debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, but their first single version died and the album was considered a failure. It wasn't until 1965, when the song was remixed with electric guitar and drums from Bob Dylan's studio band, that "The Sound of Silence" became a commercial success.
Not only does this song evoke a cold mood, but it has lyrics about rain as well. In the fourth verse, Simon & Garfunkel sing, "But my words, like silent raindrops, fell / And echoed in the wells of silence."
6. "Overgrown" - James Blake
A staple of both rainy day and snowy weather playlists across the internet, "Overgrown" may not be James Blake's most popular song, but it's certainly his deepest.
Penned on an airplane after talking to Joni Mitchell about permanence as an artist, "Overgrown" has James Blake discussing the perks of consistency. He wants to grow, but does not want easy success that dies out quickly. He doesn't want to be a star, "but a stone on the shore."
This song is great for a day when precipitation is falling from the sky because of its mystical instrumentals. James Blake handled the majority of deep sounds while Ben Assiter was responsible for additional percussion. It's a song that will make you want to watch your garden plants bathe in the rain, then wonder how long it will take before they're overgrown, too.
7. "Featherstone" - The Paper Kites
An underrated song from a very unknown band, "Featherstone" by The Paper Kites is a pleasant rainy day tune to listen to if you're close to the woods. With plucky guitar riffs reminiscent of falling rain and echoey vocals, it's upbeat, entrancing, and sad all at once.
This song is from the band's Woodland EP and is about trying to feel fine despite unrequited love. The music video is particularly memorable. It features a bunch of woodland children - similar to the "Lost Boys" from Peter Pan - engaging in a huge pillow fight.
8. "Skinny Love" - Bon Iver
Any Bon Iver song would fit nicely on this list, but we decided to go with "Skinny Love" from their 2008 album For Emma, Forever Ago. It's a folksy acoustic song about a malnourished relationship. Produced by Justin Vernon, the song was certified Platinum by the RIAA on December 12, 2019.
Many believe this song is about Vernon's former partner, but he's stated it's actually about the flaws of being in a relationship because you "need" to be in one. Whatever your interpretation of this emotional song, it's sure to put you in a mellow, raincloud mood.
9. "What Kind of Love" - Childish Gambino
Not many Childish Gambino fans know about this song he dropped in 2014, only four months after the release of his groundbreaking album Because the Internet. "What Kind of Love" sees Donald Glover heartbroken, wondering what kind of love doesn't eventually cause pain in the end. It's surprisingly slow and gentle for the famous rapper, and a good song to listen to while chilling under your bed covers.
According to Glover, "What Kind of Love" was uploaded to SoundCloud for free because the song was previously being sold on iTunes without his permission. Some fans speculate the track was cut from Because the Internet, as the song’s haunting guitar riffs strongly resemble the album’s 14th track, “Flight of the Navigator.”
10. "Singin' in the Rain" - Gene Kelly
Of course, we had to end this list with a rainy day classic. Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain," from the golden oldie musical of the same name, is a quintessential song to belt while you're splashing through puddles and swinging around light posts. It'll give you a "glorious feeling" and make you happy again!
The song was originally written in 1929 with lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown. The film Singin' in the Rain from 1952 was "suggested" by the song. Since Gene Kelly's iconic performance in the film, the song has been covered by numerous artists and is ranked third in the American Film Institute's "100 Songs...100 Years" list. If you get the time, make sure to watch the movie while enjoying your next rainy day!
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