Instead of lamenting your soggy existence during these rainy spring days, or expending precious energy loathing the faulty button of your purse-sized umbrella, why not allow yourself a few moments of introspection?
Rain has an inherent dreariness that is an ideal backdrop for critical personal reflection. Regardless of whether you’re pressed up against a foggy bus window, sipping coffee in a downtown apartment, or squinting under the fluorescent lights of an office: “bad” weather lends to pensiveness.
Let me suggest some tracks that have been crucial in my times of introspection, sometimes leading toward self-revelation.
1. “Amsterdam” – George Alan Isakov
Featured on Isakov’s most recent album, The Weatherman, “Amsterdam” is characteristically moody. The periodic refrain of the piano fittingly compliments the lulling sway of his vocals, in consonance with the drum and repetitive guitar work. Play this track while on a train, hands warmed by a cup of coffee, transfixed on the passing picturesque scenery.
Imagine a heavy fog rolling into a lonely cabin in the woods, sparked by the stray embers of a corn cob pipe. The simplicity and perfection of “Fever Dream” is a hallmark of Iron and Wine’s 2004 album, Our Endless Numbered Days. While the instrumentation and vocals are stunning, there are several lyrical gems that stand out which have yet to leave my mind. Listen to this track while closing your eyes.
In their 2013 debut album, Open Season, the High Highs step away from their characteristic sunshine lo-fi vibe to a more stripped down, nostalgic piece in “Pines.” As an emerging band, they have yet to receive major recognition, however I was shocked to hear another song off of their album, “Open Season,” in Pitch Perfect. Still confused about that one. Play this track while walking down a busy downtown sidewalk.
4. “Place To Be” – Nick Drake
This is a Nick Drake song. So there. No other explanation needed. Listen to this song while steeping green tea in your favorite mug, sitting on your living room sofa.
This track is a sweet departure for Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, as he is usually characterized by his melancholy, dark, and eccentric (but totally amazing) style. The song’s simple riffs carry Oberst’s voice, and evaporate into lightness. The lyrics and overall mood of “First Day of My Life” is a perfect ending to this brief playlist, as its introspectiveness seems to lead toward a warmth and hope. This is especially true if you have ever watched its music video – you have no excuse since the link is just a click away. Play this track while sitting next to someone you love.
Flickr photo (cc)by Hirni Pathak