30 Songs For Mellowing Out On Rainy Days
Rainy day got you down? That's the thing about rain -- it's beautiful, and it's soothing, but sometimes it makes you feel a little heavy. We can't bear the thought of our favorite music mermaids sitting at home wistfully staring out the window at gloomy skies, weighed down with all the melodrama that rainy days can inspire (we're guilty of it too), but we know you'll do it anyway, so we figured we'd at least give you a soundtrack to play in the background.
We focused mostly on the feeling of watching rain fall -- the melancholy and the mellow. From sparse acoustics to grand string-based arrangements, from Ella and Louis to Oliver Riot, we've covered the bases. Read on to learn why we carefully chose each song or just scroll to the bottom to get right into this 30 song playlist.
1. "Hitchhiker" by Hope Waidley ft. Max Knoth: Soft and dreamy, this song might just lull you to sleep, but try to stay awake long enough to hear the gentle acoustic guitar lead the track along with laidback vocals (plus moments of sweet harmony). It's a bare-bones piece, not much to it, but it's heavenly in its stripped-down treatment.
2. "I'm On Fire" by Bob Mervak: This cover of a Bruce Springsteen classic is a real heartbreaker. The piano is so tender, shyly beating throughout the track, but the vocals echo and ache with a palpable pain. There are moments here where you can feel the pang of Mervak's talent, vast and profound in both its earnestness and general sonic prowess.
3. "Lose" by Hannah Gill: Sultry and soulful, this track is a spellbinding effort from a vocal powerhouse. There are parts that move at a sexy slow crawl but other parts that bloom with howling intensity, and the horn sections offer tons of woozy flavor.
4. "Carolina" by Paper Compass: Built entirely on an acoustic arrangement, this track combines layers of complex guitar rhythms with breathy vocals that resound hypnotically. If you listen carefully, you can hear fuzzy waves of bass tones beneath the warbling trill of the acoustic and soft vocal delivery.
5. "Without You" by Ocie Elliott: This Canadian duo combine their mass talents to create a tender slow-burn. The harmony is a soothing opiate threatening to lull you to sleep and the plinking of keys and vibrating strums offers the same effect.
6. "Ludlow" by Anthony D'Amato: Tender and weighty with emotion, this track is awash in sparkling acoustic, trilling distortion, and emphatic vocal delivery as D'Amato achingly sings heart-heavy lines like "I've been a stranger in my own damn home."
7. "Spark" by Violents with Monica Martin: A grandiose orchestral arrangement opens this track before standing down for an emotive piano line and Martin's one-of-a-kind voice, holding every emotion under the sun in her croon. Soon, the buzz of strings rolls in once again, swelling behind the vocals.
8. "About Last Night" by Shlomo Franklin: Led by Franklin's distinctive voice -- gritty and gravelly -- this track is a gorgeous melodic piece built on a wavy acoustic guitar line and made all the more moving by a subtle string accompaniment and moments of dark folk tones.
9. "Oh These Eyes" by B.R. Lively: Robust acoustic starts off this track before the vibrato of bass joins in, but it's not until we hear Lively's resigned, husky vocals that we feel the full effect of the track's thundering emotion, a crawling arrangement heavy with the weight of love.
10. "Burning Flame" by The Franklin Electric: This song opens with the intense rasp of the lead vocals (which evoke so much feeling and sheer talent throughout the piece) aching above thick pulses of percussion and distant synth warbling in the background. It's got killer hook appeal, but god is it heavy.
11. "Greater Charlotte" by Michael Flynn: The rapid-fire plink of piano, desperate and unrelenting, opens this one before Flynn's gorgeously steady but slightly breathy voice comes in aching, singing gut-punch lines one after the other, a testament to his effortless knack for songwriting.
12. "Grace" by Racoon Racoon: French duo Racoon Racoon kick the track off immediately with their mesmeric harmonies before a sparse arrangement of twangy string trills and soft piano notes join in, only to bloom into a gorgeous orchestral composition.
13. "in the morning (demo)" by Rotana: On this tender love song, Rotana nixes fancy production in favor for a stripped-down delivery. Her voice is a stunningly emotive wisp singing "you're the storm that I choose" atop bittersweet acoustic rhythms that grow in urgency then slow down again, a constant back-and-forth to mimic the vocals.
14. "Apparition" by Blue Americans: Moody and dreamy, this track pulses with percussive slaps before the arrangement becomes layered with guitar and deep bass and distant synth crackles, all while the vocals change from airy to assertive.
15. "Slippery" by Human Heat: This song has a heartbeat. It pulses along at a slow crawl, deep blooms of percussion buried far beneath an acoustic line and piano sparkles. There's a quiet pressure here, swelling with heavy multi-instrumentation, and the vocals waver slightly but offer a confident, if not slightly desperate, delivery.
16. "Push" by Fog Lake: Tender and emotive, this lo-fi track crawls amid a haze of shimmering percussion, punchy keys, and smoky melody. The vocals are almost lost beneath the arrangement, but they come up for air in moments of foggy crooning.
17. "Something" by CYN: Singer-songwriter CYN's song from a few years ago was recorded on an iPhone, her fantastically silky voice moving with a sultry languidness among smacks of drum pad beats and zesty blooms of keys. It's mouthwatering, an agonizing (in the best possible way) soul lullaby.
18. "Alcatraz" by Oliver Riot: Starting off with twangy acoustic strums above low pulsing percussion, this track features impossibly smooth vocals remaining steady above an increasingly intense arrangement of dazzling percussive shimmers, urgent thumps, sparkling keys, and eerie background noise.
19. "Mon Chéri" by Lizzy LeBleu: On this track, singer-songwriter Lizzy LeBleu's buttery breath-of-fresh-air vocals sing sweetly over warm acoustic rhythms and the boom of bubbling melody, a faint little springtime tune.
20. "No Pressure" by Dana Williams: This song is led by Williams' vintage drawl, candied with a captivating twang. The arrangement is sparse, a rhythmic guitar line subtle beneath the vocals, but you get more than enough flavor here with wispy vocal echoes.
21. "Til The Morning" by Bahamas: Off his debut album, this mellow acoustic tune from folk artist Bahamas is a fleeting example of sweet subtle melody, insistent strums, and beautifully bittersweet vocal delivery.
22. "April In Paris" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: Nobody did rainy day music like Ella and Louis. With her velvet vocals and his raspy and sibilant croon, they crafted a decadent jazz-lounge track awash in a dreamy, nearly soporific arrangement.
23. "Green Mountain State" by Trevor Hall: This track opens with a pretty acoustic line rolling among a booming, thumping percussive arrangement before Hall's slightly husky vocals come in quick, weaving gently between those robust folk layers.
24. "Vulnerable" by Sarah Jaffe: Jaffe kicks this one off with her rounded vocals, with the slight hint of an ache, above pulses of percussion and rhythmic guitar that gets lost in the crescendo of multi-instrumentation. It's an emotional, sleepy piece with some of Jaffe's best songwriting and vocals.
25. "Hard To Find" by The National: Known to be a heartbreaker band, The National don't disappoint with this dreary track built on piano blooms and melancholy melodies at war with despondent vocals. The song continues in this manner, just cruising along with emotional instrumentation that only serves to exacerbate its heaviness during the outro.
26. "So Good At Being In Trouble" by Unknown Mortal Orchestra: A marvelously groovy alt track, this one is a soulful crooner but it's draped in a smart haze of subtle psychedelic rhythm lines and woozy melodies.
27. "Chaos and Clothes" by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: One of the most unbearably heartbreaking songwriters of our time, Jason Isbell does his usual soul-stripping on this one. Quick acoustic strums lead the arrangement as Isbell tenderly dismantles the mechanics of love and loss with poetic lines like "lovers leave chaos and clothes / more debris than you can sort through in one go."
28. "Sideshow Tornado" by Bob Schneider ft. Mitch Watkins: Released nearly two decades ago, this stirring ballad has all we love about Schneider. His pained vocals bravely confess poignant, clever lyrics while the buzz of acoustic trills beneath, a sparse but heartfelt arrangement.
29. "How Are Things, Love?" by Butch Walker: This dreamy track finds Walker's voice at a soft purr, floundering beneath bursts of punchy keys and woozy 60s-inspired soundscapes, ready to destroy with this tragic confession (and apology, probably): "Of all the weight on my chest / The one thing I never did best was love you."
30. "Careless Love" by Snooks Eaglin: Legendary New Orleans guitarist Snooks Eaglin's twangy folk tune features his complex finger-picking guitar rhythms and bluesy vocals offering a sweet love song wrapped in fuzzy production.