Let’s face it: nobody likes the rain, especially in the Philippines where floods have become a perennial problem for everyone. But for some reason, listening to the sound of the falling rain is one of the most relaxing things in the world. And the best way to enjoy it is with great music.
Today, we count down 10 of the coolest songs we strongly feel you should include in your rainy season playlist. We have limited our selections to tracks that were originally recorded or written by the featured artists themselves as we believe cover versions of songs deserve a list of their own.
10 FIREWOMAN (Hungry Young Poets)
Kicking off our list is this classic hit from HYP. For those who are probably unaware, this is the band that launched Barbie Almalbis into the mainstream OPM industry. The song was released as one of the the pop trio’s singles from their lone album back in 1997. Listen to “Firewoman” and you will understand why the ‘90s is considered as one of the best decades in contemporary Flipino music history.
9 HEAL (Tom Odell)
There must be a reason why the word ‘rain’ rhymes perfectly with ‘pain.’ It reminds us of every melancholic thought drawn straight from our very own experiences which, of course, are not always good. But try to play this song by Tom Odell and you might have a balm for all those painful memories of loss and heartbreak that the gloomy weather probably reminds you of.
8 NIGHT SO LONG (Haim)
Three equally talented and gorgeous sisters out of Los Angeles decided to make music together. This is the story of Haim, one of the hottest rock groups in the US right now. “Night So Long” is a gentle song that wraps up their chart-topping sophomore record “Something to Tell You.” Lyrically, it’s sad; talk about saying goodbye to the love you once had. But you know, time heals all wounds, or so the cliché goes.
7 MORNING (Beck)
Beck is that uber-brilliant artist whose music cannot be bound by genres. His vast discography offers a fair amount of acoustic ballads and this song is one of them. Its words tell the story of a couple who is looking forward to a fresh start after a bitter fight. This track can be found in his 12th record “Morning Phase,” which won him three trophies at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
6 I FEEL LIKE GOING HOME (Yo La Tengo)
With great amounts of rain come terrible traffic jams. And for these situations, we turn to this song by the indie rock trio from Hoboken, New Jersey. If you’re a commuter who couldn’t get a ride home and was forced by the floods to navigate the roads by foot, we hope listening to this track can help keep you calm. “I Feel Like Going Home” is that kind of simple song that is way too cool to ignore.
5 RIDERS ON THE STORM (The Doors)
And if we’re going to talk about flooded streets due to bad urban planning as common consequence of a heavy downpour, then we need to dedicate a spot for this song in our list. “Riders on the Storm” is said to be the final song that legendary rock star Jim Morrison recorded before his death. Read between the lines of it and you might find yourself coming to the same conclusion as ours that it’s about the painful realities humans are forced to deal with because of the things they can’t control—be it storm or other people’s actions.
4 ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD WILL CLAP THEIR HANDS (Sufjan Stevens)
It would be unfair to associate the rain with just floods and everything that makes us sad. Truth is, rainclouds bring water to arid lands, water is life, and life is joy. If you’re the kind of person who would rather follow this positive train of thought, then this opening track from Sufjan Stevens’ 2004 album “Seven Swans” suits you well. This record is replete with Christian themes without sounding too preachy. Fans have concluded that the title of the song references a Bible verse, which celebrates the powerful creations of God as reflected in nature.
3 BETH/REST (Bon Iver)
If there is one guy who could perhaps calm a violent weather just by the sound of his voice, it would probably be Justin Vernon. He is the creative force behind this American indie folk band whose name means “good winter” in French. Analyzing their songs is like solving a complicated math problem but thank God you don’t have to be a genius to appreciate their music. “Beth/Rest” is the final song from their award-winning self-titled second album released in 2015. It’s a brooding love song that can instantly make you feel at ease. Trust us, it’s an axiom.
2 CLOUDBUSTING (Kate Bush)
Make a Rainy Day playlist, check it twice. If it doesn’t include this Kate Bush composition then it won’t be right. The British art rock goddess ruled the ‘80s with her intelligent style of music that remains influential to this day. We prefer not to venture an opinion about how great a song “Cloudbusting” is. We would rather let you take it from professional music journalist Amy Hanson who reviewed the song for AllMusic as follows: “[I]t is the tale of a scientist father’s relationship with his son, imaged through the experience of cloud seeding as seen through the boy’s eyes. The song fell easily into the rich earth of imagery that Bush has tilled throughout her entire career, emerging [as] both tender and brutal.”
1 HOPPÍPOLLA (Sigur Rós)
We won’t judge if you haven’t heard of this band yet, but if you do, welcome to heaven! Seriously, we are forever grateful to the Internet for letting the music of this Icelandic band reach our shores. You may recognize this track from a number of film trailers and TV show soundtracks and that’s saying a lot. The lyrics are not written in English yet the song received widespread popularity because its message is so powerful that it breaks language barriers. According to band interviews, “Hoppipolla” means “jumping into puddles” and the song reminisces about happier times in childhood. Don’t we all used to love the rain when we were kids? Backed by a touching official music video, the song pays tribute to the simple joys of our youth when we were free from worries and it was easier to be happy.
Do you agree with our list? You may also consider these other songs worth mentioning to satisfy your earworms:
DON’T ASK ME WHY by Laura Marling
NORTHERN SKY by Nick Drake
THE CALL by Regina Spektor
THE SHADOWLANDS by Ryan Adams
ANTI-PIONEER by Feist
THUNDERBOLT by Bjork
INGENUE by Thom Yorke/Atoms for Peace