Recently, we’ve been having the kind of weather that will make most of us take a nap at three in the afternoon, turn down plans to go out, or start drinking for no good reason. It’s not unbearably cold, there’s not an insane amount of rain, but there is something all compassionately gloomy about these foggy, rainy days.
People love to complain about this kind weather, but the vibe it creates is so unique that I try to appreciate it. There’s just something I can’t place about looking to the skyline and seeing light just barely penetrating the fog. Specifically in Chicago, the style of the architecture combined with the blanket of dim orange light just creates the ominous air of an old noir film.
Plus, certain music just feels like it was meant for times like these. Below I’ve included my favorite tracks for the kind of days you’d rather chill and listen to the rain hit your window than go to class.
Bohren & der Club of Gore – Prowler
Bohren & der Club of Gore is an jazz band from Germany that self describe as an “unholy ambient mixture of slow jazz ballads, Black Sabbath doom and down tuned Autopsy sounds”. This song is my favorite off of their 2000 album, Sunset Mission. To me, their sound feels like a contemporary rendition of the work of classic jazz musicians like Miles Davis or Chet Baker.
Kanye West – Hold My Liquor
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Yeezus was underrated. Hold My Liquor epitomizes the atmospheric and dark style of the album, which to me, was more cohesive than any other work he’s put out. What’s funny is I never really liked this song when the album first dropped, but one night it came on during a nasty rainstorm. I watched cars pass by on the freeway while the song played and thunder rocked the sky, and something just clicked.
Burial – Archangel
To me, this song is undeniably grey. Archangel was the breakout single from London producer Burial’s critically acclaimed album, Untrue. When speaking about the album’s creation process, Burial stated,
“I would sit around waiting for night to fall, wait for summer to end. Or I would go out, wait for it to get dark, and then I’d go back and work on it, sort of hypnotize myself. Many of the songs were crafted in the dead of night.”
The Doors – Riders on the Storm
The Doors frequently used dark imagery and sounds in their music, but nothing compares to this song. If there was a song that was perfect for driving through long, dark, vacant roads it’s this. Additionally, the eeriness of the song goes beyond what many know. It was actually the last song recorded by The Doors with Jim Morrison. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 on July 3, 1971, the same day Morrison died.
Travis Scott – 90210
Ominous instrumentation, spacey vocals, and lyrics focusing on escapism and desire make this song perfect for dark nights in the city. The video, directed by Hype Williams, even draws aesthetics from classic noir films. The atmosphere this song creates is simply surreal.
It’s possible you might be feeling a little down after listening to all these songs, but hey. Every day can’t be sunny and sometimes the best way to deal with the weather is just soak in the vibes.
If you have any other songs you want to recommend I’d love to hear them, feel free to post links in the comments.