Except in cases of drought or when you need it to conceal your tears, rain can be a terribly annoying weather occurence. It gets your socks wet, messes up your hair, and is generally a massive inconvenience.
But rain is also incredibly cinematic. It amplifies emotions, drama, and is often connected with passionate romance. Basically the rain brings out all the feelings for us. Click through this list of songs for a rainy day to entertain you, distract you, or heighten your already fragile emotions.
3. James Blake - "Measurements"
James Blake is one of those artists that you reach to as soon as the the weather clouds over. James Blake and the rain pair together so perfectly, we wouldn't be surprised if he wrote most of his songs on rainy days.
At times his music verges on upbeat, but it could never be be described as light hearted, Blake’s voice is soft and beautiful but it’s also deeply pained.
On “Measurements,” the final track on his self-titled debut, Blake’s voice takes on a lighter note thanks to the strong gospel influences, which also lend it a timeless and calming quality. Where in the rest of his music you could say Blake is grappling with issues, “Measurements” seems like an acceptance of sorts and on it Blake is serene. Put this on, watch the rain come down and feel tranquil.
5. SOHN - "Lessons"
The weather is dismal, no one’s interested in going out, so don’t even attempt to socialize. Instead, take the time and work on yourself. Listen to “Lessons,” mull over your past mistakes and figure out how you can sort your life out.
What do you need to do differently? Who should you stay away from? Who should stay away from you? Because your life’s a mess and you know it. Isn’t it time that you did something about it?
7. Kendrick Lamar - "A.D.H.D"
A lot of Kendrick Lamar’s music deals with tough issues and tells honest stories. From autobiographical details of his life growing up, to police brutality and the hard issue of race in America, he is undoubtedly one of the foremost political musicians of our generation.
That being said, a huge part of Kendrick’s success and appeal is that he’s just So. God. Damn. Catchy. On “A.D.H.D,” Kendrick recounts some of the drawbacks of our age in a deceptively carefree way that you’ll struggle to get out of your head. The repetitive hook of this track will keep you going strong, even as the wind is battering your face. Rain coming down, fuck that.
9. Daniel Wilson - "Boy Who Cried Thunder"
On “Boy Who Cried Thunder,” Daniel Wilson’s voice simply angelic, excising demonds over a repetitive synth line. Not only does this song have thunder in the title, it’s almost like the musical version of onomatopoeia as the track builds to its breaking point before ebbing away, much like the thunder that accompanies a storm.
Listening to “Boy Who Cried Thunder” while the rain pours down is a dramatic experience. Wilson’s voice, combined with the melodic piano, is so powerful it will make you feel like the lead in a movie about your life, even if you're just waiting for the microwave to tick down to zero. Break this out every time a downpour begins and let it soundtrack your emotions.
13. Radiohead - "Subterranean Homesick Alien"
Radiohead are an indisputably great band, but they’re not a band for every situation. You’d never be at a beach party and think, “Yeah OK Computer will go down nicely right now,” at least not without someone asking you why you’re playing that “maudlin music of the university station” or just generally yelling at you.
No, not every moment is perfect for Thom’s wailing over reverbed guitars and infinite crash symbols but now’s your chance. Take advantage of the gloomy weather and embrace your inner homesick alien. Turn this up, go outside, let the rain flow over your face and you too could be like Thom Yorke in the “No Surprises” video.
15. CE - "Mudra"
Bad weather affects everyone differently. For some, the rain is a vague nuisance but it’s manageable, while others love the rain for practical, ecological reasons. But if things are already going badly for you, the last thing you need is to get soaked because rain suddenly started to lash down.
CE’s “Mudra” will help lift your spirits. While everything might seem overwhelmingly terrible, and nothing is in your favor—even the weather is against you—CE’s bluesy voice will let you know that things will get better, “cause the sun's gon' shine / through my back door someday.”
17. Jay Prince - "Polaroids"
When energy is getting low and you want to get out of your weather induced slump, listen to this Jay Prince track. The cheery optimism of “Polaroids” is perfect for making you happy and excited to actually leave your house, but it’s not so hyped that it’s jarring. Perfect for those days that it never fully gets bright outside but you don’t have the option to spend your day huddled in the duvet watching the rain fall.
19. The Neighbourhood - "Daddy Issues"
Surprisingly, a lot of the music you listen to in the heat of summer also works perfectly in the complete opposite weather. At first, “Daddy Issues” seems like a nice downtempo chillwave track made for sweating to, but listening closer you realize that this is a song to listen to alone in your room—unless you want the world to see your salty tears flow.
On this track, vocalist Jesse Rutherford sings to a girl with daddy issues, explaining how he wants to protect her, and how ultimately it makes him love her more because he’s in same situation himself. The lyrics themselves are innocuous enough, but it’s the palpable sorrow in his voice that makes this song truly heartbreaking and borderline dangerous to listen to. You’re not crying, it’s just raining on your face, right?
21. Chance The Rapper - "Acid Rain"
Chance The Rapper’s lyricism is what makes him really stand out, and on this, arguably his breakthrough track, he’s as remarkable as ever. On "Acid Rain," we listen to Chance’s monologue as he goes through a personal journey, from nostalgic memories (“I miss my diagonal grilled cheeses”), to current problems like “spineless bitches in backless dresses,” and he even gets personal about his ego, loyalties, and insecurities: “And I still get jealous of Vic / And Vic's still jealous of me / But if you touch my brother / All that anti-violence shit goes out the window along with you and the rest of your team.”
There’s so much in this song—every time you listen to it you’ll pick up on something new. So put it on repeat and hope the “rain, rain, don’t go away."
23. Burial - "Archangel"
It could be because you’re trapped in the house with limited entertainment options, but bad weather can really bring out some romantic feelings. Burial’s “Archangel” does the same.
Whether you’re listening to it amidst romantic trouble, or putting it on as background music with your significant other, the soulful singing over the filtered breakbeat will meld nicely with the rain thrashing outside. It will either be incredibly romantic, or incredibly tragic. Either way, the rain will definitely add to the atmosphere, which is really what we’re aiming for here.
25. Tupac ft. Outlawz - "Starin' Through My Rearview"
"Starin' Through My Rearview" is the perfect song for driving around the city in the rain with some homies and some old tapes. Nothing really beats nostalgia on a rainy day, and Tupac and the Outlawz are sure to provide you with more than enough to keep you reminiscing about the old times, life, and how “the world is a game to be played”
The production on this track is so repetitive it’s almost hypnotic, like the rhythmic patterns of your windshield wipers and the whirring of your tires on the wet streets. Now that you’ve broken through, life will never be the same again.
27. King Krule - "Little Wild"
Introspective as ever, King Krule’s "Little Wild" is the perfect choice for a solitary trip home, battling through the elements. Your night didn’t turn out exactly as you’d planned—you’ve separated from the crowd and you’ve waited hours under this empty bus shelter with only King Krule's deep mumbling and echoing guitar chords to keep you safe.
This song screams rainy atmospheres. The percussion rings like rain banging on a tin roof, naturally tipping on and off beat while the backing vocals darkly groan like the wind howling around you. Despite this, there’s also something cozy about this song. You have your mate Archy here to keep you company on the long journey home until the solace of your bed. It’ll be better in the morning.
29. Missy Elliott - "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
There are lots of songs that can give of those rainy weather vibes, but not as many that accurately vocalize exactly how you feel as you're sitting down at work, looking out of the window at a fifth consecutive day of overcast skies and soul-crushing rain. When you can't stand the rain, put this on, bump to Timbaland's beat, and escape to a better place for a few minutes.
Beep beep, who got the keys to the Jeep...
31. Frank Ocean - "Sierra Leone"
It’s been four days straight of rain and you’ve forgotten the face of the last real person you’ve talked to. Your music is on shuffle, and then out of the blue you hear “Spending too much time alone...” Frank Ocean is the perfect accompaniment to the rain: he’s sexy, moody, and mournful all at once, so he can be the best companion for whatever activities you plan on doing.
33. Blu & Exile - "Soul Amazin' (Steel Blazin')"
"Soul Amazin' (Steel Blazin')" is an incredibly positive track. The rain is slowly starting to shift and you can see the light at the end of your self-inflicted tunnel of homely solitude.
This is a classic Blu & Exile track, full of sample-heavy breaks, thoughtful punchlines, record scratches, and chilled vibes. Exile’s melodies are melancholic and the sampling is layered in a way that’s almost eerie, but it’s all tied together perfectly with Blu’s impressive flow. Whatever the weather, "Soul Amazin' (Steel Blazin')" will definitely have you digging through your old crates, unearthing gems just like this one.