Grace’s Playlist Week #2

Grace Yaegel’s rainy day playlist


Creative Commons

photo from Creative Commons showing the melancholy feeling of a rainy day.

Grace Yaegel, Arts and Entertainment Editor


Pluviophile – A lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.


Windshield wipers on while you drive home from school. A foggy morning as you speed through the English countryside on a train. Mist while you’re wandering down cobblestone streets lined with deceptively large brownstones. Patters on the windows of a deep green kitchen with lots of plants and a Le Creuset honeypot. This is a playlist for the rain. These songs are acoustic guitar based with a lot of harmonies, and feel like they were made to have rain on the windows as their backdrop.


Amsterdam – Gregory Alan Isakov

Smooth and slow, this song is almost sadly nostalgic, but it manages to be happily reminiscent. The simple beat and soothing guitar, along with the harmonies make you feel an inner peace, and the piano’s hook adds to how sonically satisfying it is. The build up to the bridge’s climax is similar to the Lummineers, but is somehow very different. This song makes you feel like you’re in a dream, and with rain pattering in the background…[*chef’s kiss].

From the Dining Table – Harry Styles

Funnily enough the song does not contain the lyrics “From the Dining Table”, instead the title is likely a nod to the location of this letter-in-song-form was written. This song has a heavy guitar influence, and the melodies haunt as Styles sings to his ex about missing them, it’s absolutely gut wrenching and heart breaking (don’t say I didn’t warn you, it’s also a good cry song). My favorite part of the song though, is the bridge. The guitar builds while harmonies keep on being piled on as Styles says, “Maybe one day you’ll call me / And tell me that you’re sorry too” and then everything stops as he croons in an almost whisper, “But you, you never do”. 

Gale Song – The Lumineers

Full disclosure: I wanted to put the entire Cleopatra album on this playlist, but I decided to spare anyone reading this. This song strays away from acoustic to electric and is a little less restrained than the other songs on this playlist, but the lonely story it tells and the regretful but resigned lyrics capture a rainy day mood. It encapsulates the journey of loneliness and bittersweet resignation to your fate.

Cardigan – Taylor Swift 

Similarly to “Amsterdam” the piano hook is what makes this song, but the lyrics of this song are some of the best, most complex, and most poetic Swift has ever written, which is saying something. I personally would like to submit this as the best song she’s ever written, but I digress. Off of surprise release, folklore, “Cardigan” is written from the point of view of Betty, one of the characters in this story who is in a “teenage love triangle” as Swift put it, and the maturity it holds is strangely fitting even though Betty is only 17. It’s less acoustic than other songs on this playlist, but the piano and the message it sends fits a rainy day so perfectly. 

I Want to Write You a Song – One Direction

This song is on Made in the A.M, One Direction’s last album, and is a goodbye of sorts to their fans. It has minimal production and throughout the song there’s a pencil scratching to add to the message of the song. It starts out purely acoustic guitar, then more strings are added in the first chorus. The harmonies in the song really show off One Direction’s vocal skills and song writing skills. The last lines of the song drop back to the muted guitar, and as I’m sure you’ve noticed, a common theme in these songs is goodbye and/or nostalgia, and this track encompasses both.

Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart

This song is about distance, and missing someone, so if you are somehow on a train blazing through the English countryside, this is especially fitting. The song builds and jumps from acoustic to loud and passionate, then back down. The outro of “Rivers and Roads” is reinforcing rather than redundant as the vocalists make sure it’s known they’d go as far as it takes to get where they’re going. The cymbals’ crashing towards the end contrast the simple muted strumming pattern of the beginning. It sounds a little different from the haunting harmonies and guitars of the other songs, but it adds a necessary contrast.

Like Real People Do – Hozier

The key of this song comes across as inappropriately happy for the tone of the song, but it matches the lyrics in a perfectly ironic way. The bass line is a piano and the sound fills up the song in the most satisfying, unnoticeable way, as the picking pattern of the guitar and the muffled harmonies create a folk undertone. The track reminds me of honey, which seems like a weird comparison but it makes sense. 

Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens

I cannot with this song, and if you don’t recognize the title, you will probably recognize the movie it’s in, Call Me by Your Name. Putting the movie and it’s issues aside (the end KILLS me), the layered strings on this track with the high flutes in the back sound like air. It creates a dreamy atmosphere with very, very sad lyrics. 

All I Want – Kodaline

This song reminds me of a foggy forest or field with a light but quick strumming pattern and with a beautiful instrumental track behind it that sounds vaguely familiar, like you’ve heard it a hundred times, but at the same time sound new and fresh. The Irish band wonders why their love left, if they truly loved them. The interlude builds up to a freeing and desperate sound with faster drums and electric guitars, and then the soft vocals and single strums bring it back down to the last line of  “I’ll find somebody / Like you, oh, oh”

could cry just thinkin about you – Troye Sivan

In this short interlude that ends with the clicking of a cassette tape, the words are barely understandable as they echo behind a smooth beat, the pick of an electric guitar, and the strumming of an acoustic.

Hearts Don’t Break Around Here – Ed Sheeran

The king of writing love songs has done it again with this track off of divide. This song truly brings me inner peace, it is a cozy and comforting song. He sings about his true love whom he trusts to not break his heart. It fits with a soft, spring rain on a farm in the English countryside (I love the idea of the English countryside, if you couldn’t tell). It is a pure song with Sheeran’s signature guitar work and lyrics that came from a hopeless romantic wistfully in love.

Skinny Love – Bon Iver

The Birdy cover of this song absolutely makes me cry, but the heavy folk influence on the original, with it’s layered vocals and guitars and banjos is perfect for our little playlist here. At certain points in the song the desperation in Justin Vernon’s voice is overwhelming as a simple strum and a little tap, tap of the drums plays in the background. It sounds like it was recorded in a big room and the ambiance matches rain in the mountains.

Sparks – Coldplay

With a little swing to the beat and the guitar, this song sounds like wandering down a Parisian street as the soft tones of Chris Martin sound in your ear. It makes you feel like a character at the dramatic climax of a coming-of-age movie, where you had something good and messed it up, and now you’re alone again. Even though the lyrics are far from numerous, the simplicity of them is what cuts deep as you listen to this very laid-back song. 

Million Reasons – Lady Gaga

One of my favorite songs by Lady Gaga, this track showcases her vocals and songwriting abilities. It’s a song of bittersweet heartbreak where you want to stay, even though you know you should go. Her stripped-back album Jolene shows how diverse her skills are. Even though it precedes her A Star is Born soundtrack, it holds a very similar vibe. It’s very emotional and sounds like it belongs in an attic somewhere, where someone goes to just feel.

State of Grace (Acoustic Version) – Taylor Swift 

Taylor Swift, again, I’m not sorry. The original song has a bold and boisterous tone while Swift reminisces, this version on the other hand, is a stark contrast with Swift singing in a timid, breathy range, full of hesitation and nostalgia as she thinks about a time when everything was just better. The low drum and plucky staccato guitar create a balance with the points in the song where everything seems suspended in air. This song fuels a main character complex while also creating the perfect metaphor for where you find yourself while it’s raining.