A Stormy Playlist

10 Songs for Before, During, and After the Summer Storms

by Jacob Adams

15 June 2011

 

Andrew Bird and more...

mewithoutYou - “The Dryness & the Rain”


The storm’s getting heavy now! This Philadelphia-based band narrates the damage done: “First came a strong wind, ripping off rooftops like bottlecaps / And bending lampposts to the ground / Then came a thunder shattering my windows.” Yikes!

 
Herbie Hancock - “The Eye of the Hurricane”


Herbie Hancock’s post-bop tune from the conceptual Maiden Voyage record musically depicts the experience of being in the eye of a storm. The song’s sparse texture and familiar chord structure provide a temporary respite from the turbulence, but the tune’s asymmetrical rhythm leaves no doubt that there’s more danger to come.

 
Explosions in the Sky - “Greet Death”


From beginning to end, this composition from Texas’ favorite instrumental post-rock band mirrors the ebb and flow of a storm, from its subtle origins to its climactic turmoil to its calm abatement. The crunchy guitars evoke the sound of thunder and the cymbal rolls sound like heavy rain. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a part of the world that doesn’t frequently experience storms, put on this track and you’ll feel like you’ve been in one.

 
Andrew Bird - “Weather Systems”

It’s still raining a little, as Andrew Bird’s staccato violin in this song’s opening suggests, but the storm has died down. The track’s lyrics and music both provide an appropriate backdrop for trying to calm down after a serious storm. There’s a feeling of simultaneous comfort and anxiety. The storm might be over for now, but another one might be on its way. “Quiet, Quiet down she said… Hold still a while… I can see it all from here… I can see the weather systems of the world… And every time you turn the soil / Another cloud begins to boil.”

 
Electric Light Orchestra - “Mr. Blue Sky”

The storm’s over! Now it’s time to get out and enjoy the sun. This classically exuberant track says it all: “Sun is shin’ in the sky / There ain’t a cloud in sight / It’s stopped rainin’ / Everybody’s in a play / And don’t you know / It’s a beautiful new day.”

 

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