Most of us know that spending summer in the Bay Area means you’re not going to get three months of sunshine and blue skies. It looks like the weather gods are feeling especially gloomy this week, because we’re being treated to cloudiness and an off-chance of rain, which is perfect weather for the type of day where you stay in bed, cozy up with a movie and have some tea (… or go to a Juicy J show, like me). The following is a tender selection of songs suited for these lazy afternoons, and while most of them are old tracks, the artists featured come highly recommended as some of my personal favorites.
Beach House – Wishes
Beach House was made for rainy days, bike rides, sweet afternoons and every other occasion in between. What I mean is, there’s never a time to not fall into Victoria and Alex’s dreamy bedroom-pop landscape of luminous sounds and gorgeous vocals. Their music has been sampled by artists like The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar, and although space permits me from embedding their entire discography on here, let “Wishes” (which has a super rad video directed by Eric of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show!) be a preview to their latest album, Bloom, which I’m hoping will turn you on to the rest of their work.
Local Natives – Cubism Dream
We first fell in love with Local Natives when they released Gorilla Manor in 2009. Earlier this year, they debuted Hummingbird, a heartfelt and honest-to-the-core record that was heavily influenced by a passing in the family as well as the departure of bassist Andy Hamm. Listen to both albums – their music is at its simplest, beautiful, and their sincere sound warms the soul. The band will return to the Fox Theater in Oakland later this summer.
The Antlers – Putting The Dog To Sleep
Almost a minute into the song, Peter Silberman’s falsetto hits you like a ton of bricks, and instantly you’re infatuated. If you missed the Brooklyn-based band at 4/20 (woops, I mean Cal Day) this past spring, then here’s your chance to get acquainted. The band has quiet forcefulness in both its sound and lyrical content, and the mesmerizing effect makes them easy to love. Undersea is their latest work, but Burst Apart and Hospice are required listening.
Okkervil River – Piratess
Okkervil River is one of those lesser-known bands that you might discover through a friend who you’ll then be eternally grateful to, because this band is, for the lack of a better description, fuckin’ great. While each of their songs has its own character, they all maintain a perfect balance between poetic, sharp lyrics and a catchy, rock-meets-orchestra-meets-dancehall indie sound. A couple more of my favorites from past albums are “Lost Coastlines,” “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe,” and “Black.”
Brand New – Jesus Christ
This last one’s a lovely one from Brand New, and it’s also a step away from their more punk-pop/hardcore sound. The lines, “Jesus Christ, that’s a pretty face / The kind you’d find on someone that could save,” always stuck out to me — the song gives you a moment to think about faith, uncertainties and fears. It’s a little bleak, but it’ll get to you.
Hopefully the bands I’ve mentioned so far are about to make up a substantial portion of your rainy day soundtrack. As always, feedback, suggestions and comments are always welcomed. Until next time!