Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Mixer : April Showers

It's Monday, which means it's time for our Monday Mixer--a weekly, multi-blog themed playlist for your listening pleasure. While the Mixer started over at Metropolitan Jolt, recently it's been on the move, with hosting rotating between various members of the Mixer crew, and this week, it's landed right here at LOOSE L!PS. This week's theme deals with the drearier side of spring: April Showers. I thought this would be appropriate seeing as it's April, and although we've been extremely lucky weather-wise thus far, it's just a matter of time before cloudy skies descend. The Monday Mixer crew has you covered for when that happens, with a playlist of 11 songs that should see you through even the dreariest days.

You can stream all the songs right here courtesy of this 8tracks player, while you read about what each track means to us, below. All the links (in blue and bold) are available for download, just right-click like normal.

*Sidenote: If you are a music blogger, scroll to the bottom of this post for a message.

Ian from 1146 Miles
Letting Go - Israel Cannan
Sometimes on rainy days, it's more about the mood than the weather. I think that's why I love that there's a bit of defiance that builds up over the young Australian's song. It's fighting the down urge and it's a pretty cathartic release once it climaxes. Letting Go is off of Israel's debut album Walk.

Chris from Daily Beatz
Sylvia - The Antlers
Music for a rainy day is almost always sad and depressing, but I sort of prefer there to be a little beauty too, and nobody seems to capture depression and beauty in one neat package quite like The Antlers.  Their 2009 album Hospice was undeniably depressing and beautiful at the same time and quickly became one of my favorite albums from that year.

Mikayla from LOOSE L!PS (me)
I Don't Know What I Can Save You From (Royksopp Remix) - Kings of Convenience *screwed this link up, click normally instead of right-clicking
Royksopp and rainy days are unequivocally synonymous for me. Their lush production style perfectly compliments my lazy days spent cooped up inside sprawled on my huge white sheepskin rug. Here they remix fellow Norwegians Kings of Convenience’s beautiful I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From. They take the original acoustic number and add an ethereal quality to it, with delicate whirls and trills, it’s almost tropical, but the kind of tropical that reminds me of laying on a placid beach while the sun is setting: the perfect counterpoint to the cloudy skies outside my window.

Frank from Lost In The Sound
Huit Octobre 1971 - Cortex
I have to admit that I probably never would have heard Cortex's Huit Octobre 1971 had it not been sampled by the likes of MF Doom (One Beer), Wiz Khalifa (Visions), and Odd Future's Tyler, The Creator (Odd Toddlers). The song begins on a rather dark, melancholic note before transitioning into a more jazzy, upbeat song. It pretty much embodies the whole idea of "April showers bring May flowers."

Ben from Metropolitan Jolt
You and I - Washed Out feat. Caroline Polachek
This track really embodies the melancholy vibes I get when rain keeps me inside. Caroline Polacheck added combined with Washed Out creates this amazingly relaxing tune. It's hard for me to put my finger on why I like it so much. On one hand, its melancholy feeling almost gives me a twinge of depression when I listen to it. But on the other hand, maybe it is that extreme emotional reaction that generates my appreciation for the track.

Marc from Mostly Junkfood
Bill Withers - Can We Pretend
Obviously Ain't No Sunshine might be the more obvious pick from Bill's catalogue, but this song stands out in my mind as a quintessential rainy day track.  The guitar and his vocals shine on this track, but my favorite part is the lyrics.  "Paint a portrait of tomorrow with no colors from today."  This song sounds like looking out the window and being optimistic about the future regardless of what you see.  And that's why I love it!

Confusion from Pigeons & Planes
River Man - Nick Drake
Rainy days trigger depression for me, but sometimes it's good to bask in a brooding state of mind. People that are happy all the time are obnoxious. They remind me more of simple animals like fish or chickens - things that are far separated from humanity and more fit for mass consumption. When I'm feeling down, Nick Drake is one of the artists that I always revisit. His haunting voice and heart-string-tugging melodies are perfect to pair with grey skies and the pattering of little drops.

David from SFCritic
Summer Rain - Carl Thomas
More and more I'm realizing there is so much music of my past that in the needless urgency to find NEW music, I've strayed from the gems I used to love such as Carl Thomas' Summer Rain. In pop'est of pop, Summer Rain is Thomas' calling for a love regardless of rain or shine--as long as she comes back. What? There's nothing wrong with being a pop romantic.

Cory from Silence Nogood
Stonyridge Terrace - Ian Pooley
Other than maybe music to rage to, music for a rainy day are my favorite!  There's nothing I love more than relaxing outside on a rainy day and vibing off a chill, downtempo tune set against the sounds of a delicate storm.  I have a whole playlist for this very occasion, but if I had to choose just one, it would be Ian Pooley's Stonyridge Terrace. You can best forget about everyone else's - this is the tune y'all have been looking for ;)  But seriously, tell me this isn't the most tantalizing guitar playin you've ever heard?  Go stick yourself out in the wilderness, wait for the rain (find shelter) and enjoy this track for a calm stormy weather.

Marc from Umstrum
Brutal Hearts (ft. Coeur de Pirate) - Bedouin Soundclash
I have to say finding a song for his week's playlist proved more difficult than I thought. Not that I don't have "rainy day music", but I wanted to find a track that's more than your usual downer song, a track that makes you feel nostalgic and hopeful at the same time, just like "April Showers". Well, I think Brutal Hearts does just that: it creates this kind of cloudy atmosphere of longing but almost lets you see the sun reappearing on the horizon.

Owen from Wine and Bowties
It’s the Chemicals (feat Scarub) - Inspired Flight
Did you know it's just that chemicals in our brain that cause us pain?" Wow, discovered this song a week ago and it's been on repeat ever since. The idea that "it's just chemicals" definitely resonates. It's like, yes this is all meaningless and arbitrary and that can be sad, but it's also great and beautiful because you are free. I dunno. It reminds me that things always be how I want and I dig it. I'm realizing that imperfections are crucial. They make something real, taking out the ego. I'm getting kinda philosophical, but essentially this song makes me want to make a fire with someone and look out at the rain.

*We're looking to add more people to the Monday Mixer ratpack. If you're a music blogger (it doesn't matter if you're big or small, rap or rave, crowded or minimalist) and interested in contributing, please email Ben from the Metropolitan Jolt, me, or really anyone on this list. We want you.


marc said...

all amazing picks! Owen - so glad you chose Inspired Flight. LOVE them.

Joseph said...

Excellent choice Mikayla. One of my favorite songs - fits perfectly for this vibe.

Daniel said...

Words cannot describe how golden this post is.

Mikayla said...

good week guys!!

(thank you Joseph. happy to know we are rainy day compatible, call me next time maybe we can snuggle.)

Post a Comment