10 Songs to Get You Through the Autumn Weather

Steely Dan
| Reviews > Music

This autumn weather playlist aims to brighten up those chilly mornings and sodden afternoons.You can listen via Spotify – simply visit this link for the full playlist.

The weather has certainly taken a turn, at least here in England. Trundling to university and back, avoiding the small lakes of rain which have appeared in every pothole. For those moments when nothing seems to make the weather any more bearable, I have curated a playlist of songs to get you through the relentless autumn weather.

Bruce Hornsby and The Range – The Way It Is

‘The Way It Is’ quickly became my favourite song after hearing it in the sweaty kitchen of a pub in which I used to work. The lyrics are undoubtedly politically charged, referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Not only is the nature of the song’s content so crucial, but Hornsby’s unique way of navigating the ivory keys leaves not only the message but the song’s melody circulating in my head.

Steely Dan – Dirty Work

Steely Dan’s songs are renowned for their enigmatic and puzzling lyrics. Whilst ‘Dirty Work’ is fairly self-explanatory in its narrative, it is one of the smoother and more easy-going offerings from Steely Dan’s œuvre. I first heard the song when I was only knee-high, whilst I watched my father stamp his feet and tap the steering wheel on the ride to school, clearly diving headfirst into the group’s heady jazz-funk fusion.

The La’s – There She Goes

‘There She Goes’ was a song which, I presumed, was about a budding romance. It was often played at our parties in the first year of university, all of us crammed into our tiny kitchen, imaging who this mysterious girl The La’s sing about might be. Yet I have heard on the grapevine that the song instead refers to drug use.

Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes

Almost ethereal in its nature, ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ is one of those hits which dances gracefully in the back of mind from day-to-day. Hopefully, Kim Carnes’ voice will bring you a little warmth this season.

Bonnie Raitt – Nick of Time

I had the pleasure of seeing Bonnie Raitt live this summer. Heard live, her voice was one unlike any I had ever heard before. Her bushy, auburn hair bobbed along in the wind as she sang to a packed Hyde Park. ‘Nick of Time’ speaks about a friend of Raitt’s who is desperate to have a child:

‘A friend of mine she cries at night / And she calls me on the phone / Sees babies everywhere she goes  / And she wants one of her own’

James Taylor – Hard Times

‘Hard Times’ is recognised as being influenced by the impending breakdown of Taylor’s marriage to Carly Simon. Deftly exploring the nuances of romantic relationships, Taylor speaks a universal truth on the struggle of tumultuous love.

Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere

On the topic of tumultuous love, no-one did it better than Fleetwood Mac. Their infamous break-ups and make-ups indisputably kept their fans on their toes. Despite tones of malice and jealousy in their songs, it can’t be argued that they have written some of the greatest love songs of our time.

The Beatles – Blackbird

At a time when all the birds seem to have retreated somewhere warm and cosy, ‘Blackbird’ offers a piece of springtime pleasure to offset those chilly mornings.

Bob Marley – Could You Be Loved

‘Could You Be Loved’ is another instant mood-booster. Offering some fresh beats hot out of the oven, Marley himself is enough to set that autumn weather aside and get grooving.

James Morrison – You Make It Real

A little more on the delicate side, James Morrison’s raw vocals and his gentle guitar-playing manage to complement each other so perfectly, hitting a sweet spot of intimacy and edge.

Music wraps itself tightly around our emotions and, on days like these, we need as much of an emotional boost as we can get. Whether you are curling up on the sofa or busily rushing around town, what you feed your eardrums can often enhance or detract from your day. For example, listening to a heartbreaking ballad on a rainy day is bound to make you feel even more down in the dumps.

Philip Ball, in an article for the BBC, wrote that:

“we can recognise sad music without feeling sad. And even if we do feel sad, it’s not like the sadness of bereavement – it can be enjoyable even if it provokes tears. Some music, like some of Bach’s, can create intense emotion even though we can’t quite put into words what the emotion is. So we’ll surely never understand why music stimulates emotions at least until we have a better picture of what our emotional world is really like.”

Perhaps it is so, that we can’t concisely pinpoint the emotions that music conjures up. As Ball writes, we need to better figure out this ‘emotional world’ and all it holds at its core. This is one mean feat nonetheless; perhaps it’s enough to stick to navigating our own emotional spheres for the time being. So, as the heavens open outside, stick on this Autumn weather playlist to help make your grey-laden skies a little sunnier.

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