The University of Iowa University of Iowa

The Alt Rock Chick: Rainy Day Tunes

What’s a rainy day without a cozy playlist to listen to while you’re wrapped in blankets, dozing off on the couch? Not a rainy day well spent. With the weather steadily becoming chillier, wetter and gloomier here in Iowa City, I’m here to give you a playlist that will make those stormy days a little calmer.

Some rainy days are nothing but cozy – full of baking, movie marathons, sipping tea and snuggling with your dog. Others can be miserable – walking to class in a downpour, getting splashed by a bus driving through a massive puddle, wind spraying sheets of rain in your face – you get the point.

But whether you love them or hate them, rainy days always tend to make people more contemplative. Nothing sparks forgotten feelings or makes you reminisce about old memories like a soft drizzle outside of your window.

A fitting playlist enhances those feelings. And for those of us who love to ride the angsty train for as long as we can, rainy days are our jam – as long as we have something appropriate to jam along to during them.


Here are my favorite songs to listen to when the forecast reads, “heavy showers”.

“Talking in Code” – Margot and the Nuclear So So’s: This is one of my favorite songs of all time, regardless of the weather. The swooping violins, utter pain in the vocals and heartbreaking lyrics are absolutely killer.

“High Hopes” – Kodaline: Steve Garrington’s voice will stun you in this gorgeous ballad.

“Vincent” – Don Mclean: This sweet and tender song makes you feel as if you’re drifting through the clouds while Mclean sings to you from his own cloud, guitar in hand.

“Elise” – The Greeting Committee: This raw confession focuses on the simple moments of pure bliss that comes with falling in love.

“Big Black Car”Gregory Alan Isakov: I’ve listened to this song an absurd amount of times, and it never gets old. The instrumentals are effortlessly beautiful and Isakov’s voice is the perfect accompaniment.


“Sunday Morning” – Maroon 5: Obviously, this is sort of a rainy day anthem, with the first lyric being, “Sunday morning, rain is falling/Steal some covers, share some skin”. Can’t go wrong here.

“Dynamite (Acoustic)” – Sigrid: If the rainy day you choose to listen to this song during is a particularly somber one, then this is the perfect backdrop. A rumbling piano plays below Sigrid’s icy voice, allowing us to hear every gorgeous intricacy.

“Carry You” – Novo Amor: This is definitely one of those songs that instantly has you visualizing yourself in a movie, but once the vocals kick in, things are more lighthearted, while still soothing.

“Girlie” – Alexandra Savior: With a sultry chorus and subtle swear words, this song reminds me of a young Lana Del Rey.

“Some Day Soon” – Alexi Murdoch: Not only is this song effortlessly beautiful, it’s featured in the first season of the NBC drama, “This is Us”, so it’s sure to give you major feels.


“Drink You Gone” – Ingrid Michaelson: It’s no secret that Michaelson has a stunning voice. It is showcased here while telling a heartbreaking story.

“Numb”Max Jury: Max Jury is from Des Moines, Iowa, and has opened for Lana Del Rey. He coaxes listeners into a trance with his smooth voice and sultry music.

“Champagne Supernova” – Oasis: This is a no-brainer rainy day song – it begins with a flood of rain, and anyone who has seen “The OC” knows why this song is so special.

“Boston” – Augustana: Another one of my all-time favorite songs, “Boston” is tender while still building up to a dramatic ending that will have you belting out the lyrics.

“No One’s Gonna Love You” – Band of Horses: This is a classic breakup song if I’ve ever heard one. The aching lyrics will have a flood of memories with ex-lovers washing into your mind with the rain.

“Big Jet Plane” – Angus & Julia Stone: The Stones’ unique voices and whimsical lyrics create a dreamy vibe in this track.

Fools (Acoustic)” – The Temper Trap: Every facet of Dougy Mandagi’s voice is heard in this incredible song.

“Cherry Wine” – Hozier: This is one of Hozier’s most tender-sounding songs, but the lyrics contrast the sweet vibe with the harsh reality of selfish lovers.

“Brooklyn Baby” – Lana Del Rey: As my favorite Rey song, “Brooklyn Baby” contains every trait that makes me love the singer so much – clever lyrics, insane vocal tricks, and a seductive vibe.


“10,000 Emerald Pools” – Borns: This song will add a little more grooviness to your rainy day with a catchy beat and chill vibe.

“If” – Bread: This seventies soft rock ballad will tug on all of your heartstrings and transport you back to another era.

“Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac: Another obvious rainy day song, beginning with the lyrics, “Thunder only happens when it’s raining”. Electricity flows through this entire seductive song.

“Let’s be Still” – The Head and the Heart: This is one of my favorite The Head and the Heart songs and definitely one of their most relaxing and contemplative, reminding us to live in the moment.

“Hold You in my Arms” – Ray LaMontagne: Another groovy, yet chill vibe oozes from this song, accompanied by LaMontagne’s raspy voice.

“Fly Away” – My Brothers and I: This is one of those songs that you’ll know every word to quickly as a result of listening to it on repeat.

“Blood” – The Middle East: I’ve admired this song for years because of its instrumental that sets me in a trance every single time I listen to it.


“The Girl”City and Colour: You can never go wrong with this song, but it’s especially beautiful when the sky is grey and crying.

I could go on forever with sad, soothing, eerie, and thoughtful songs that are perfect for rainy days, but I’ll let you get started on this list first. Light a candle, step into your slippers and bask in the feeling that only rainy days can create.