Spotify Playlist of the Week

Michael Quick

“April Showers”

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Continuing with the spring theme from last week, I decided to create a playlist revolving around the rain that is known to fall throughout this month. Rain has always captivated human beings as a life source and as well as a source of inspiration. It’s pretty easy to see why, water falling from the darkening sky must have seemed as an act of a god to anyone who didn’t know better.

The sound of rain itself is generally considered to have a calming effect on people, due to its close resemblance to white noise and the sound of being in utero (sans heartbeat, obviously), both of which create a masking effect that can block out other more harsh noises and even help some to sleep (myself included, I always have a fan running while asleep).

All types of artists have been inspired by rain throughout history, probably most famously in poets, but musicians and composers draw from it as well. I’ve even seen a composition where the winds were instructed to just hit the keys of their instruments, without blowing into them, to simulate the sound of rain more literally. Rain is even sampled to be used to create ambiance and drama within songs, one of the first that comes to mind is “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses.

One of the first artists that comes to my mind when discussing rain is Led Zeppelin, because two of their more famous song titles include rain: “The Rain Song” and “Fool in the Rain.” The latter being more famous and is probably my favorite of the two. One of the most interesting things about this piece is that the drums are playing a Purdy Shuffle for almost the entirety of the song. Being that this is in a compound meter, it gives a more flowing feeling, likening itself to the water. And in the B section of the song itself the guitar and bass play more staccato lines and, to me, this is reminiscent of rain drops falling and hitting the ground. Whether or not this was intentional remains to be seen.

Rain will always be a source of inspiration for artists, musicians, and poets. It’s dramatic yet peaceful simultaneously. Hopefully, this collection of pieces will make a nice accompaniment to the real rain destined to fall throughout the month, and rest of the spring.