It's November and the gray rainy skies have already moved in and enveloped the Pacific Northwest creating a moody atmosphere that can only be described as "hot tea and sweater weather." As a true sun-loving southerner I'm the first to say that this is my least favorite of seasons. As I approach my 4th winter in Canada, I'm beginning to feel that rainy, gray winters are something I will never fully get use to.
I know this blog has fallen into a state of neglect over the past few years, but a recent last minute border-hopping adventure to Seattle reminded me of my love for sharing music with others. As I spent the hours in the car to Washington having solo sing-along battles with the radio, my "Hot Tea and Sweater Weather" playlist began to create itself. It's been a while since I've shared, but here's a glimpse into the folks that have been playing in my head as of late (note: the Spotify playlist link can be found below):
- Hiss Golden Messenger: Highland Grace - This album has been on repeat for weeks now. I can't put my finger on it, but there's just something about this song.
- Ryan Adams: When the Stars Go Blue - No matter how many times I hear this tune my heart still flutters a little. Julianna Raye's harmonies are perfectly haunting.
- Dori Freeman: You Say - Now I'm telling you I love ya gotta have ya just to breathe, and I need no reminder you don't feel the same for me. This is one little beauty to keep an eye on.
- Sylvan Esso: Coffee - This one just makes me happy. It's that simple. And let's face it, if I'm gonna make it through another Canadian winter, Lord knows a little happy never hurt.
- Lori McKenna: Wreck You - I don't know how to pull you back, I don't know how to pull you close, all I know is how to wreck you... Oh dear Lori you're singing to a girl's heart.
- Cass McCombs: Meet Me Here at Dawn - It's as if all of the crisp air, snuggly, sweater-weather feels are distilled into this tune. It's had me swooning for years.
- Mipso: Marianne - These North Carolina kids deserve some love. Americana and innocence.
- The Felice Brothers: Whiskey in My Whiskey - I saw these guys play a few weeks back and my goodness did that show make me smile. A bit rough and drunk around the edges; my kind of fellas...
- John Moreland: You Don't Care For Me Enough to Cry - The words of this man cut deep. Sheesh, he's a gem.
- Courtney Marie Andrews: Table for One - Courtney's new album "Honest Life" played on repeat in my apartment for weeks after it came out. It's an added bonus that the folks in her band are so rad.
- Margaret Glaspy: Black is Blue - My parents and I saw this little lady back in May. Emotions and Math may be one of my favorite records of 2016.
- Lake Street Dive: Mistakes - Fellow Berklee classmates to Margaret Glaspy, Lake Street Dive's newest album "Side Pony" came out earlier this year. Honestly, I haven't given it the time it deserves, but this song drew me in from the get-go.
- Margo Price: Hurtin' on the Bottle - I saw Margo and her all-star band a few weeks ago at a little venue in East Van. Her voice is pure country goodness.
- Laura Marling: Pray For Me - She just goes so well with a cup of hot tea.
- St. Paul and the Broken Bones: Burning Rome - It's as if the magic of Muscle Shoals was wrapped in a brown paper package all tied up with string and delivered first class to my apartment in Canada. I would buy this vinyl solely to hear my record player crackle to life with this tune.
- Jason Isbell: Cover Me Up - This is a go-to Jason Isbell tune. A go-to because it's simply perfect.
- Jasper Sloan Yip: Love and All Its Opposites - I've a confession to make: I have randomly burst into tears while driving in my car listening to this song on repeat... Phew, that's off my chest. And now that you think I'm a total emotional basket-case, you can choose to proceed as you wish. Jasper, you and your music are lovely, my friend.
- Ray LaMontagne: Shelter - This song is the holy grail of cozy sheet-fort making nights spent at home with candles lit. "Trouble" may be one of my very favorite albums, period. Or at least it's pretty high up there on the list.
- Noah Gundersen: Poor Man's Son - I saw this fella play in a cathedral in Seattle this past weekend. It was a interesting show. A 1000 person audience silent as mice. He certainly has cultivated something special.
- David Ramirez: A Rock and a Hard Place - As the hours of daylight grow shorter and shorter, this is one artist I'm looking forward to exploring more of this season.
- Corb Lund:Five Dollar Bill - I've been listening to this fellas ever since the December I spent recording my first album in Vancouver. He's the modern-day Canadian version of Roger Miller. It's folks like Corb Lund that warmed me up to Canada.
- First Aid Kit: America - I absolutely love this Simon and Garfunkel song and these two Swedes recreate it so beautifully.
- Shovels and Rope: The Devil is All Around - This husband and wife duo are living the dream; touring the country and spreading joy making music with the one you love. Ain't that the dream, indeed.
- Breathe Owl Breathe: Dragon - This song's been making me smile for months. It's included primarily to act as a little sunburst to pull me through till the next Spring.
- Andrew Bird: Left Handed Kisses - I never thought I'd see these two together, but I adore Fiona Apple with this man.
- Josh Garrels: Million Miles - This is another one of those songs that has been a staple cold-weather tune. It's as if it blows in each year with the crisp fall air.
- Gregory Alan Isakov: The Empty Northern Hemisphere - I started off the year going on long solo seawall walks to this one. Now when I hear it, it fills me with a strange sense of peace shrouded in a twinge of uncertainty.
- Joshua James: Queen of the City - This song was on repeat in the car as I criss-crossed the county during my trip to Florida a few weeks back. Now it will forever remind me of sunshine and warmer weather. I have a feeling I'm gonna rely heavily on this tune to get through the next few months.
I'll leave you for now with these twenty-eight tunes as I slowly and reluctantly begin to embrace the moody weather of the Pacific Northwest. Twenty-eight? Yes, twenty-eight. I have another week of basking in this number and I plan to make the most of it.
I do hope you enjoy.