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Hot Tea and Sweater Weather: A Rainy Day Musical Guide...

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):

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Mipso: Marianne - These North Carolina kids deserve some love. Americana and innocence.
  8. 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...
  9. John Moreland: You Don't Care For Me Enough to Cry - The words of this man cut deep. Sheesh, he's a gem.
  10. 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.
  11. 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. 
  12. 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.
  13. 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. 
  14. Laura Marling: Pray For Me - She just goes so well with a cup of hot tea.
  15. 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.
  16. Jason Isbell: Cover Me Up - This is a go-to Jason Isbell tune. A go-to because it's simply perfect.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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. 
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. First Aid Kit: America - I absolutely love this Simon and Garfunkel song and these two Swedes recreate it so beautifully. 
  23. 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.
  24. 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. 
  25. Andrew Bird: Left Handed Kisses - I never thought I'd see these two together, but I adore Fiona Apple with this man. 
  26. 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. 
  27. 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.
  28. 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.

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