Do you see what I see?
You can be confident of at least one thing during January in Michigan, or virtually any other Midwestern location: the sun will disappear for months at a time. It might peek out a couple of minutes every few weeks, but that's just to tease and torment anyone with a slightly melancholy disposition.
However, there are light lines on my living room wall right now, the residue of the sun slicing through the blinds. It's actually happened: the sun has come out!
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers
This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Learned early to play this on guitar. There is so much soul and emotion in this song. I love how clean this recording is--besides the heavy reverb on the vocals, you can hear how naked the song really is. Before the strings enter, you can hear the acoustic fret buzz and then the flat and punchy kick drum throughout the rest of the song. Incredible recording!
Your Fucking Sunny Day -- Lambchop
Lambchop creates a sound all their own. For fans of Lambchop's more down-tempo music, this might seem out of place. The music is still enchanting, even if light-hearted, and Kurt Wagner shows an ability to be clever and yet convincing at the same time. The jangly electric and lush horn arrangement is a really pleasing combination. And how can you not love this title?!
I Don't Believe In The Sun -- The Magnetic Fields
As is typical, Stephin Merritt leaves you wondering whether you should smile or frown on this track. His morose lyrics and slurred baritone delivery are convincing once you understand it's not a joke. Next to Proust, Merritt is my favorite misanthrope and one of my favorite songwriters. When the bridge wraps up with "Astronomy will have to be revised"... Well it's almost more than I can handle!
Catch The Sun -- Doves
I can't believe how much sound is produced by this British three-piece! Opening with the subdued acoustic and fuzz bass, the instrumentation perfectly fits the alternately pessimistic and uplifting lyrics. The melodic electric on the chorus is worth waiting for, helping that section feel more "epic" even though the vocal doesn't soar. It's a great charge for these all-too-infrequent winter days: "Catch the sun/Before it's gone."
"Ain't No Sunshine" from Lean On Me-The Best of Bill Withers
"Your Fucking Sunny Day" from Thriller
"I Don't Believe In The Sun" from 69 Love Songs, Vol. 1
"Catch The Sun" from Lost Souls