Music is an entirely personal affair. What some people might stow on a pedestal, others might try and bury alive; it's entirely subjective, relevant to our own memories and feelings. We all have favourite artists, tracks and records that we hold close to our hearts: maybe it was a track that soundtracked a first kiss, or maybe a particular LP got you through some tough times. Maybe a certain band reminds you of a simpler time. We've all got opinions on what's the top album of all time, and 99% of the world is just bound to disagree. But that's fine. There are no right answers.

This weekly feature (though we'll be taking a break in December) will see the 405 staff contribute their opinions and argue the case for what they think is the best music. It's also a handy way to get some recommendations of music you may not have experienced before - perhaps you'll create some new memories thanks to these delicious noises. It's not just the staff we want to hear from though; we want to know what you think. We'll ask around on Twitter and Facebook for suggestions and whack 'em in for the world to see. There might be a playlist or two as well slotted in for good measure. It's going to be a chunky collaborative periodical where we can all discuss how and why our favourite music is our favourite.

For this week's edition of No Right Answers, the 405 staff were asked to pick a song they turn to on a rainy day. It's not all about reflection, but it kind of is.



  • Scott Walker

    Scott Walker - 'It's Raining Today'

    1969

    OK so it's a literal one, but nothing says lashings of bad weather like this. Scott can break through the tedium of a rained-off afternoon, and manages to evoke a carpet of that fine rain via the analogy of sweetly clashing strings on this beauty, the opening track from his seminal Scott 3. Plundered shamelessly for the intro to Radiohead's 'How To Disappear Completely', it brilliantly evokes the ambiguity of rain - at once a washing away, replenishing and destruction of the world. We're left safely esconced indoors, safe from the chaos of everyday life, happy alongside the hot chocolatey goodness of Scott's baritone. - Nicholas Glover

  • Suzanne Vega

    Suzanne Vega - ' Tom's Diner'

    [1981 & 1990]

    This track is a perfect listen when it's raining and you're indoors. Partly because, yeah it's written about a rainy day but also because it involves coffee and quiet contemplation which is pretty much the perfect combination for being holed up inside when the weather's being a shit. Either the a capella version for sweet simplicity or the DNA remix for '90s grooves and a bit of warmth- both fit the bill pretty finely. - Emma Cooper

  • Frou Frou

    Frou Frou - 'Old Piano'

    [2002]

    Frou Frou's Details was one of last decade's great hidden gems; even after Zach Braff used 'Let Go' over the incongruously cheesy Hollywood ending of his otherwise-OK Garden State, the record from which it was lifted continues to be misconstrued. It's by no means the electro-pop album that casual observers of Imogen Heap's later works might assume; there's a genuinely interesting blend of leftfield genres on Details, with elements of trip hop, downtempo and electronica underscoring the record. The bonus track 'Old Piano' is an ambient affair that was doing 'rainy mood' before the website ever existed; the first minute or so is merely the ambient sound of rain on glass, before a gloomy saxophone pierces the atmosphere. It plays like the soundtrack to some other-worldly detective movie, with a quiet, off-kilter beat and Heap's trademark barely-there vocals spinning tales of grey skies and rain-spattered windowpanes. - Joe Goggins

  • In Medias Res

    In Medias Res - 'Annadonia'

    [2004]

    I have a tendency to reach for ambient and post-rock music on rainy days. Such tunes seem to fit the melancholy mood that precipitation has the tendency to produce. 'Annadonia' provides the perfect soundtrack to sitting with one's face pressed against a windowpane watching rain drops hit the glass. From the sparse intro, to the moment when the distorted guitar spikes the mix, to the closing refrain with Andrew Lee's reverb-drenched vocals, not to mention all those twinkling arpeggios that are sprinkled throughout the song, this track emotes rainy day blues. Frankly, every song on Of What Was seems tailor-made for rainy days, but this song in particular reflects all those moods experienced when stuck inside on a rainy day, from quiet introspection to cabin fever. - John Faulkner

  • Portishead

    Portishead- 'Numb'

    [1994]

    Each individual's approach to their favourite 'rainy day' song is inevitably linked to the way they deal with such weather and probably has a lot to with the amount of times their town is struck by it (I probably wouldn't be so okay with rain if I lived in London). I was born and raised in Portugal's Northern city of Oporto, and it felt like most of my teenage years were struck by horrible weather, resulting in me staying home instead of meeting my friends and doing stupid teenage stuff. So I would get proto-Emo on Portishead's debut album Dummy, making it spin a good ten times whilst I sulked. 'Numb' was definitely a favourite for stormy days - I'd slow headbang to it until my parents got home and made me turn the volume down. - Ana Leorne

  • The Heritage Orchestra

    The Heritage Orchestra - 'Skybreaks'

    [2007]

    As tempting as it is to go for an easy literal choice like The Doors' phenomenal epic 'Riders On The Storm', Massive Attack's dark and brooding 'Prey For Rein' or the staccato lyrical hammering in 'Sky Is Falling' by Blackalicious, I'm going with this radiant selection - an eleven minute aural journey through warm jazz and slow-funk with light classical touches.

    If that makes 'Skybreaks' sound like a Brand New Heavies number, then fine, there are a bunch of saccharine parts of the song which are pretty easy on the ear. But the build-up to easily one of the best drops I've honestly ever heard (7'30" for the impatient amongst you) is worth each second of listening beforehand.

    The caramel vocals of Natalie Williams, watertight playing including a couple of sweet solo lead guitar and sax spots only serve to make this a toasty alternative when it's lashing it down outside. Mmmmmm. - Lyle Bignon

  • Sigur Rós

    Sigur Rós - 'Glósóli'

    [2005]

    Now, 'Glósóli' (roughly translated as a kid's way of saying 'let the sun glow') might not have a title as apt as 'Hoppípolla' - 'hopping in puddles' - but when you're hurtling along the M1, driving four hours in torrents of heaven-piss, it just fits spectacularly. The plodding, raindrop-aping bass riff, twinkling prism chimes and Jonsí's clear-sky falsetto, the grinding, Zeus-ic climax, fuzzy blanket drones and crisp crunch of sodden drum. It's akin to that enticing, indescribable post-thunderstorm scent. It's that moment you can fold away the brolly; it's the peculiar, complacent serenity during a raucous, apocalyptic maelstrom. - Larry 'Rainy' Day

  • Etta James

    Etta James - 'At Last'

    [1960]

    The minute those beautiful swaying strings kick in, you can almost hear the rain pitter-pattering on the stoney pavements of some big city as folks go about their day. For me, it's probably as linked to rainy days as much as George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is linked to New York City (thanks to Woody Allen's Manhattan) to the point where you just need to listen to the song and you can picture it all in such vivid detail. Rain is always linked to the more depressing emotions, but 'At Last' is all about their being a bright blue sky just waiting to get out behind every dark, bleak rain cloud, making it that perfect rainy day track to let you know that it will be sunny eventually and everything is all good. - Chris Taylor

  • The Knife

    The Knife - 'Old Dreams Waiting to be Realized'

    [2013]

    Call me strange but there is something quite wonderful about walking through the rain-soaked streets of London late at night. The patter of raindrops on umbrellas, the sight of illuminated signs reflected along the pavement - as though it has been turned into a distorted mirror- and the stillness that comes when everyone has retreated indoors to shelter. At those times I find myself wandering, physically and mentally. At these moments I tend towards something unobtrusive, and recently this has been the 20 minute ambient centrepiece of The Knife's most recent album.

    'Old Dream's Waiting to be Realized' seems to mainly consist of a single sustained note that hums and is gradually modulated. Occasionally other sounds interrupt the song, but when out on the streets it's hard to tell what is by The Knife, and what has come from the creature that is London. This city has become another facet of the song, it's people, their lives and their inanities have become part of the song, a song which changes every time in hear it and is ultimately unknowable.

    Recently my thoughts have tended towards the dystopian. - Robert Whitfield