April showers bring May flowers, but what happens when May brings more rain?
By its very definition, spring can be a moody time of year. And yet, for most of us living in places with more than one season, by the time April rolls around, we dream of sunny and blissful 65F degree days. So when it pours and the thermomater reads a solid 50F degrees well into May, as it’s been in NYC the past two weeks, one must match the mood appropriately or else be caught up in angst over the lack of expected spring.
I recommend hearty doses of cozy sweaters, chai tea lattes, witchy songs and ghostly tales.
Listen: Hitch a Ride, Delta Rae
It wasn’t exactly raining on the night of the Delta Rae show, but it was certainly doing so on the day they released their newest song—a raucous, witchy murder ballad that I’ve had on repeat since. Granted, the lyrics call more for the devastating heat of high summer, but a mood’s a mood.
Here are a few more folk-rock moody, murder-ballad and just generally atmospheric songs.
- Run Sister Run, by The Sevens.
- Long Lankin, by Steeleye Span
- Bury, by Unions
- Run Baby Run, by The Rigs
- Bonny Swans, by Loreena McKennitt
- The Preacher, by Jamie N. Commons
- Rocks and Water, by Bill Evans and Megan Lynch
Personally, I think tea is appropriate no matter the weather, but a spicy, warming chai latte to sip while reading is perfect to me.
Read: like tea, I generally like ghost stories and witchy tales at any time, but the below list brings an extra atmospherical layer to gloomy days.
Dark Echo, by Francis Cottam
An eerie, chilling story about a haunted sailboat and the beauty of the way relationships can change. It’s hard to pull off time-jumps successfully in storytelling, but Cottam does.
The Carrow Haunt, by Darcy Coates
A book in the vein of “The Haunting of Hill House” that actually manages to be a pretty worthy successor to Shirley Jackson’s masterpiece. Most of Darcy Coates’ books are ghost stories, but this one really haunted me.
Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire
Road ghosts? Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite fantasy authors, and her world-building and storytelling skills show up in full force here.
Season of The Witch, by Natasha Mostert
Gothic, witchy, and well-written: my perfect trifecta. I read this book years ago, and still can’t stop thinking about it.
Long Lankin, by Lindsay Barraclough
Oh, it’s a “children’s book,” you say? Hush, else Long Lankin will get you. Based on the English legend/folk tale (as was the Steeleye Span song; see above), this book gave me the chills long after I finished it.
A Room Away From The Wolves, by Nova Ren Suma
This book just about broke my heart, in the way that only certain books can. It’s a suspenseful thriller that touches on the way our choices haunt us—and our families—long after we’ve made them.