\’\’The Braille Night\’\’, 2001

A couple weeks ago, friend of SonicClash and Popblerd blogger Mike Heyliger asked folks to name songs about snow that weren’t Christmas songs. Here’s one of my favorites – “Blizzard of ’78” by the indie rock quartet Ida. This 7 minute epic was the centerpiece of the group’s 2001 album The Braille Night. The song is as stormy as its title would suggest, driven forward by an endlessly repeated descending chord progression pounded out on a piano over groaning strings and a noisy snare-and-cymbals rhythmic attack. And as singers Elisabeth Mitchell, Daniel Littleton, and Karla “k.” Schickele sing the song’s chorus – “You’re a thousand miles from here, you just want to disappear” – in beautiful, shifting, increasingly urgent harmonies, you can almost feel yourself trudging down a snow-covered city sidewalk face-first into a punishing, icy wind. In other words, it sounds just like what a blizzard feels like, even if the lyrics seem less about snow and more about someone trying to overcome stage fright. But it’s the evocation that counts, right? And it’s probably one of my Top 10 favorite songs of the last decade. Click the link below to give it a listen for yourself:

Blizzard of 78