The turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce have been eaten up, the battle wounds from Black Friday shopping are healing and all the leaves have fallen off the trees. This means that the most wonderful time of year is here; that’s right, winter and the holidays. The temperatures are dropping here in New England and it’s clearly a no brainer that winter is creeping upon us. In the spirit of the season, grab the hot cocoa and a warm, fuzzy blanket and enjoy these wintry tunes before you go into hibernation.
“Scarborough Fair/Canticle” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Scarborough Fair/Canticle” is famous from the iconic 1967 film, “The Graduate,” which Simon & Garfunkel wrote the soundtrack for. The song is beautifully chilling with perfect harmonies, which is ideal to listen to on a winter’s night.
“Blood Bank” by Bon Iver
From Bon Iver’s 2009 EP, Blood Bank, “Blood Bank” is appropriate for a cold winter’s night drive through your neighborhood. The song begins with prodding acoustic strums while singer Justin Vernon quietly serenades you. The lyrics, “what’s that noise up the stairs, babe? Is that Christmas morning creaks?” remind listeners of Christmas time nostalgia when they waited up all night to catch a glimpse of Santa.
“White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes
From Fleet Foxes 2008, self-titled album, “White Winter Hymnal” opens up with Beach Boy-like harmonies. The song slowly builds up with a somber tambourine and guitar and then something like a tympani booms in and out through “oohs.” The song itself is like a ray of winter sun beaming down your face, but the ending of this masterpiece finishes off with a melancholic piano section.
“Breathe” by Pink Floyd
Straight from the classic “Dark Side of the Moon” album, “Breathe” is the first song off the legendary Pink Floyd masterpiece. “Breathe” kicks off with a soundtrack of a steady heartbeat, a faint cash register (recognizable in “Money”), a roller coaster escalating, and Roger Walters’ maniacal laughter and plunges listeners into a tranquil abyss of guitars, a soothing bass and cymbal crashing of drums. The song is airy, like crisp winter air.
“Winter Winds” by Mumford and Sons
Where else would a winter playlist be without this Mumford and Sons classic? “Winter Winds” is a folky winter love song with lyrics like, “Oh the warmth in your eyes swept me into your arms/Was it love or fear of the cold that led us through the night?/For every kiss your beauty trumped my doubt/And my head told my heart, “Let love grow,” that would melt away the “fear of the cold.”
“Mushaboom” by Feist
Canadian songstress, Feist, released this quirky number off her 2005 album, “Let it Die.” This upbeat indie song is perfect to sing along to while you are doing your Christmas baking or adding those finishing touches to your holiday decorations.
“Blackbird” by The Beatles
A timeless classic off of The Beatles’ final album, “The White Album,” “Blackbird” is perfect for a sunny winter’s day stroll.
“Sunday Morning” by The Velvet Underground
Released in 1967 from The Velvet Underground’s debut album, “Sunday Morning” is another song to cruise around your neighborhood to. Lou Reed’s calm and soothing voice will instantly relax your nerves after hitting that Mass Pike traffic coming home from school. If snowflakes could make a sound, it would sound like the faint tambourine and chiming celesta of this classic.
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
“Landslide” is a beautiful and poetic gem which captures emotions of uncertainty and courage. This song is perfect for sitting on your couch as you are wrapped around your favorite fuzzy blanket, drinking hot cocoa, watching the snow fall gently from your window.
“Go Outside” by Cults
Perfect for your longing desires to run outside to make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or go sledding with your younger siblings, “Go Outside” motivates just as its name portrays.
“Shiver” by Coldplay
From the 2002 album “Parachutes,” Coldplay’s “Shiver” is sublime and romantic. The use of electric guitars fits well into this sweet melancholy song about unrequited love is perfect for wintertime blues.
“Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” by Arcade Fire
“Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” is about two lovers who wish to see each other and dig a tunnel to each others’ windows. The song opens up with piano and guitar synchronization that make this piece poignant. Singer Win Butler nails down the narration of this song about the lovers stuck in a town that is snowed in with lyrics like, “And if the snow buries … my neighborhood/And if my parents are crying, then I’ll dig a tunnel from my window to yours.”
Nathalie Sczublewskican be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org