There are certain songs and pieces of music that seem to be perfect for the winter time. The cold winds that blow and make you feel colder, the barren and dormant trees looming everywhere, and the never-ending gray clouds all create a mood of thoughtfulness and longing.
As an introvert, this has become my favorite time of year. There are no bright colors and rays from the sun to distract you from yourself. This is the time for me to fold inward and pursue contemplation. The feeling of warmth under a blanket is the most comforting experience. Warm coffee was designed for winter. Music of a specific mood and timbre can be the best compliment to this marriage of jarring cold and decadent warmth.
Here are some of my music picks for this lonesome wintertime . . .
Within by Daft Punk
I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it. The cascading piano line at the beginning just floors me. Searching, lost, and oh so delicate . . .
Karma Police by Radiohead
This song accomplishes what has made Radiohead a towering artistic force. Lead singer Thom Yorke’s vocals haunt this song with a yearning for retribution . . .
Kansas by Vienna Teng
I have been a fan of Vienna Teng for many years now. Of all her wonderful songs, this one is my current favorite. You get a sense of desolation from these lyrics, in the way that a place like Kansas could only evoke . . .
Piano In the Dark By Brenda Russell
I am going to cover this song some day. It’s so good. An oldy but goody. If you’ve ever been drawn to someone so forcefully that every attempt to let go was futile, this song is for you . . .
On the Nature of Daylight by Max Richter
I recently discovered this piece of music when it was featured during the opening and closing segments of the film Arrival (which is a beautiful film by the way). This music takes its time to build slowly, but when it gets to where its going, you’ll want to either cry or find someone to embrace. There is something tender and rich about this piece. I love it so much.
Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
There is an aching hopefulness in this song, the kind that grows out of trying circumstances and when doing your best just isn’t enough. It talks about making plans for a better future against strong odds, when one flows desperately against a rising tide. I’ve loved this song for many years, and it is a faithful winter standard . . .
Never Is a Promise by Fiona Apple
There is a reason why I have covered this song at my shows for a long time. It radiates defiance, the same way that trees resist a hard and cold wind in the darkest of winters. We are nothing if we cannot be defiant. This song tells you to light your own fire in spite of what you may otherwise be led to believe. A fire in winter never felt so good . . .
I may feature more songs for the winter before this season ends. Until then, enjoy the nakedness of trees and the tiny slivers of sunlight that break through the grey clouds. Or, just enjoy the grey. Every color deserves its time to be seen.