Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Although it's been wiped away by fluctuating temperatures and rain these past few days, we've seen our first snow fall. And thus begins my favourite month of the year! With December in toe, and many frosty, snowflake-filled days ahead of us - something has to keep us going. This time of year - whether you're a student, in the working world, or anywhere else - can be notoriously trying at times. Trudging through snow, financial quams and a hefty workload proves to be discouraging, which is why I try to keep my favourite winter ditties on hand. The fact of the matter is, winter and it's plunging temperatures can be entirely pleasant if you're sporting the right coat and the right playlist. Suddenly, your chilly cheeks aren't the end of the world and the soft heaps of snow seem a lot prettier.

I make a note of re-vamping my iPod each year after the first snowfall, because let's face it - Camera Obscura doesn't sound so good when it's not a blistering day on the beach. The Black Keys aren't as perfect of a companion without a golden rural roadtrip in the summer heat. Similarly, the cooler, tinkering tunes make for a great backdrop to the lights and whites of the holidays. Some songs have been in closeted Rubbermaid bins for the past seven months, and here they are, happily resurrected for the winter! Here's a starter list of what will calm those winter woes, expect more to come...

1. I Love NYE - Badly Drawn Boy: THE winter essential. As soon as you see a little white flake stick to your coat, flip this track on immediately. This BDB instrumental is perfectly quaint and breathtaking from start to finish. Whether it's the floating orchestra, calm acoustic guitar or sweet-as-pie xylophone melody, this song captivates you through each of it's building phases. When you listen to it, don't be alarmed if you begin having visions of bright twinkle lights and a untouched winter streets - it's a natural symptom of the song.

Ingrid and Sara
2. Winter Song - Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles: Whoever advised these two indie power-females to join and record a haunting and unforgettable winter anthem is a genius. This song is truly powerful. Bareille and Michaelson's exquisite vocal abilities make for heavenly harmonies and the words they sing are equally as profound. These two ladies cause an infectious adoration and I find it hard to believe anyone could not fall in love with such beauty - "Ill be your harvester of light/ And send it out tonight/ So we can start again/ Is love alive?"

3. Faded from the Winter - Iron & Wine: A favourite from my past, Sam Beam can put me to sleep any day. This song tells an eerie but beautiful story worth listening to, and it's gentle redundance is one of a kind. His voice against a rustic acoustic loop is soothing to the ear and perfect for a calm winter stroll on your own, or a night spent in front of a cabin fire while the snow blows outside. Listen for the uppity country transition at the end, it will pick you up from the serenity of the song and carry you right into your bed. "Spoken words like moonlight, you're the voice that I like."

Strumming the Fisherman's Blues
4. Fisherman's Blues - The Waterboys: An odd choice, you're thinking. Well, hear me out. You know those opening scenes in the old flicks where the camera starts out on a quiet, blizzardy town street and then wanders inside the doors of the local watering hole, only to find that noisy debauchery and rowdy music fills the indoors? That's what I'm going for with this one. Go have a dark pint or hot special coffee in the front of an old pub and request this song while you're at it. It's a true Scottish jig lead by Mike Scott's passionate howls and the band's hopping strums, and although only a few words ago I advised you to sit in a window and take it all in, I immediately take it back. Stand up and dance wildly to this one, because after all these years, the Waterboys would want still want you to.

5. It's The Nighttime Baby - Josh Rouse: This one would go great with a leisurely ride around town (with your snow tires on, of course). Draw a few things on the foggy windows, enjoy the decorated city and let the narration of this happy little track do what it may. Rouse, who I always can pinpoint as a fairly blunt storyteller, will croon the words alongside a bouncy acoustic and country tempo to set the mood. It's a cute snowy sound, so snuggle up to your sweetie in the front seat and take a spin down the road.

1 comment:

  1. This is so lovely Jess- you write so beautifully when you're happy. I can't wait for you to post something when you're angry, I feel like it will blow my socks off.