Part one was about songs that let you escape winter and the cold and relive long summer drives with the windows open, but sometimes that’s not what I want. Sometimes all I want is to wallow in my winter blues, to listen to songs that reflect the dreariness outside. Here’s that list.
Acts of Man / Frightened Rabbit / Pedestrian Verse – “I’m here, I’m here, not heroic but I try” – There comes a moment every winter when it feels like I’ve just had enough and nothing could accurately express how done am, but the anger, frustration, exhaustion that comes across in Frightened Rabbit’s lyrics does. Bonus track: Keep Yourself Warm.
Gravity / Sara Bareilles / Little Voice – “No matter what I say or do/I still feel you here until the moment I’m gone” – Sometimes winter songs are just sad songs. This is one of my go-to sad songs, but with Sara Bareilles’s smart lyrics and beautiful voice it’s one that’s worth listening to again and again.
Retrograde / James Blake / Overgrown – “You’re on your own/In a world you’ve grown” – James Blake’s soulful voice screams winter to me.
Human / Daughter / If You Leave – “Underneath the skin there’s a human/buried deep within there’s a human/and despite everything I’m still human/but I think I’m dying here” – Dreamy vocals and lyrics like poetry, plus a beat that’s just a little bit faster than the other songs on this list.
Holocene / Bon Iver / Bon Iver – “And at once I knew I was not magnificent” – It was not a question of if Bon Iver would be on this list so much as which song and can I include more than one. I never thought I could love a song off of Bon Iver’s second eponymous album as much as his debut, which included the forever-on-repeat “Skinny Love,” but “Holocene” is almost as frequently on repeat in my house.
Norman’s Walk / Jon Brion / ParaNorman Soundtrack – On one level, this is just another opportunity for me to tell you to PLEASE go watch ParaNorman because you will adore it, but also the music is just so lovely and I especially love this song and there are plenty of winter mornings when I don’t want to listen to songs that have words that tell me how to feel. I’m very cranky on winter mornings. Bonus tracks: “Intro” by The xx and “Bom Bom” by Macklemore (featuring The Teaching).