Unless you are social media avoidant, you’ve probably noticed that The 1975 have finally released their long awaited A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, another banal, inflated attempt at aesthetically goth indie-rock. It’s tragic, really, because The 1975 have written some incredible songs that drown in filler like “Love It If We Made It,” a desperate track that seeks to shed light on the absurd resilience that pulls us through the crushingly fast-paced world we live in. Frankly, it really is that good.
And this is how I feel about winter — there’s beauty to be found in the filler of the seemingly endless monotone cold. Music truly is often seasonal, and while I love getting down to “Cut to the Feeling” at almost any given moment, it’s undeniably best enjoyed driving with all the windows down on a warm summer evening than huddled in three blankets. So, I’ve compiled a few songs to get us all through what is often considered the bleakest season; whether you want to get your mind off the cold or embrace the gray that has befallen us is entirely up to you.
Once snow first starts hitting the ground, my brain instinctively craves the detachment of Seahaven’s Winter Forever, whose opening track “Goodnight” sends shivers up the spine in the same way a sharp winter breeze would. If we’re being honest, the entire album is (obviously) perfect for when it feels like warmth will never return, but total submission to the cold has never been my style. Other standouts include “It’s Over,” “Understanding” and “Honeybee” when you want to revel in nostalgia for some sunlight.
Yaeji’s self-titled debut EP features one of her most criminally overlooked tracks “Feel It Out,” overshadowed by the domineering popularity of “raingurl.” “Feel It Out” embraces empty spaces, unafraid to create space in its sonic landscape. Yaeji’s minimalism reigns here, her synth oscillates in and out, sometimes entirely absent and other times dominating the melody. Her monotone is one of detachment, perfect for dissociating on early morning walks to class or work when the cold is at its worst.
But winter is certainly not a time for eternal sadness: The end of the semester is in sight, time with family finally becomes a reality and we can mentally reset in preparation for the new year. Although every following year seems to be at least as awful as the last, optimism is essential to pull through. The new Kim Petras single “Feeling of Falling” (featuring Cheat Codes) is a wonderful techno-pop fusion, her sugary vocals elevating above the stagnant quiet of an overcast world covered in snow. Sometimes you need to dance some warmth into your bones, and few artists are better equipped to get you moving than Kim Petras.
There’s no use pretending that winter is easy in the Midwest. With overwhelming amounts of snow and minimal sunlight, positivity must be derived elsewhere. I hope this playlist offers some comfort to those who suffer the most from this time, or at least gives some perspective into battling or embracing the season with music.