What’s the Mood?: Winter

The theme of this final column should be no surprise. Over the past three months, I’ve very much enjoyed creating a new playlist every week, and many of them have had to do with the time of year. Now that it’s December, and I no longer have upcoming seasons to write about, I thought it would be perfectly fitting to do a winter playlist. Given the seemingly endless catalogues of Christmas songs and folksy tunes, there really is no shortage of winter-themed music, so I’ve done my best to pluck my favorites that encapsulate the snow-filled holiday spirit.

  1. Winter Song” by the Head and the Heart
  2. “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
  3. “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes
  4. “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys
  5. This December” by Ricky Montgomery
  6. “Aphasia” by Pinegrove
  7. California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & the Papas
  8. Blues Run the Game” by Jackson C. Frank
  9. “uuu” by Field Medic
  10. “Sleigh Ride” by The Ronettes
  11. “This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies
  12. Does It Ever Cross Your Mind?” by The Paper Kites

Some of these songs have it right in the name — “Winter Song” (2011) needs no explanation, but I felt the need to include it anyway. “Sleigh Ride” (1963) is one of the most recognizable Christmas songs, but I also love The Ronettes, so I had to include them as well. “California Dreamin’” (1965) is the quintessential song for anyone who isn’t so into the snow and misses the warmth of the West Coast. And of course, did I really write a column if I didn’t include The Beach Boys? There are some other, less obvious picks on here too. Take, for example, “Does It Ever Cross Your Mind?” (2018) by The Paper Kites, a song that is intensely tranquil and exudes the vibes of a calm snowy morning. Another great wintery song is “This Will Be Our Year” (1968) by The Zombies, which instills hope for a happy new year, and listening to it would be an uplifting way to start your 2020. And while I realize it is really more of a New Year’s song, I’ve got to condense a bunch of holidays into one in this playlist. 

This being my last column, I also thought I’d answer a question I’m frequently asked: How do I decide which songs to put on each playlist? To be perfectly honest, it’s not a very well-refined process. I typically scroll through my saved songs, and when I feel like something fits, I throw it in the column. The point is, take all of what I’ve said with a grain of salt and realize that these are all my personal opinions, and if you don’t agree with any of these picks, I take no offense. However, I hope that readers of this column have at least been exposed to new music, have learned more about music they already liked or have learned what music they don’t like. Regardless of where you might fall, thanks for reading this column, and thank you to the Tufts Daily, and especially Executive Arts Editor Steph Hoechst, for letting me spew my musical opinions. Have a great winter break. 

Here’s the link if you want to listen: https://spoti.fi/2P95M1Z.