For curling up and watching the snow fall outside your window. Or, more likely, to warm you up after you slip and fall on a patch of ice that totally wasn’t there when you left your house this morning.
1. I Was An Eagle – Laura Marling
Laura Marling is a songwriting powerhouse and deserves all the best reviews. Her fifth studio album will be out sometime this year so, with that ambiguous announcement in mind, make sure you soak up the genius of her previous four.
2. Le temps des souvenirs – Francoise Hardy
You should probably listen to this song while wearing a lemon yellow shift dress as you dance around your living room drinking a glass of Sancerre. But dance subtly, dance French.
3. Late Bloomer – Jenny Lewis
This song follows a sixteen-year-old girl and her Parisian affair with a woman named Nancy. In describing her potential French lover, Jenny Lewis sings the phrase “her eyes were changing like moonstones,” which is about as seductive a simile as I have ever heard. The first version of the refrain goes: “Open up, late bloomer, it’ll make you smile. I can see that fire burning in you, little child” and it only gets better and better. If you can’t tell, I am so into this song and not just because Jenny Lewis is a goddess in a rainbow suit.
4. Seekir – Zola Jesus
Zola Jesus is a Russian American who was raised in Wisconsin, so she knows winter. She usually records her albums in the winter and has said of her music: “A lot of the songs are cold, but in the coldness you find warmth. Winter has a lot to do with it.”
5. Cavity – Hundred Waters
This song is from Hundred Waters’ second studio album The Moon Rang Like a Bell, which came out last May and is well worth a listen (or many, if you’re anything like me). Their performance on KEXP from last July is just lovely as well.
6. “Let’s Play”/ Statue of a Man – Mutual Benefit
Mutual Benefit’s perfect Love’s Crushing Diamond got a bit lost in all the indie music Pitchfork-ian hype when it came out last year (though Pitchfork certainly threw them some hype). Their first LP is a perfectly conceived and complete listening experience.
7. Twisted Mirror – Pure X
The lead singer of Pure X once let my friend hold his crystal after a show at (the World’s Best Venue Ever) Ottobar in Baltimore. I think that’s all you need to know about Pure X.
8. You Know Me Well – Sharon Van Etten
I’ll confess, Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There was my introduction to her music. I don’t know how I have been living without her all these years.
9. No Good – Perfume Genius
Perfume Genius is so incredibly talented and this track is from his 2015 album Too Bright, his best to date in my and many other more knowledgeable people’s opinions. Listening to this album the first time, I’ll admit it, I cried a little (okay a lot). If you haven’t seen it already, check out his performance of the anthemic song “Queen” on David Letterman.
10. Lover, Where Do You Live? – Highasakite
After watching Highasakite’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert last May, their EP and debut album Silent Treatment quickly became my go-to music as I was driving across the country. It reminds me of deeply forested Blue Ridge Mountains and Texas bugs that were, not kidding, the size of small birds. The latter, I admit, is a less than savoury memory.
11. Heart of the Woods – Snowbird
I first listened to this album when it was released about this time last year and am happy to return to it. Snowbird is composed of Simon Raymonde, former member of the Cocteau Twins, and Stephanie Dosen, the sole vocalist for their debut album moon. This album makes me feel like I am a tiny woodland creature curled up a pile of moss on a moonlit evening. I am certain this is the vibe Raymonde and Dosen were trying to create.
12. Where Dreams Go To Die – John Grant
This song is from John Grant’s first album Queen of Denmark, which I have been enjoying quite a bit lately. His second album, Pale Green Ghosts, was recorded in Iceland, where Grant currently lives. Iceland is, as E once said, “the international Montana,” aka the current hip place for people to visit and live.
Enjoy! And let us know your favourite dreamy winter songs.