Playlist 496 - Winter Mix Dec 2018

I decided to do something a little bit different this year.

Instead of a bunch of overtly Christmas tunes (much as I love them) I thought I’d do a more general winter theme.

(By the way you can find several Christmas playlists from years past on the site if that’s your thing.)

So this is a version of winter music.

What’s that says you.

Music with a sense of time passing. A sense of coming to the end of something. The year obviously but maybe something else too.

Some music references the time of year explicitly either in titles or in lyrics.

Or the weather we associate with winter in our northern hemisphere.

In other cases it’s something in the arrangement. The spareness maybe conjuring up a bare frozen landscape. Take Laura Cannell’s double recorder for example. Or the massive string drones of Slow Moving Clouds.

There is meditation in it. Observation of the world and its effect on our selves.

And a certain strangeness at times. The alienation of it.

Not to forget there is also a joy in winter. A thrill and hope you’ll find in the jangle and upbeat rhythms of Midlake Aztec Camera and Whoa Melodic.

The latter is one of the few allowances I’ve made for Christmas references. It’s a new and brilliantly meta Christmas song about writing a Christmas hit and a top notch song in its own. There’s also an endearing innocence to it which I think is an apt counterpoint to the worst excesses of Christmas. Summed up in the perfectly simple refrain – “grab your guitar”.

In this category I’ve also included Dylan Thomas and John Cale putting Thomas to music. Simply because the writing is ageless and the brimming nostalgia is also very much a winter thing. The looking back. Enjoy.

C Duncan – The midnight sun (Fat Cat)
Lost Idol – Molten snow (Cookshop)
Laura Cannell – Two winters (Brawl)
Dylan Thomas – A childhood Christmas in Wales (extract) (BBC)
John Cale – A childhood Christmas in Wales (live) (Hannibal)
Slow Moving Clouds – Os (Paper Palace Records)
Joni Mitchell – River (A&M)
Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi – Cold moon (Believe Recordings)
Modern Studies – It’s winter (Fire)
Chloe March – Snow bird (Hidden Shoal/Powderkeg)
Goldfrapp – Winter wonderland (Mute)
Polar Bear – It snows again (The Leaf Label)
Mikael Tariverdiev – Snow over Leningrad (from the soundtrack of the film The irony of fate) (Earth Recordings)
Esquivel – Parade of the wooden soldiers (RCA)
Yamaneko – Lost winters hiding (Lo Recordings)
Simon & Garfunkel – The sound of silence (Columbia)
Sigur Ros – Glosoli (EMI)
Josephine Foster – The virgin of the snow (Fire)
Low – Last snowstorm of the year (Sub Pop)
Midlake – It covers the hillsides (Bella Union)
Aztec Camera – Walk out to winter (Rough Trade)
Whoa Melodic – Christmas stars (wiaiwya)


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