Tuesday Ten: Indulging Your Winter Blues

By | January 27, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Winter sucks. There’s no getting around it or dressing it up in fancier language than that. And some days, there’s just no point in trying to fight it; all you want to do is curl up under the covers and break out your favorite angsty music while preparing for hibernation. We feel the same way around this time of year, and that’s why our writers have prepared a two-part playlist dedicated to the winter blues. Enjoy part one, all about indulging your winter blues, below!

Look out for part two–curing your winter blues–next week!

The Academy Is… – Winter Passing

I only ever listen to this song in the winter. Not just because it has the word “winter” in the title–though that’s a good reason–but because when I hear it, all I think is “cold”. Cold weather, being cold, cold feelings. It’s about lost love and heartache, and the talented William Beckett infuses every word with longing and, eventually, resignation: “I’ve left my last message on your machine.” His lyrics are so evocative, you can easily imagine staring forlornly into a fire as the snow swirls past the windows. There’s angst here–the sadness that comes from having your heart broken right before the holidays–and you can’t help but feel sympathetic. Not every song can make you feel as mopey as you did at fifteen, but this one comes close. Full disclosure: ever since The Academy Is… broke up in 2011, all of their songs make me sad, but this one in particular stands out as the moodiest option. (Sam Devotta)

Bayside – Don’t Call Me Peanut

With wintertime comes the inevitable cold winter blues, where the only thing you want to do is curl up by the fireplace and be sad. Of course, you’ll need to have the perfect playlist to accompany your mood. “Don’t Call Me Peanut” by Bayside is a must listen for those dark down-in-the-dumps days; the slow acoustic sound will match your mellow mood. With lyrics like “I can’t live my life knowing you’ll be in his arms each time I close my eyes”, it’s perfectly relatable to those lonely January nights. And with guitar chords that feel like being wrapped up in warm blankets, each verse makes you want to close your eyes and sway along. Get your tissues ready and embrace those winter blues as you listen to Anthony Raneri serenade you through the night. (Jenna Cafora)

Brand New – Bed

Daisy is probably not the first album your mind jumps to when you think Brand New, but the song “Bed” is the perfect wintertime wind-down-and-cry-to jam. With angry lyrics and a soft yet slightly uptempo beat, it’s the perfect Brand New song to sing along to in your car while thinking of all the extraordinary things you would to to make it stop snowing. It helps that Jesse Lacey has no issues also wanting to set people on fire in a fury, all while maintaining sadness in his eyes. The song itself reminds you of why extreme despair is always an option throughout these bluesy times, and it’s always a good way to wrap up an evening filled with freezing hands and feet, and runny noses that you feel way too old for. It also accounts for the restlessness you’ll feel throughout the times you’ll be trapped in the freezing cold inside a house you don’t want to be in before you make your dramatic exit into spring. (Shelby Chargin)

Damien Rice – Cheers, Darlin’

It’s a cold, snowy night in January (known to some as “cuffing season”) and you’ve just been broken up with. Sucks, right? Well, Damien Rice knows how awful it is, and he channels all of those sad, heartbroken feelings into most of the tracks in his discography–but “Cheers Darlin” from his iconic album O is a standout track. You can almost picture him sitting by a fireplace drinking bottles on bottles of red wine, eventually falling into a wine-induced slumber. As it gets progressively chillier and the nights seem to drag on forever, it’s the kind of weather that makes heartache feel like it’s never going to disappear, but sometimes it’s okay to feel sad–and Rice understands that, too. (Tarynn Law)

The Early November – Exchanging Two-Hundred

If you’re mourning a lack of any sign of warmth, don’t panic, because The Early November are here to guide you through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. First up: denial. You tell yourself you can beat the winter blues, and a song taken from an album called The Room’s Too Cold couldn’t possibly drag you down any more. But then the chorus hits, and all the anger in the world is raining down on you in a relentless wall of sound, just like the blizzard outside. You’ve simply got no choice but to give in to the echoing guitars and sporadic beat. Of course, there’s bargaining next–you’ll attempt to calm yourself down with the soft, crooning verses, except the vocals don’t match the true darkness of the lyrics. So you fall into depression–stage four. The lines, “It’s one of those nights where everyone’s cold / But they’re standing on ice and it’s all your fault” are not only chilling temperature-wise, but they also pierce you with a guilt you’re not supposed to have. But that’s when you finally realize: you’re allowed to feel like this–it’s snowing like crazy outside, the winter blues are real, and you have The Early November to get you through it all. Ahh, acceptance. (Alex Bear)

Lydia – Stay Awake

Let’s be real–Lydia’s album Illuminate in its entirety might just be the ultimate soundtrack for those winter blues, but one song in particular really makes you want to indulge in and actually embrace wintry solitude. Don’t be mistaken, though. “Stay Awake” conjures so many different feels–ones that make you so sad that you’re happy and vice versa. With vocalist Leighton Antelman’s soft tones paired with haunting melodies and Mindy White’s seamless harmonies, the track starts out slow, stirring up nostalgia for someplace warmer as Antelman croons, “But San Francisco sounds quite lovely.” Without warning, the chorus delivers a sense of urgency with a loud crash of cymbals as vocals are turned up a notch, all but screaming “Cover up for the rain.” With this track, you’ll want to stay awake despite the frigid temperatures. (Alyson Stokes)

Moose Blood – Gum

Released back in October, Moose Blood’s moody, emotional debut album I’ll Keep You in Mind, From Time to Time provides the perfect start to the quintessential winter blues soundtrack this year. While the whole album complements the season, “Gum” is a particularly fitting track with its resonant guitar lines, Eddy Browerton’s lolling vocals, and melodic swells matching the gloomy weather outside. Albeit one of the most romantic songs on the album, with or without a significant other, this song’s lyrics evoke one of my favorite activities during the winter: lying in bed and staying up too late either listening to music or watching movies. Also, when this song makes you nostalgic about watching American Beauty in the dark, you’ll have plenty of time to revisit that experience since the sun sets at 4:00 pm. (Catherine Yi)

Real Friends – Monday

If you’re looking to indulge in your annual winter blues, who better to turn to than the Illinois Sad Boys? It’s hard for me to play favorites when it comes to Real Friends, but their track “Monday” from the fantastically sad EP This Is Honesty holds a special place in my heart. As someone beginning to enter somewhat of a quarter-life crisis, the lyric “I’m not liking the thought of looking at myself / And seeing all the stress of my mother / And heavy eyes of my father” feels like a stab to the chest–but in the best way possible. And the sheer desperation in Dan Lambton’s voice throughout the track makes me feel like I’m not the only one who’s scared of growing up. Unfortunately, we all have to come to terms with the fact that Peter Pan isn’t going to come to our window; luckily, Real Friends have been there and done that, and even lived to tell us the tale.The combination of the apprehensive lyrics and and overall anxious tone of the song will appeal to everyone fearful of the future, especially on those cold Monday mornings. (Danielle DeSisto)

Silverstein – Call It Karma

“Blame it on the weather, but I’m a mess / And this February darkness has me hating everyone.” With an opening line like that, it would be criminal to leave Silverstein’s “Call It Karma” off of this list. These Canadians know a thing or two about battling endless months of nothing but cold and grey, and that struggle is packed into every second of the four-minute track. Despite being one of the more upbeat cuts from Discovering The Waterfront, the song still can’t escape the minor key it calls home and gets progressively darker as it goes, eventually dropping down to a somber bridge and slowing to a half-time feel accompanied by interspersing screams for its climax. It feels like a perfect musical reflection of those winter days where there’s absolutely nothing you do can to lift the dreariness, no matter how hard you try. But the song ends on as hopeful a note as it can: “Life goes on…tomorrow is here.” And enough tomorrows will eventually bring spring–yes, even in Canada. (Eleanor Grace)

Stone Sour – Bother

It’s winter. You’re cold, your favorite summer activities have left the building for the foreseeable future, and snow fills your shoes every damn time you step outside. Let’s face it, it’s easy to feel a little miserable in the year’s sunless months. If you’re looking to indulge in that disadvantaged feeling for a little while, Stone Sour’s “Bother” is waiting patiently on your playlist. Guitar that recalls the alternative rock of the 90’s leads you into the absolute sadness pouring from every note of the four-minute song. It’s the ultimate soundtrack to contemplating why the hell you’re so down in the first place. With a slow pace and smooth sound, Corey Taylor’s pained yet flawlessly delivered vocals make it easy to let the emotionally-scarred song repeat itself for hours…until you’re ready to pull yourself out of your winter-fueled funk. (Emillie Marvel)

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