Much of America is currently in a SERIOUS ARCTIC BLAST. Which, in addition to being a great moment for weather dot com to shine, is a pretty great victory for small-talkers everywhere. Those of us who can only communicate with our co-workers through temperature-related realities finally have a reason to latch onto our conversational obsession with what it’s currently doing outside. This of course, is a major win for office watercooler areas everywhere.
Because extreme cold lends itself to a certain mood, here are ten songs that might enhance, eliminate, or pivot said mindset:
1. Wizards Of Winter – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is predominately a Christmas fixture. They begin to lurk around the first week in December, and really come into their own around December 18-19th. By this time, it’s either cold enough for their songs to have their intended legitimacy, or its unseasonably mild enough to make people sad that it doesn’t “feel like Christmas.”
While you can definitely make the argument that the TSO is purely a pre-Christmas playlist essential, I’d argue that certain songs — especially Wizards Of Winter — can equally apply to the post-holiday bluster. Even without the title, this song is intentionally hectic, like a brutal night wind that only seems to escalate more and more.
2. Holocene – Bon Iver
Bon Iver is to winter what John Schnatter is to Papa John’s commercials. Take ’em out, and there’s something sorely missing.
Fun fact that you may already know, but also might not know: ‘Holocene’ refers to the last 11,000+ years of the history of the earth, which is the period since the last Ice Age.
3. Soak Up The Sun – Sheryl Crow
This song was on the Boyhood soundtrack (have you heard of it? it’s a movie people have passionate opinions about!), and has since been slowly creeping back into my external rotation of songs. It’s now playing a role similar to Knicks reserve Rick Brunson in 1998 — appearing in very limited doses, but incurring extreme enthusiasm when played. It’s also radically anti-winter, which is something you need to mix things up here.
4. Siberia – LIGHTS
There’s too much winter here to be ignored. Siberia is a place whose devoted their entire personal brand to the aesthetic, and Lights is a Canadian electro-pop artist whose name is somewhat associated with the Aurora Borealis — not necessarily a winter activity, but north enough to always be that thing that hangs out with winter… kinda like someone you didn’t entirely know in high school, but always associated with a specific lunch table.
5. Not On Drugs – Tove Lo
Tove Lo is a Swedish singer/songwriter who’s best known for saying that she’s gotta say high all the time to keep you off my mind (ooh, ooh). Here’s a different track, which seems to have enough pop-potential to be a song that becomes a little familiar via airwaves. Tove Lo is pretty unique (her music feels like a merger of Charlie XCX and Lorde), and I am on the bandwagon.
6. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) – Fall Out Boy
If this song’s about light within the darkness, fire within the desolate, it seems like a pretty natural fit.
7. Miami 2 Ibiza – Swedish House Mafia ft. Tinie Tempah
The exact opposite of the frigid temperature, in both location and mindset. Miami 2 Ibiza is a summer song that advocates outrageous partying. It’s the spiritual opposite of sitting next to a heater wearing 7 pairs of socks.
8. Hurricane – Something Corporate
In my opinion, Andrew McMahon music has always felt very “winter.” This might have everything to do with the fact that 9th grade me discovered all his music right before a ski trip (and proceeded to listen to everything he’s done on the bus ride there and back), but I don’t think they pack as big an emo punch when it’s 75 and sunny.
9. Hot In Herre – Nelly
A must have, especially this time of year.
10. Boxing Day – Blink-182
While this is technically about the day after Christmas, I think the song also encapsulates a prevailing attitude towards winter over the holidays; a little bit empty, conditions not ideal, but figuring out how to get through. It’s a sort of positive melancholy that perfectly fits the January doldrums.