Whether we’re decorating a tree with ornaments, or sitting by the fireplace drinking hot cocoa, we may all rely on a carefully crafted playlist to keep us in the winter holiday spirit. Here are 10 suggestions for cosy winter songs to help make it through exams and welcome you into a well-deserved winter break.
1. ‘Blue Velvet’ – Lana Del Rey
Originally written in 1950, Lana Del Rey’s rendition was created for her H&M commercial. “Blue Velvet” always resonated as a winter holiday song, with Del Rey’s deep, slow vocals and the dreamy instrumental. Blue velvet clothing makes for an ideal holiday party outfit, anyways.
2. ‘Manhattan’ – Cat Power
There’s something about this song that makes you want to sit by a window when it’s raining outside, snuggled up with a blanket and holding a cup of tea, while dreaming about the future. I’m not sure if it’s the echo-y piano sounds, or Cat Power’s dreamy voice, but this is a definite turn-of-season tune.
3. ‘I Love You, Porgy’ – Billie Holiday
Late 1940s music sets the holiday mood immediately. Time to pour yourself a holiday cocktail and pretend you’re sitting alone in a smoky bar while it snows.
4. ‘Winter Song’ – Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
Recently popularized in promos for American Horror Story: Coven, the melancholic duet is literally a song made about the winter season.
5. ‘White Winter Hymnal’ – Fleet Foxes
Required for listening to this: a holiday-flavoured latté and a comfy blanket. Even the mention of snow on the ground gives me the December-time feels.
6. ‘I Know Places’ – Lykke Li
Lykke Li is an artist I am forced to come back to every winter. One of her best songs, “I Know Places” captures Li’s vocal abilities with excellence. The slow, instrumental outro will make you want to bundle up in warm knits and take a walk in the snow this holiday season.
7. ‘I Miss You (Beyoncé Cover)’ – The XX
Originally written by Frank Ocean, recorded by Beyoncé for her last album, and covered by the XX—you already know “I Miss You” is a culmination of talent. Plus, the holiday season is likely to bring about melancholy feelings of missing someone.
8. ‘Winter Wonderland’ – Aretha Franklin
Although “Winter Wonderland” was written in the 1930s, and covered by over 150 artists, Aretha Franklin’s rendition always resonates with me as an iconic festive oldie.
9. ‘You’re Mine, You’ – Chet Baker
Baker delivers a warm, softly sung ballad. I’m practically already sitting by the fireplace in an XXL vintage sweater.
10. ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ – She & Him
If you haven’t decorated your room with ornaments and procured some cinnamon-scented candles, this song will be all the convincing you will need.