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If you’re like me, then, despite the fact it’s November, you’ve already found yourself bored by the sheer amount of Christmas songs sneaking their way onto the radio and television screen. No, I’m not the 2018 answer to Scrooge, but there’s only so much Band Aid I can listen to before I never want to hear the supergroup again. This year, I’ve reached my limit in mid-November.
What’s my solution? Well, I’ve taken the privilege of compiling an alternate Winter playlist for everyone who agrees with the fact it’s simply too early for cringeworthy Christmas classics, instead choosing 10 songs suited for the winter season that avoid being festive.
Featuring the legendary Lee Moon Sae, "Snow" is a poignant reflection on the feeling one has when snow first falls on the ground. It’s simplistic and refined sonically, but still feels layered, with an emotional sensibility that is perfect for Winter. It’s a tearful way to start a playlist, but it’s a song that despite the emotion, relaxes the listener and allows them to gather thoughts and feelings of their own.
Blink-182—'Happy Holidays, You Bastard'
Ok, maybe it was a little white lie when I said every song avoids being festive, but this comedic ditty is way too good to miss out. Almost anti-Christmas in nature, it’s much more joyous than having to hear Slade for an entire two months, so it makes the cut.
Released back in August, "Stay" has found its way into my Winter playlist due to its beautiful lyrics and powerful message. Dan Andriano shows no filter in showing both guilt and a wanting to make up, and it’s a heart-on-sleeve track that appears more poignant in the Winter months.
Panic! At the Disco—'Dancing’s Not A Crime'
We all need a mood-raiser or two during the Festive season, and a balls to the wall pop track released by Brendon Urie and co. serves this exact purpose. A fun, fast-paced listen, you may even find yourself dancing along, and as the title suggests, that’s certainly not a crime.
The Beatles—'Golden Slumbers'
A track by a truly iconic band, "Golden Slumbers" is instrumentally sublime, and vocally fantastic. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to this song in this season, but the power of the track always brings a smile to my face, so it makes the playlist.
Crush—'Lay Your Head On Me'
Only released yesterday, this track went straight into the playlist due to the visceral emotion shown. With restricted instrumentals allowing Crush’s powerful voice to take centre-stage, it allows the listener to truly concentrate on the lyrics and truly take in just how good an artist Crush is. I have no shame in saying I shed a couple of tears on first listen due to just how hard this song hits, and it’s undoubtedly a song that can be classified as beautifully meaningful.
Eric Nam—'I Don’t Miss You'
A funky guitar-riff accompanies Nam’s soulful voice on this alternate breakup track. As breakups seem common in-and-around December I thought I’d provide a fun listen that still reflects effectively on the fact that it’s alright to not miss a person, and acknowledge the fact that you’ll be alright. The sing-along nature of the chorus makes this an essential pop listen for the cold December ahead.
Eric Nam—'Hold Me'
A double-whammy of Eric Nam, "Hold Me" was released last December as a Winter-ballad, and follows a warm melody that opts not to have a euphoric climax. Instead, it effectively utilises the strengths of Eric Nam’s voice in creating a soothing, pleasant track, with the instrumentals staying out-of-the-way so the song doesn’t become overbearing, making it the perfect Winter listen.
A gothic track, with a brooding melody accompanying Matt Skiba’s monotone lyrical delivery. It’s an interesting listen, but a worthwhile one. It may be a slow-burner, but it has always been a captivating five minutes when I choose to re-visit the song, and the late inclusion of a string-section helps build the song to a dark, uplifting climax.
Jay Park—'Sexy 4 Eva '
Finishing off the playlist with a reminder that you’re all beautiful people, Jay Park’s uplifting toe-tapper is engaging and energetic. It might not be a song designed for the Winter months, but sometimes when life gets you down, it’s good to just remind yourself that you’re worth it, and there’s no better way than doing that than exclaiming that you’ll be sexy forever. It might not be everyone’s go to in terms of finishing the playlist, but it’s certainly mine.
So that was my alternate Winter playlist. It may seem a little outlandish, and contain a ton of songs you may have never even heard of, but I would encourage anyone to at least give it a try, and see if you have as much fun listening as I did making it.