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Soundtrack to a bearable winter

Push through perpetual fogginess and cold skin to embrace songs that occasionally radiate warmth

<p>Without a doubt, these vocals are ones you’ll want to reverberate against bedroom walls while escaping the cold.</p>

Without a doubt, these vocals are ones you’ll want to reverberate against bedroom walls while escaping the cold.

"Cherry Plum" by Astronauts, etc.

Upon just the first note, it seems the ideal listening location for this song is in the passenger seat on a long drive, drifting through foggy mountain passes with one’s forehead pressed against a cool car window. It comes as no surprise that the creator of this 2021 single, Anthony Ferraro, was once a member of Toro y Moi’s touring band. Compared to Toro y Moi’s increasingly digital sound, Astronauts, etc. takes it back to the basics with vocals as instrumentals and simple — albeit entrancing — lyricism. Alluring poetry is contained in lines such as, “So the winter was long but we’re / flowering in the spring / and I quietly hum that pink melody.”

"I Hope You're Doing Okay" by Pity Party (Girls Club)

This song is a true representation of emotional contradictions. Phrases such as, “I hope you’re doing okay,” and “I hope it hurts,” coexist in a complicated way that explores a breakup or the end of a romantic relationship. Appropriately, the song starts off with the impossible question “So, do you guys still talk?” In response — a guitar riff. The downbeat, existential bass pairs well with the obvious pain in the nearly spoken-word vocals. In all, it’s a gloomy song for a sunless day. Don’t be discouraged by the track’s interestingly hopeless aura, though — it is indeed a sad anthem but not lacking in the necessary departments of relatability and style.  

"All Hallows Grieve" by Milo Korbenski

It’s a wonder that this song doesn’t have more streams. Everything about it feels timeless and classic despite its reasonably recent release last year. The guitar sounds like something straight out of a 2009 song by The xx: “Crystalised'' reincarnate. Better yet, the instrumentals and vocals ebb and flow together, elevating Korbenski’s voice and emphasizing a pleasing chorus. As a testament to its overall interest, the whole song feels exciting and chorus-worthy. There’s no singular best part or release of emotion. It’s incredibly cohesive. “All Hallows Grieve'' seems like a cold moniker for such an inviting song, but the eerie lyrics challenge the apparent warmth and give in to its undeniable winter roots.

"the fatalist" by girlhouse

What is it to be a fatalist? It’s laying down and letting the inevitable tide of future events wash over you. girlhouse argues that once this cycle is in place, it’s nearly impossible to resurface or snap out of it. Much like water, this psychological doctrine will creep into every orifice and weigh you down. If there were any season to contemplate a topic as weighty as this one, it would be what appear to be lifeless winter months. Just by reading this description, a future listener could never be prepared for what this song actually sounds like. The light vocals characteristic to girlhouse often depict intense ideas or events with a sense of lightness, whether it be a car crash or “boundary issues.” It’s a style weirdly reminiscent of Kate Nash’s upbeat, trademark quirky-girl way of describing shockingly dark ideas. It shouldn’t work so well, but it does.

"Must Be a Cop" by Husbands

This track is what it feels like to wake up to a bright, low-hanging sun after days of muted color. It’s pure rejoicing with your head tilted toward the light, and this time it’s not your vitamin D lamp. Think Goth Babe and Day Wave — Husbands collaborating with either of these groups would undoubtedly rock the worlds of granola indie lovers. Even though the lyrics are slightly obscured by a heavily reverberated singing style, the relaxing feeling being conveyed is hard to miss. Unlike the songs before, it’s solely bliss.

"Within (You)" by Wild Painting

This more obscure Boston-based group is rather underground, so seeing them live in a more intimate setting is still attainable. After delving into their one and only 2017 album, it’s impossible not to be hooked. Who knew actual screams and raw emotion could sound so precise and artistic? Wild Painting is for people looking to create or amplify already existing feelings. Fans of early Wolf Alice and Willow are especially encouraged. Without a doubt, these vocals are ones you’ll want to reverberate against bedroom walls while escaping the cold. Exercise caution with your vocal chords if ever attempting to mimic these freeing lines.

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