Did you hear the news? I’m sure it was nationally syndicated, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Seattle is officially the third coziest city in America (well, as of 2016, anyway). According to the findings from Honeywell’s fourth annual Coziest City in America rankings, this rain actually won something for us, and that something is the bronze medal of bundling up. Thus, I present to you the B&B playlist for January: Bundled. (Spotify, Google Play Music)
It’s been a while since we churned out a playlist, but we’re back now, and this playlist is full of songs that make your insides feel like hot chocolate.
Broke & Beautiful January 2018 Playlist
Sigur Rós – Glósóli
Billie Holiday – I’m a Fool to Love You
Chet Faker – No Diggity
Regina Spektor – A Cannon
Daughter – Youth
The Maccabees – Toothpaste Kisses
Cat Power – Sea of Love
Sébastien Tellier – Le Long de la Rivière Tendre
Kurt Vile – Baby’s Arms
Seu Jorge – Rock N’ Roll Suicide
Grace VanderWaal – I Don’t Know My Name
Ben Howard – Old Pine
Noah & The Whale – Blue Skies
Caribou – Melody Day (Four Tet Remix)
Sigur Rós Glósóli
Real-talk: this entire playlist could be Sigur Ros’ album Takk… but that would probably be less of a playlist post and more of a me-gushing-over-an-amazing-album post. If ever you are in a situation where it’s the middle of the night and a bunch of snow has fallen or is falling, I highly encourage you to throw this album on and go outside. It will absolutely make you feel like you’re the subject of an indie art film about how badass it is to be alive.
Billie Holiday I’m a Fool to Want You
It’s hard to find a Billie Holiday song that doesn’t make you want to curl up in a blanket and melt into her records for hours. That voice, those original arrangements… Plus, this is one of those songs that gets covered all the time. Over 65 years after it was written by Sinatra, pop artists and musicians are covering I’m a Fool to Want You, but this Billie Holiday version from her orchestral album, Lady in Satin is hard to beat. Some winter songs on this list are best with hot cocoa – this one is best with a clinky cocktail.
Chet Faker No Diggity
Yes, a cover of the legendary Blackstreet jam, “No Diggity,” has unironically made it onto my chillout playlist. Chet Faker is no stranger to my playlists. I watched the video for his famous single, “Gold” for approximately nine months straight in 2015 and have been weak for his slow jams ever since. This song gives me warm fuzzies not just because the production is literally designed to make you feel like you’re sipping warmed brandy in a glass made of Nubuck, but because No Diggity was one of my gateway songs back in the ’90s, and the music video for the original is still a classic.
Regina Spektor A Cannon
There are about a thousand Regina Spektor songs that make me want to wrap myself in a scarf, but her earlier tunes have a spark that really gets me excited for winter. A Cannon is a dreamy song, like many Regina songs, but also has some of the most catchy melodies that are perfect for frolicking. After all, what good is snow in the city if there’s no frolicking?
Here’s a song that feels so wintry that you almost need a sweater just to listen to it. As somber as it might seem upon first listen, this song is actually an anthem. Sure, there’s some heartbreak mixed in there, but there’s a defiance in the lyrics that makes me want to sneak out of my adult-responsible body and force everyone I know into a snowball fight.
The Maccabees Toothpaste Kisses
For the requisite cute love song, we have this annoyingly adorable song from the English rock band, The Maccabees. While it’s definitely cozy, this could just as easily be in a summer love or spring fling soundtrack. Or, if the weather’s too cold for leaving the house, sing this to your favorite Parks & Rec character while huddling in your Snuggie and I promise it will warm you up.
Cat Power Sea of Love
If you haven’t tuned in to Cat Power’s acoustic cover of the song that Phil Phillips churned out back in 1959, you’re missing out. Her voice is spectacular, and it skitters across the top of a guitar sound can only be described as twangly. For just a song by a gal and her guitar, this one is definitely one of the coziest.
Sébastien Tellier La Long de la Rivière Tendre
This song was sent to me about 8 years ago by a boy I liked, and when I’m frazzled, it never ceases to calm the shit out of me. My lovelife has a “songs as emotional currency” policy that hasn’t failed me yet. This song is a testament to that. La Long de la R-, etc., is such a simple song, but the way it ebbs and flows makes it one of the most comforting electronic tracks I’ve ever heard. Thanks, Mischa!
Kurt Vile Baby’s Arms
Heartstrings: be warned. There’s a quality to this song that is magical, a little bit sad, and bleakly hopeful. Maybe that doesn’t sound good to you, but if we’re talking about winter-time, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate description. Kurt Vile is a mysterious creature who I know very little about, but when this song came on in that Seattle fro-yo shop, I knew it was love.
Seu Jorge Rock N’ Roll Suicide
Those of you who have seen The Life Aquatic know that Seu Jorge covered many, many David Bowie songs for the movie’s soundtrack. Rock N’ Roll Suicide is transformed from a powerful rock song into a moody, lo-fi acoustic track. Oh, and 95% of it is in Portuguese which also sets Seu Jorge’s version apart a bit. If you’re still in a Bowie haze, this song is a must-hear during the chilly winter season.
Grace VanderWaal I Don’t Know My Name
If you’ve managed to make it this far in life without knowing who Grace VanderWaal is, I commend you. She is a pre-teen, singer-songwriter phenom that gave her first performance on America’s Got Talent in front of Scary Spice, Simon Cowell, and Deal or No Deal. This song is her original creation and I’ll be damned if there isn’t a single imperfection to comment on. If you aren’t a little bit misty at the end of this song, you’re not doing it right.
Ben Howard Old Pine
Winter can be a harsh season, but when it’s still, it’s incredibly gentle. As far as gentle songs go, nothing is softer than this track from Ben Howard. This is folksy AF, so be ready for some actual man-emotions and poetic lyrics, but the song itself is beautiful and belongs in early winter morning headphones.
Noah & The Whale Blue Skies
Picking it up towards the end of the playlist is this early-year anthem from Noah & The Whale. It’s a cute, albeit sad, song that right off the bat is dedicated to anyone with a broken heart. Don’t worry, though, because it swings back around from “beyond depressed” to “moderately hopeful” within the first minute of the song. There’s a goodly amount of tambourine in this song – the wint’riest of hand instruments – which helps it to be the most solemn-yet-danceable song you’ll hear this season.
Caribou Melody Day (Four Tet Remix)
Ending the Bundled playlist is one of my favorite songs on the planet. I discovered it while surfing through some recommended playlists. It was late at night, and I was wearing headphones which greatly enhanced the transcendent, near-meditative effects this song had on me. Four Tet is a known master of production, and being the downtempo monster that I am, I have about a dozen Four Tet songs I could have added to this playlist. Nevertheless, this Caribou remix has the softest part of my heart. It’s a really special song that makes me feel warm inside every time I hear it.
Listen to Bundled on YouTube