In the winter life slows down. Everything gets quiet and sunlight slips away so quickly. Sometimes this quiet is welcome in our otherwise chaotic lives, other times it requires something extra. For me, that "extra" is usually a little music on the record player and a hot cup of coffee in hand. On snowy afternoons in particular, I require nothing more than a warm woven blanket and a folksy soundtrack. I'm such an advocate for this activty that I went ahead and made a little sampler of what I've got on rotation this winter. You'll find some of the music comforting, some sad and almost all of it capable of unthawing even the most frozen of hearts. And if you like what you hear, click on the album cover and grab a copy of the album for yourself. You and your turntable can thank me later. With bourbon. Cool?
Jus Post Bellum
Track: Measure of a Man
I wish my introduction to Jus Post Bellum wasn't at a great guy's funeral, but hearing them honor Aaron's life with "Measure of a Man" felt perfect. The song still gives me chills with every listen and the whole album is just beautiful. Forget that "July" is in the title. It works right now.
I have only three words for you on this one: hauntingly beautiful vocals. Listen for yourself.
Track: Still Trying
Did you go through a big Damien Rice phase in high school after a rough break with your boyfriend, too? While at first it might seem like Nathaniel Rateliff is the second-coming of Mr. Rice, he's actually got his own thing goin' (and seems much more well-adjusted). Have I mentioned that he also has a great beard?
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Track: The New SF Bay Blues
I forget where I first heard of this group, but I cannot get enough of them. Alynda Lee Segarra's smooth voice gives Morgan Freeman's a run for its money, and I have a special place in my heart for their band tee since Minneapolis' original riff raff, Carol Andrews, is featured on it.
Sharon Van Etten
Track: I Love You But I'm Lost
I know I'm not alone in thinking this lady is tops. I've listened to her for years, but particularly love the lyrics to this track off her latest album: "Come in here and be yourself again / I love you but I’m not somebody who take shots". That's admirable self-awareness if you ask me.
What albums/tracks/artists are you really feeling right now? Do you have any go-to albums in the winter? I'd love to hear about them.