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COLUMN: 6 songs to capture the dreary essence of winter

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In the Midwest, winter can feel dull, dreary and never ending. The temperature chills drastically and animals go into hibernation until the spring. When the feelings of winter overcome our senses, it can be difficult to find joy in everyday tasks and routines. 

Although the cold weather seems gloomy, winter can still be beautiful. The lack of outdoor activities allows us to spend time inside with friends and family. As you attempt to find the beauty in winter, try these six songs.  

“Kiss of Life” by Sade 

Complete with an artful saxophone solo, Sade’s 1992 single is the most sensual, intimate expression of love. Her songwriting is uninhibited and filled with passionate intensity, while her vocal delivery is soft and angelic. The distinctive timbre of her voice is matched beautifully with soothing piano keys and graceful strings. Its heartfelt yet somber sound fits winter perfectly.  

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“Sextape” by Deftones  

“Sextape” is calm and slow, which is unusual for the Deftones who are known for their chaotic guitar riffs, screaming and aggressive attitude. On the surface, the song represents the exposure of intimacy. As the song progresses, its true meaning is revealed. As frontman Chino Moreno belts the chorus, it’s clear the song is about the strong feelings one can have for a lover. “Sextape” is dark, sad and beautiful all at the same time — just like winter.  

“Talking to Strangers” by The Shakes  

The Shakes deliver a song of tender melodies with “Talking to Strangers,” a B-side track from the indie-rock quintet. The song talks about how a simple conversation can go awry so quickly. “Talking to Strangers” effortlessly encapsulates the isolated feeling of being surrounded by people at a party yet still feeling so alone. This feeling goes hand in hand with the isolation we all feel in the cold months of winter.  

“3rd Planet” by Modest Mouse  

“3rd Planet” refers to the planet Earth and a family’s third child. The disjointed lyrics explore humanity’s place in an extremely vast universe as Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock claims the search for meaning is futile and destructive. The song’s pessimism is highlighted with tortured, depressing guitar chords. If you prefer to sulk around the house during wintertime, this song is for you.  

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“Angeles” by Elliot Smith  

Smith released “Angeles” after cutting ties with indie record labels in Portland, Oregon and relocating to Los Angeles. The song captures Smith’s personal feelings about this move, as he sees the land of fame and glory for what it truly is: a place to sell your soul. Smith expresses his perceptions of Los Angeles delicately, with crafty fingerpicking and whispers that tell secrets. Its deconstruction of such a sunny place makes one really appreciate the harsh realities of a midwestern winter.  

“When You Sleep” by my bloody valentine  

Characterized by overwhelmingly loud noise, “When You Sleep,” is stacked with layered vocals and addictive melodies. my bloody valentine’s use of guitar distortion and echoey reverbs solidifies “When You Sleep” as the quintessential Shoegaze rock tune. Its nostalgic energy can help get you through the winter as you long for warmer days.  

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