It’s mid November (how did that happen?), but as Glasgow residents will know, winter here lasts from October to about March. I like winter – although I prefer it drier than Glasgow’s – which has so far plunged the city into a cycle of continuously grey skies, intermittent mild rain, and absurdly violent wind.
Thanks to my upcoming travel plans, I am calling next year my Year of Two Winters. I will live through a Northern and a Southern Hemisphere winter. This will include a short spell in Iceland on the cusp of the Arctic circle – because why not? 4 hours of sunlight? Thanks to my night shift job here in Glasgow that’ll be more than I’m used to seeing.
It occurs to me that music is kind of seasonal. Often songs or albums are defined by when they are released, or when they reach prominence – for example if they’re attached to a film or television show. Sometimes it’s when you experience it, when it becomes part of your life. Other times there’s something about the song itself, some mood or theme. There’s a seasonality to the human experience, particularly here in the Northern Hemisphere, and for an introvert like me, Winter is more my speed.
Obviously there’s Christmas – which I enjoy, despite all rumours to the contrary – but there’s some deeper quality about Winter that appeals to me. Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but it softer, more poetic, more reflective.
Here then, are five songs that suggest these kinds of qualities to me.
Siskiyou – So Cold
from Keep Away the Dead (Constellation, 2011)
Not to keep beating this particular drum, but in early 2012, Colin Huebert’s band Siskiyou became the soundtrack of my life for several months – through most of the winter in fact. In the space of a few months I had had my whole world shaken apart, and the repercussions of that still linger years later. This music represents a kind of solid ground in a time of turmoil.