Music Monthly: Celebrating Winter


Camille Arreza, Staff Writer

I decided to do something a little different for December’s installment of Music Monthly.  I think we are all aware that Christmas dominates the winter months, so in an attempt to be more inclusive, I’ve purposefully disregarded Christmas songs and carols in this list.  These songs are nondenominational, but carry that same whimsical feeling and “holiday spirit.”


  1. “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)” — The Beach Boys

We begin with a masterpiece by the famous Beach Boys.  Interestingly enough, Brian Wilson heard the main melody and all of the harmonies for this song in his head, immediately going to the studio to record a demo for the rest of the group.


  1. “Death with Dignity” — Sufjan Stevens

This song mourns the loss of Stevens’ mother, full of lyrics that express sorrow and despair, yet embodied by the warm embrace of a guitar.  He channeled all of his emotions into his craft, producing a song that sends the message of acceptance and remembrance.


  1. “You and I” — Jacob Collier

Collier uses his self-taught gift of perfect pitch to create this memorizing arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “You and I.”  It actually won a Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instrumental, or A Cappella at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.  I believe it’s well deserved after hearing this euphony!


  1. “Guarding The Baby” — Dirty Projectors

This is another incredible song that conveys the journey and perseverance of overcoming obstacles. “Guarding The Baby” is a sweet tune that focuses on a fragile relationship and the necessity to ensure its protection.


  1. “Bloom – Bonus Track” — The Paper Kites

This song gives me that homey feeling throughout the winter.  Such simple lyrics represent the love and community you feel with those around you.


  1. “First Day Of My Life” — Bright Eyes

Packed with the narrative of two people who are meant to be, we witness their story as they grow together.  They share their adventure with the listener as they acknowledge their feelings for each other.


  1. “Montezuma” — Fleet Foxes

Encased in a tone of reminiscence, the words of rebirth and maturity get you through to springtime.  Winter is a transition to the oncoming year; hopefully, it will be better than the crazy one we’ve had so far!  It’s time for growth and renewal during this period of hibernation.


  1. “Midnight Snack” — HOMESHAKE

I can resonate with this song, as I’m a fan of staying up when the world is dead, or rising before the rest is up.  It’s very peaceful and serene, giving me an opportunity to have some time for myself, still hazy in the midst of twilight and dawn.


  1. “Under Wraps” — Her’s

This song follows the familiar venture of taking on a burden on your own.  It reminds us that it’s perfectly okay and normal to ask for help.  Reach out if you need someone or be there for someone if they need it.


  1. “Love, Love, Love” — Donny Hathaway

We conclude with a joyful classic by Donny Hathaway.  This song always warms my heart whenever I listen to it.  I can’t help but smile when I hear the charming lyrics accompanied by his soothing voice.


If you are looking for Christmas music, my top five artists of this season are:

  • The Jackson 5 (“Christmas Album”)
  • She & Him (“Christmas Party” and “A Very She & Him Christmas”)
  • CeeLo Green (“CeeLo’s Magic Moment”)
  • Ariana Grande (“Christmas & Chill” and “Christmas Kisses”)
  • Michael Bublé (“Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition)”)

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday.  Let’s ring in the new year with everything we’ve got!  We’re in desperate need of a fresh start.

Check out the playlist here.