Let’s be honest, Australian winter isn’t really that bad but we love a good whinge don’t we? American publications have come out of the gates over the weekend with their lists of the most perky, sunshine-soaked songs tailor-made to soundtrack the summer. It’s easy to get swept away by their excitement but we have to remember we have to endure all these constant reminders of someone else’s summer during our own winter. Last year we devoured The Weeknd’s I Can’t Feel My Face in winter, had to tolerate OMI’s Cheerleader and sent Lost Frequencies’ sunset-born Are You With Me? to number one in the middle of winter. It’s time we accepted the depressing fact of the matter – it’s winter and radio needs to act like it. Here are 10 songs that should be our song of winter.
I Need A Forest Fire (Feat. Bon Iver)
James Blake‘s latest album The Colour In Anything is his most melancholic to date and send a big middle finger to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere looking for their summer jam. In the southern hemisphere we’ll take that middle finger and turn it into a thumbs up because melancholic is exactly what we’re looking for. I Need A Forest Fire is the centrepiece of the record and also the perfect song for winter. The comforting backdrop and Justin Vernon’s syrupy vocals would have you believe that it’s a warm song but it’s not. The lyric is “I need a forest fire,” and that’s because it’s damn cold.
Numb & Getting Colder (Feat. KUČKA)
Flume‘s new album Skin comes at a very convenient time, just weeks before the European and American festival season kicks off. That means it’s tailor-made for summer but thankfully our Aussie girl KUČKA pulled through with the goods, delivering us an icy, industrial song. Her vocals are haunting and Flume’s beats feel like a viciously cold breeze. This is perfect for those heading out, knowing that they’ll be hit by an unnecessary, sobering cold once they exit the club.
True Love Waits
The most desolate song on Radiohead‘s most recent record A Moon Shaped Pool is the perfect soundtrack for winter. It’s a beautiful, waltzing song but it’s also crushingly heartbreaking. “I’m not living, I’m just killing time,” Thom Yorke sings which should be the motto for any month between May and September and as such this is a perfect theme song for our winter months. Also, it’ll be a constant reminder that Radiohead aren’t coming for Splendour In The Grass – the one festival that attempts to recreate summer in the middle of winter.
Feel No Ways
One Dance is a song released to be the anthem of summer and it’s successfully becoming it but we need something colder. Drake‘s VIEWS was recorded in the midst of a Toronto winter which, if you’ve ever experienced it, is as vicious as they come. Feel No Ways is the colder alternative to One Dance. It’s just as poppy and features Drake singing but gone are the dancehall beats. In their place are monochromatic beats borrowed from the ’80s and lyrics about failing love. Perfect.
Despite all its vitriolic, powerful lyrics Beyoncé‘s Lemonade is actually a summer record. Hold Up is built around island flavours, Sorry is a club anthem and Love Drought breathes heat. Luckily she’s popped one giant ballad on there just for us. Beyoncé bleeds emotionally on this song more than any other on the album and our winter king James Blake has also had a hand in it meaning it’s as melancholic as they come. There’s hope somewhere in this song but it’s beyond an intense fog. That’s winter in a nutshell really. We’ll ignore the fact that sandcastles are something more typically tied to summer.
Close (Feat. Tove Lo)
Nick Jonas arguably created one of the songs of last summer with Jealous but he’s returned this year with a song definitely not designed for daggy dancing in beach side clubs. There’s something icy about the marimba sound that the song is built around and while it’s meant to be a song about sexual attention, it all ends up sounding pretty desolate. And despite all their best efforts to make the video look steamy, that warehouse looks uncomfortably cold. This is no reflection on the quality of the song. It’s very obviously, an excellent pop song.
FML (Feat. The Weeknd)
FML is the most post-apocalyptic song on Kanye‘s The Life Of Pablo and it contains the perfect amount of expletives for the song of winter. There are six f-words in this song which is about six more than radio likes but radio is all about “good vibes” which is exactly what we don’t need in winter. There’s nothing euphoric about this song, it doesn’t make you want to whip up a cheeky piña colada. It’s a reminder that sometimes it’s ok to have a good whinge. The ultimate whingey soundtrack to winter.
Sound Of Silence
Our Dami went all the way to Sweden to represent a country that’s known for its summer with a song that’s really, really sad. Sure you can be deceived by Dami’s flawless vocals and excellent stage presence but if you actually take the time to decode the song, she’s lonely. As lonely as it is though, there’s a silver lining to the song where she realises that she’s “strong” and “capable”. It’s probably not an optimism you’re going to adopt until late August but it’s a good reminder there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
All I Ask
While the rest of the world is lapping up Adele‘s most summery song ever Send Your Love (To My New Lover), we’ll take All I Ask thank you very much. Nothing says winter better than a mega-ballad and if Meghan Trainor’s Like I’m Gonna Lose You managed to nab the number one spot last winter then surely this can do the same. Apart from the fact that it’s infinitely better, it also bleeds the sort of emotion that could only result from a bottle of cheap sauvignon blanc by the heater as you realise you’ve watched a whole week of Home & Away for the first time in your life.
A great way to pass a winter’s night is to down a bottle of whiskey with your phone at the ready and then howl at somebody down the line who will no doubt be overwhelmed by your enthusiasm. Rihanna did exactly that and she got a song out of it.