First DNA Mix: Winter!
I finished my first ever mix for this site last week but it was so warm that I couldn't bring myself to post it. However, today it turned. Most likely the first snow of the season will come down either tonight or tomorrow morning so this is the PERFECT time for this mix.
A lot of harmonies and swirling instrumental sections, this mix is gonna be great for the next few months.
01. The Avalanche - Sufjan Stevens
I've never really thought of the banjo as a wintery intrument, but when it is laid on a bed of flutes and pianos its stabs sound like ice falling from the old tree in your backyard. And I suppose that avalanches only happen in winter... Also, listen close for Shara Worden's backing vocals on this track - they're superb.
02. Igloo Glass - Holopaw
There's nothing that says winter like an igloo...at least if you're an eskimo or something... Holowpaw has been making unrecognized acoustic pop music since 2002. I recommend their 2002 self-titled disc. Note - Issac Brock, who worked with members of Holowpaw in Ugly Casanova, plays the mandolin and lays some backing vocals on this track.
03. She Paints Me Blue - Something Corporate
I don't know why I associate this with winter. But I do. And Andrew's piano work is in top form on this track.
04. Go or Go Ahead - Rufus Wainwright
The lyric "Got me writing lyrics on postcards/then in the evenings looking at stars" is one of my all time favorite lyrics. The way that they chorus swirls like snowflakes falling to the ground is almost unbearable to listen to with a broken heart.
05. The Man Who Sold the World - Nirvana
There's a cold ambience to the effect on the lead guitar on this most brilliant of covers. Frankly, the entire "MTV Unplugged" album sounds like its played in front of kids wearing scarfs and fuzzy hats while drinking hot chocolate. The longing and lonliness in Kurt's voice just adds to the feeling.
06. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead - Stars
Stars have SO many great winter songs! It was knock down drag out between this track and "What the Snowman Learned About Love". I think this one won out strictly for its lovely video.
07. Lover's Spit (Beehives Version) - Broken Social Scene
Although I like the original version of this song, Leslie's voice really brings something special into the mix. Her performance makes such a disgusting song sound downright beautiful and romantic.
08. Gone - Brandi Carlile
I think this song really evokes a feeling of a new start. Lyrics like "Gone like the darkness/at dawn and then they forget" could easily be viewed as trite if it weren't for Brandi's heartfelt delivery and the wonderful harmonies from the Hanseroth boys.
09. In The Aeroplane Over the Sea - Matt Pond PA
From the band's Ep "Winter Songs", this cover evokes an entirely different type of beauty than the original modern classic. The lyrics point to a far warmer time of year, but the mood is all winter.
10. I Was A Kaliedascope - Death Cab For Cutie
It's confession time. On the day of the first snow every year for the past few, I stay home and dance thru my living room with this song blaring in the background. It's a bit embarassing, but so darn much fun.
11. Newfound Mass (2000) - Get Up Kids
"These bridges and boundaries are bringing me closer to you." Matt Pryor's lyrics take on whatever meaning you need them to each time you listen to them. And James Dewees' piano strikes a chord. Get it! Piano! Chord!
12. Blizzard of '78 - Ida
This song features a power that is really different from the majority of Ida's previous work. Blizzards happen in winter. It's a known fact.
13. Snowbirds and Townies - Further Seems Forever
I'm losing the tiny little bit of any indie cred I had left with this track.
14. Embracing Winter - The Autumns
One morning I was at work listening to this song and when the guitar solo came in at about 3:03 into the song, I stopped to write this:
"This guitar isn't gently weeping. It's bawling like a 5 year old with a skinned knee...or...like a grown man who's had his heart stomped on one too many times"
15. Grow Old With Me - The Postal Service
Sit around the fire with someone special and listen to this one.
16. Until Next Time - The Rocking Horse Winner
Jolie's voice (which may sound familiar from several Dashboard Confessional recordings) really makes me thing of deer traipsing thru snowcovered plains. Or it could just be the artwork from their records...
17. Naked as We Came - Iron and Wine
18. So Long to the Holidays - Ugly Casanova
I'm smiling so much over being able to fit this into a mix. You really just don't know. The ambience provided by the keyboards makes this song drift along almost on a subconsious level. It's perfect for slowly drifting off into dreamland.
So, here's the link to the Zip File (which unfortunately is thru Sendspace...sorry 'bout that) at the bottom of the page:
DNA's Winter Mix (via Sendspace) (Zip File)
If you don't like a track or two, I recommend going here to get this wonderful recording of "Majesty Snowbird" by Sufjan. Or do whatever you want - its up to you.