Wintertime musical therapy: Sounds to make the season bearable

Now is the winter of our discontent, but it doesn’t have to be. We are entering the phase where it feels like this weather will never end.

Since we can’t escape it, the best thing to do is try to embrace it, and the best way to do that is to find music that complements the mood of the season. Here are some suggestions for a soundtrack to accompany your next few weeks bundled up every night to avoid running up a huge heating bill:

A Fine Frenzy – “Bomb in a Birdcage” (2009)
It’s no coincidence that A Fine Frenzy’s (aka singer-songwriter Alison Sudol) latest release was an EP of Christmas songs – her songs will make you want to throw snowballs at a random passersby. Bouncy, fun and shot through with a childlike innocence, these tracks contain exactly the attitude to enjoy the most desolate time of year.

Ghostface Killah – “Ironman” (1996)
You can’t beat an album that includes a song called “Winter Warz.” Listening to Ghostface’s debut is like spending a long night stranded in the worst part of the inner city – with all the unsavory characters, dangerous conditions and cool stories that would entail.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Murder Ballads” (1995)
Like the title suggests, every song on the album is essentially a short story about people getting killed, often in freezing temperatures. As the bodies pile up like falling snowflakes, the piano and strings create an atmosphere of dark, oppressive beauty, much like the winter itself.

Gregor Samsa – “Rest” (2008)
The music of post-rock band Gregor Samsa is so quiet and slow that it can take effort just to hear it. But the audible parts are often heartbreakingly gorgeous. These lullabies for grownups will rock you to sleep while loud winds howl outside your window.

Phantogram – “Eyelid Movies” (2010)
This New York duo makes funky sounds with a psychedelic edge, giving one the impression of driving in a snowstorm. The loopy samples and ethereal female vocals make this a must-have for fans of Massive Attack or Portishead.

Pink Floyd – “The Final Cut” (1983)
If you enjoy the radio-friendly Pink Floyd rock classics like “Money” and “Wish You Were Here” but thought they weren’t quite depressing enough, this one’s for you. Every track here is bitter, tragic and full of despair to the point of being suicidal. Highly reminiscent of John Lennon’s “Plastic Ono Band,” but where that one was at least cathartic, this is simple brutality. Cold and dark provide the perfect conditions to wallow in misery, so we might as well make the most of it while it lasts.

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