[Playlist] Under Snow

1. Ella Fitzgerald – Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
2. Bill Evans – What is There to Say?
3. Herbie Hancock – River (ft. Corinne Bailey Rae)
4. Duke Ellington and John Coltrane – In a Sentimental Mood
5. The Tallest Man on Earth – I Won’t Be Found (Daytrotter Session)
6. Jóhann Jóhannsson – Melodia (iii)
7. Erik Satie – Gnossiennes: No. 6
8. Stars of the Lid – Articulate Silences, Pt. 1
9. Burial – In McDonalds
10. Jacaszek – Orszula

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Another playlist, in lieu of my lack of recent posts. Winter is coming and with it, quiet snow and ponderous silences. This playlist is made for being outside, being cold too. So while I may be posting it a little early for snow, at least wait till its cold and winter truly hits. I would’ve waited till January, but the progression of the playlist itself seems to follow the progression of the season–Christmas being the key time reference.

Under Snow
One for the winter, this time. One made for cold walks through slush and snow. One made out of quiet respect for nature’s silent season. One made to articulate calm and peace in its simple beauty.

Starting with jazz, that ever so easy kind of music. Fitzgerald’s silky smooth voice and light piano and drums. Winter’s a season of nostalgia and Fitzgerald’s easy ode to lost and unrequited love captures it, the kind of music that’s perfect for looking into a burning hearth. Evans continues this trend with the elegant “What is There to Say?” a double edged question for highs and lows. After which Hancock and Bailey Rae deliver on the only holiday song of the mix, a similarly easy-going though more elegiac take on the season and its oncoming festivities–and the inevitable loneliness they bring. The Duke and Coltrane close out the jazz with a personal favorite, one that fits ever so perfectly for a quiet walk with a head filled with thoughts.

Kristian Matsson’s distant piano trims with the sentiments of the first four songs, but it wallows comfortably in its loneliness. “Melodia (iii)” is a continuation of that solemn piano, gradually growing darker and more distant as a harder edge takes the song. Satie’s composition brings back a lighter feel, though hardly a snowman’s song. It brims calmly with a youthful nostalgia, nonetheless slowed by age and plodding ever on.

The duo that makes up Stars of the Lid I can’t imagine working in a season other than winter. Their ambient drones speak of the kind of elegant beauty brought on by the silence of snow, while inherently being noise. “Articulate Silences” is just that. Silence, articulated.

The two compositions that end the mix are drones of the more electronic kind. “Orszula” is a dark take, its piano snippets augmented by orchestral dips that build slowly to a feeling of slowed and chopped reality. Burial’s contribution delves deeper into this feeling introducing human vocals, for a feeling of lost memory.

This entry was posted in Bill Evans, Burial, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Erik Satie, Herbie Hancock, Jacaszek, Jóhann Jóhannsson, John Coltrane, Stars of the Lid, The Tallest Man on Earth. Bookmark the permalink.

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