Best songs for walking around the city in the winter cold

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

It only took till mid-January but Downtown Pittsburgh is finally coated in that beautiful, brown, slushy snow. Finally, all you Point Park main characters can have your sad girl winter, listening to depression music in the cold. Music is truly the soundtrack to people’s lives, so here’s a soundtrack for those days that you walk around Pittsburgh with the icy, cold winds kissing your cheeks. Those days when you look around and see no one on the sidewalks, bare trees and snow littered through Market Square. These are for the abandoned feeling days of the city.

“For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti” by Sufjan Stevens – Winter and folk music seem to go together like cookies and milk, so the perfect way to start off this playlist is with a banjo led ballad. This song suits the winter in the city so well because of the yearning and lonely feeling it portrays. The soft trumpets accompanying the male and female harmonies whisks the listener away to a heartwrenching place. But all throughout the song, the music moves smoothly due to the banjo melody.

“Cherry Wine” by Hozier – I stand by the statement that Hozier is truly the best winter vibes artist out there. Each of his songs has such a raw emotion to his voice and guitar playing that it just encapsulates what winter feels like. “Cherry Wine” feels like you’re listening to your lover play you a song as their breath fogs up the air because it’s so cold. It’s truly a beautiful song as it’s just Hozier’s haunting, captivating voice accompanied by acoustic finger-picking guitar.

“Sleeping Pills” by The Brobecks – This song leans more alternative than the previous two songs but that’s what makes this song perfect for walking around the city specifically. The repeating piano synth melody makes this song feel like a fever dream. One of the most winter feeling things about this song is how raw the cut is. It isn’t perfectly recorded, it sounded like something that someone recorded themself. Not to mention the lyrics talk about being consumed from insomnia and overwhelming thoughts.

“White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes – This one was a given, winter is even in the title of the song. This song literally makes me feel like I’m trekking through snow and ice in the winter time, all bundled up. The multiple harmonies and folkish instrumentals pull all the elements together to make a winter song that warms you up for once. It’s not a cold feeling song but rather like you’re warming up by a winter fire. Plus it’s super catchy so it’s easy to get stuck in your head.

“From the Dinning Room” by Harry Styles – A lot of Styles’ songs have a seasonal feeling to them but the loneliness and coldness of this song is why it is associated with winter. The song sounds like a stream of consciousness writing that takes the listener along as Styles explores his thoughts. The song is addicting because of Styles’ soft vocals, the lone guitar, and the ethereal orchestral arrangment that comes in midway. This is one of those songs that makes me feel every emotion, so strongly, for no reason. It makes a tightness in my chest and transports me somewhere else for those three minutes. It’s a great song to get lost in the city to.

“Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood – The one time I had the pleasure to see The Neighborhood live, it was truly “too cold” outside and since then I’ve realized how much of a winter song this one is. Obviously the song talks about sweaters but it always felt more like a summer song to me. However, I’ve had a recent change where I’ve realized Jesse Rutherford’s vocals are too high for this to be considered a summer song. Plus, the changes in tempo slow the song down and turn it into an empty city ally vibe song. Moral of the story, this indie-pop hit song is perfect for you to cuddle up to the people you love to shield from the cold city.

Whether you’re wandering the city alone or with friends, throw some of these songs on next time you’re walking down Wood Street. These songs might whisk you away from the broken streets, or it might immerse you even further into the shared empty feeling of the city and the winter season.