Seven Albums to Keep You Cozy on a Cold Day In

As the cold season approaches and the days get shorter and darker, the kind of music that I listen to changes completely. The fall and winter months draw out feelings of melancholy, and ensue moments of desolate introspection, that are deeply reflected in the type of music that I entertain. When the weather is chilly and uninviting, and I’m feeling extra cozy at home, these are my go-to records. 

  1. 1. Jacob Banks - The Boy Who Cried Freedom (EP) 

    This man is the epitome of a person whose voice does not match his body. The raspy, soulful echo of his voice is very clearly inspired by a childhood spent experiencing the essence of gospel music. In addition to his voice, Banks uses sensational electric guitar, various arrangements of harmonies and, my personal favorite, the organ to bring his music to life. The Boy Who Cried Freedom is a beautiful, sophisticated musical experience that invokes stories of both love and loss. It’s an album that’ll leave you feeling both empty and fulfilled in the same breath. Personal favorite tracks: “Mercy” and “Photograph.”

  2. 2. Lucky Daye - Painted

    This man's falsetto never ceases to amaze me. Lucky, a singer-songwriter from New Orleans, has me bopping and grooving in the chillest way possible. His disco-like, soul instrumentals use piano and heavy bass ensembles that are funky fresh. Daye’s voice is impeccable and his cheekbones are to die for. Give this man a listen if you like a little funk. Personal favorite tracks: “Misunderstood” and “Late Night.” 

  3. 3. Noname - Telefone

    Not only is this woman utterly adorable but this Chicago native has got some serious bars. She makes me feel nostalgic and mournful for the people that I’ve lost, not so much in a sad way but more as a way of paying homage to the people I love. Noname draws on issues surrounding violence and crime against black people in North America, recounting her own personal experience with loss and anguish. Her beats are simple and dreamy — she lets her voice and her lyricism carry each track gracefully. Personal favorite tracks: “Yesterday” and “Casket Pretty.” 

  4. 4. Max Richter - Four Seasons (Recomposed)

    Classical music is not for everyone but this is an album that I believe everyone can appreciate. In this album, Richter recomposed Four Seasons, originally composed by Antonio Vivaldi. When I first heard this album, I cried. For me, the beauty of classical music is that it doesn’t invoke feelings from lyrics but simply from a particular stream of sounds and instruments. It’s beautiful to me that music like this can allow us to recount certain memories and experiences. Each section reflects on the human emotions associated with each of the four seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter), and it is executed brilliantly. Personal favorite section: “Spring.”

  5. 5. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

    Jazz music is very niche but this one is for all of my jazz fans out there (and if you’re not a jazz fan, check out this album anyway)! This album is the perfect accompaniment if you’re making dinner and sipping wine. Davis’s record circulated around my house for all of my childhood and I’m so glad that I was introduced to this jazz legend at such a young age. The bass, trumpets, saxophones and drums are easy and breezy — it’s a chill album that’ll have you swaying around your house in your robe and slippers, forgetting about your worries. Personal favorite tracks: “So What” and “Freddie Freeloader.”

  6. 6. Yellow Days - Harmless Melodies 

    If you like a raspy, gritty voice and a whole lot of soul, Yellow Days is probably right up your alley. Yellow Days is very stuck inside his own head, like a lot of us are when the cold weather hits (or all the time). He may only be 20-years-old, but his lyrics of love and heartbreak make him seem wise beyond his years. He has some seriously sad tunes from which he draws inspiration from jazz, R&B and alternative rock. Yellow Days uses psychedelic nuances and blues to create some laid back tracks. Personal favorite tracks: “Gap in the Clouds” and “Your Hand Holding Mine.”

  7. 7. Tame Impala - Currents

    This album may actually be on the list of my all time favorite albums — this man is an absolute genius. This Australia native writes and produces his music completely on his own (perhaps that’s why it takes so long for him to complete an album). The songs on Currents each offer the opportunity to get up and dance, but if you decide not to do so, it is equally satisfying to listen to this music under the comfort of your blanket. His psychedelic electronic instrumentals consistently change key and beat to offer a different experience in each track. Offering themes of self growth and change, this album is also extremely introspective. Personal favorite tracks: I honestly don’t know, the entire album is killer.

The concoction of albums that I’ve listed above don’t exactly fall into the same genre but they are surely a beautiful addition to a cozy day inside. It’s always nice to have background music to help guide you through your day or music that will help awaken feelings that are better expressed than repressed. Every music genre has something unique and beautiful to offer so if you haven’t checked out any of these artists before, I'd highly recommend giving them a chance. Wishing you the coziest days inside this coming winter. Happy listening!