So this is it. It’s early January as I’m typing these words, it’s freezing cold outside.
You hold the feeling of post-holidays blues; too much food, too many drinks and presents, the Christmas decorations are gone and now you know you have a long dull winter ahead of you. You go from “Winter Wonderland” to Gil Scott Heron’s “Winter In America”. The sky is grey, the days are short, and you feel like summer will never come.
The first part of this collection is dedicated to “bleakness”, that certain melancholy and stillness that can be seen as depressing but is somewhat comforting to some. So you listen to Nico, The Cure, or Nick Cave and have the music match the elements and possibly your mood. Feel like a “Fox In The Snow” on a cold day in Glasgow with Belle & Sebastian. Whine about the weather, because it’s winter and there is no snow like The Ramones in “Danny Says”. “Who Loves the Sun?” anyway, as the Velvet Underground ask in a rather cheerful manner? For those of you who do, this might be the moment to listen to artists who wrote about dreams of being somewhere else.
The idea for this came from my significant other, who suggested “Zoloft” by Ween as an alternative choice to the classic winter tracks. The idea seemed good, so I decided to select songs about going away. Your escape doesn’t have to be drug-induced, though, it can be musical. There is something deeply soothing in listening to Astrud Gilberto in a dim light by the fireplace. From classics like Charles Aznavour’s “Misery would be less hard in the sun” in “Emmenez-moi” and Harry Nilsson’s “I’m going where the sun keeps shining through the pouring rain”, to the tropical dream of Harry Belafonte’s “Jamaica Farewell” or Dean Martin’s charming “Evening In Roma”, hopefully these songs will take you to a place where, to put it in the Beach Boys’ words you can “get away from it all”. Find your “Kokomo”.