POZ Discussion: Essential Winter Listening
Winter is well upon us, and it seems like most of us are ready for it to pass. One perk about winter however is all the music that hits just right during the season. To celebrate PropertyOfZack’s least favorite season, we’re launching a new Essential Winter Listening Discussion filled with TeamPOZ’s favorite albums for this season. Check out our guide, listen along, and feel free to reblog with your favorite winter records!
Pianos Become The Teeth - The Long Lack After
Sometimes I like a little desolation in my mix of winter music. You know what I’m talking about. It’s when you look outside in the middle of the afternoon after a snowstorm and technically there should be life outside, but instead, there’s just nothing. That’s how I feel when I listen to The Long Lack After by Pianos Become The Teeth. The album is several years old at this point, but the emotional punch may live forever. Pianos is arguably my favorite “post-hardcore” band from the current crop that we are all lucky enough to be experiencing, with La Dispute and Touché Amoré also in the mix. “I’ll Get By” is everything, if you need it to be. - Zack Zarrillo
Tigers Jaw - Tigers Jaw
The Scrantonites’ (Scrantonians?) self-titled record is as much an anomaly as the whirling emotions that make the album so easy to latch onto. Moments like the frenetic chorus on “The Sun” or most of the relentless “I Saw Water” seem better suited for a spring or summer playlist: energetic, loud, and unyielding. But Tigers Jaw wove its way into my winter playlist more for its central themes than anything else. The band grapples with feelings of isolation and what it means to be lonely with an earnest honesty that most albums severely lack, and it’s when I’m stuck inside during a blizzard or polar vortex (topical joke!) that those kinds of thoughts hit me the hardest. Tigers Jaw always strays away from the brink of being too crushingly sad — see: the triumphant riffing at the end of “Plane Vs. Tank Vs. Submarine” or the distortion that punctuates the end of “Never Saw It Coming” — and I think the notion of loneliness as fleeting is what resonates most with me about the record (and winter). - Erik van Rheenen
Mansions - Dig Up The Dead (Acoustic)
Dig Up The Dead (full band or acoustic) is a top ten album of all time for me. I’m a big fan of Mansions, if that hasn’t been made clear over the years. I play Dig Up The Dead a lot, but it’s always a tough decision regarding whether or not I want to pick the full band or acoustic version of the record to spin. When it’s winter though, the acoustic version usually wins out. What’s impressive about the acoustic version of the record is that it manages to bring over as much depth as the original release, but it’s packaged in an equally powerful, but different form. It’s perfect for a brisk walk in the winter. Listen to it and enjoy it. - Zack Zarrillo
The Mountain Goats- Transcendental Youth
What defines an essential winter album? Is it a record’s aesthetics? Is it a deft lyrical hand (like John Darnielle’s, indie rock’s current poet laureate), bottling concepts we associate with winter in the span of three-or-so minutes worth of words? Is it the album’s instrumentation — thoughtful, memorable, and probably a little sad? Is it having songs like “White Cedar,” with mournful horns and elegiac vocals? Or having songs like “Harlem Roulette” and “Cry For Judas,” which touch on the idea of sadness, but with an incredible sense of jubilant joie de vivre. Does an essential winter album elevate the mundane, amplify emotions, and make the ordinary and everyday transcendent?