Dan’s Monthly Mix: December, Chillwave, and Winter Vibes

WINTER is here; the season of putting on the most ironic knitwear you can find, worrying about making those last pennies count until you can go home, and trying to negotiate Penglais Hill in any way other than Wales’ largest slip n’ slide. The days are getting shorter and you’re finding it hard to appreciate those frosty mornings when the Victorian plumbing decides it wants the day off. Personally, I love winter; it has a certain magical atmosphere – one that can always be accompanied by good music. This month’s playlist satisfies both camps; urban and retro sounds accompanied by lo-fi sampling, with a touch of wintry melancholy, and perhaps nostalgia for the 1980’s. If any of those terms got you excited, you’re going to love these tunes.

Clams Casino – ‘I’m God’
Washed Out – ‘Feel It All Around’
PictoChat – ‘Oh.no’ ft. CIO
Nujabes – ‘Feather’
Toro y Moi – ‘So Many Details’
Neon Indian – ‘Polish Girl’
Teen Girl Scientist Monthly – ‘Ghost Coast’
Broken Bells – ‘The High Road’
Beach Fossils – ‘Fall Right In’
Wayne Szalinski – ‘Some Collagist’
Last Dinosaurs – ‘Time & Place’
Local Natives – ‘Ceilings’
Yo La Tengo – ‘Today Is The Day’
Beach House – ‘Norway’
Mutual Benefit – ‘Advanced Falconry’


Local Natives, Toro y Moi, Last Dinosaurs, Beach House (clockwise)

I started putting this playlist together in August, and I’m finding it hard not to miss the longer sunny days and warmer climates; what’s more is these songs are guaranteed essay fuel, taken from the fledgling Chillwave scene we can see that nostalgia in the sound, using samples from pop, disco and hip-hop tracks of the past in order to make a surprisingly new and diverse range of musical styles. We see stage names such as Washed Out, Neon Indian and Toro y Moi dominating the scene, providing mellow music that has been featured in the media from Rockstar’s GTA V to IFC’s Portlandia. These are the perfect songs to plug in to whilst pulling a late one in the library or unwinding after a heavy study session.

The latter half of the mix definitely smacks of the word ‘indie’; the feel will begin to switch from summer to winter, as synths give way to guitars and tempos begin to drop. Special mentions are the very new and exciting Teen Girl Scientist Monthly, and the melodic and soulful Wayne Szalinski.

Moving towards the final songs on the mix we are delving into the melancholy and ethereal realm of Beach House, ending on the optimistic and heartfelt Mutual Benefit – the final song ending on a tone that I think can prepare us for the cold British winter ahead. As always though, have fun with discovering new music; open your mind to new styles and sounds, and let it add that special dimension to rid you of the winter blues.

Be sure to support new music by following and supporting the bands.