Let it snow with this winter playlist

Aaron Boehmer and Reya Mosby

With crisp winter air drifting into Austin, locals wrap themselves in coats and sweaters to enjoy the coziness of the holiday season. From warm baked goods to comforting recipes, colorful lights to the crackling fireplace, The Daily Texan compiled the perfect playlist to accompany the magic of the winter season in all of its spirited sights and sounds. 


“Try a Little Tenderness (Demo)” by Aretha Franklin 

Coated in a vintage fuzzy air, reminiscent of the sound quality of a well-loved record, this cover sung by the Queen of Soul draws on the nostalgia that remains deeply intertwined with the holiday season. With her crooning vocals and classic strong belt accompanied by the mellow double bass line and delicate jazzy piano melodies, Aretha Franklin immaculately delivers her take on the timeless, sentimental ballad. 


“ICU” by Coco Jones

From its opening stacked harmonies layered under Coco Jones’ rich alto, “ICU” sweeps listeners up in a highly emotive ode to love and love lost that perfectly captures the melancholy nature of winter. Soulful vocals with thick harmonies ground the song amid only minor instrumentation, which only adds to the raw, vulnerable nature of the song. The ballad provides an ethereal soundscape listeners will want to engulf themselves in this season.  


“Let It Snow (feat. Brian McKnight)” by Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men’s soulful early 1990s rendition of a holiday classic offers the perfect backdrop to the first fall of snow. The group’s angelic harmonies enrich the song in a dreamy backdrop. Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight bring their powerful vocals and effortless runs to the foreground of the track, painting listeners the perfect wintertime landscape. 


“HOLIDAY” by Lil Nas X 

Produced by Tay Keith and Take a Daytrip, Lil Nas X’s Christmas-themed single mixes pop and hip-hop to create an energized sound that will keep its audience pumped up for the holidays. The catchy chorus and melody pair well with the song’s cheeky lyrics, coming together to showcase Lil Nas X’s authentic and playful personality on full display. 


“Winter Wonderland (with Percy Faith)” by Johnny Mathis 

Johnny Mathis, an iconic and timeless voice in pop and jazz music, takes listeners on a walk through a winter wonderland with this holiday classic. Percy Faith and his orchestra create an equally magical yet misty environment, placing Mathis’s velvet vocals in a simultaneously cinematic yet peaceful dreamscape. With ease, Mathis rides the twinkling ebb and flow of the instrumentation in a vibrant, crooning sleigh, leaving listeners to question whether Mathis might be ol’ St. Nick himself. 


“Silent Night” by The Temptations 

This soulful twist on a Christmas classic will leave listeners feeling the warm merriment of the holiday spirit. With vocals that span multiple octaves — incorporating a soaring tenor, a strong baritone and luscious bass — all above the groups harmonies that serve as a soulful motif throughout the entire song, the song delivers a stunningly rich and complex soundscape that will transport listeners to the place where they feel at home, imbuing feelings of warmth and coziness. 


“Rome (Demo)” by Tamzene

With the hectic nature of the fall season finally just passing, Tamzene’s demo of “Rome” filled with yearning for time and space to grow makes the perfect addition to any winter playlist. What starts off as just the peaceful strums of an acoustic guitar and Tamzene’s lulling jazz-inspired vocals later builds to a grandiose mosaic of orchestral strings, wispy harmonies, and the singer’s powerful rendition of the chorus in this gorgeous call for everything to slow down.