Image credit: Sophie Flint Vázquez via The Boar

Warwick’s ultimate winter playlist

As we approach the end of term one, it’s easy to feel down with the stresses of upcoming deadlines, cold winds, rain, and a sun that sets at 4 pm. Luckily, thousands of songs suit a wintery (but not quite Christmassy) vibe, and this article has picked out ten that are must-haves for anyone’s winter playlist this year.


‘Everything She Wants’Wham! (1984)

Perfect For: those parties that aren’t quite late enough in the year to be Christmas parties, but you still want to play Wham!

Besides being released on a double A-side alongside the iconic ‘Last Christmas’, ‘Everything She Wants’ is the perfect song to dance your way through winter. Despite the lyrics telling the rather sad story of a man working extremely hard in an unhappy marriage to provide for his newly pregnant wife, the production is infectiously funky and truly is Wham! at their best.


‘Winter in F Minor’Antonio Vivaldi (1725)

Perfect For: those chilly, late-night study sessions on the third floor of the library when you’d rather be at the pub.

Of course, no winter playlist would be complete without its musical namesake, the first concerto in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Arguably one of the greatest pieces of music of all time, ‘Winter’ uses the pointed articulation of a solo violin to engage in musical dialogue with the rest of the orchestra, reflecting the determination and harsh conditions that many face during the season.


‘Not Strong Enough’ – boygenius (2023)

Perfect For: the cold commute after a long day of university work.

At a time of year when the early sunsets and cold weather can easily take their toll, boygenius have condensed this unique melancholic feeling into a song about a lover with deep feelings of self-loathing and regret. ‘Not Strong Enough’ is a powerful reflection on a year that is coming to an end, with Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker each contributing something special to what will surely be seen as a winter classic in the years to come.


‘Fake Plastic Trees’ – Radiohead (1995)

Perfect For: a good cry, any time of year, but especially in Winter.

Acting as a critique of the intense consumerist artificiality of contemporary society ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ seems like an apt anthem for the runup to Christmas, a time of year that has become intensely focused on materialism. Thom Yorke’s lyrics compliment the haunting instrumentals incredibly well, making ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ an unexpected but welcome addition to this playlist.


‘Forget Her’ – Jeff Buckley (1994)

Perfect For: packing your suitcase at the end of term.

Buckley’s soulful voice is enough to provide solace to anyone in the face of a cold, dark winter, although ‘Forget Her’ stands out here. Exploring soul-stirring themes of longing and the difficulty of moving on, the song is certainly worthy of a place on this playlist, encapsulating the bittersweet feelings of énouement after having arrived at the end of a year.


‘Both Sides Now’ – Joni Mitchell (2000)

Perfect For: the journey back to your hometown for the Christmas break.

Mitchell first released ‘Both Sides Now’ in 1969, but it is the 2000 orchestral reimagining that makes it onto this winter playlist. Most famous for accompanying Emma Thompson’s iconic crying scene in Love Actually, ‘Both Sides Now’ explores the complexities of life and its different perspectives. Wise reflections that come with the passage of time are on full display in this song, resonating strongly as a new year approaches.


‘Good Time’ – Alan Jackson (2008)

Perfect For: pre-drinks for an end of term party.

A country song as brash as this may be associated with the heat of summertime and the feeling of dust on shoes, but there’s no denying that ‘Good Time’ can be listened to with the same joy any time of year. This pick tells the story of a man who’s just finished a long week of work and is ready to party. In particular, the runup to Christmas and the excitement that comes with it are an ideal time to blast this as loud as you can – university is almost over, and now it’s time for a good time.


‘champagne problems’Taylor Swift (2020)

Perfect For: finishing and reading over a Week 10 assignment that almost beat you.

Of course, the biggest artist in the world had to be featured somewhere on the playlist, and ‘champagne problems’ is the ideal Swift song for this playlist. A poignant exploration of the inherent challenges of what it is to be human, set against a beautiful piano, ‘champagne problems’ sees Swift’s songwriting at its best. Who doesn’t love a bit of internal reflection at this time of year?


‘Basketball Shoes’ – Black Country, New Road (2022)

Perfect For: a solo walk around campus.

At twelve minutes long, this song can seem like a bit of a marathon to get through, but then again, isn’t that often what winter feels like? ‘Basketball Shoes’ is an introspective song with a classic ‘open to interpretation’ meaning, which can often feel comforting at a time of year defined by miserable weather and long nights. Whatever you make of this song, it deserves its spot on this playlist.


‘Runaway’ – Kanye West (2010)

Perfect For: when you’re inevitably stuck in traffic on the U1.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy made up a significant proportion of my listening during my first winter at Warwick, so whilst the song ‘Runaway’ may not be overtly wintery, it has a deep and personal meaning to me at this time of year. One of the most iconic song openings of all time, coupled with West’s excellent lyricism, rapping and wider production, makes this song perfect to listen to at any time of the year.


Overall, winter means a lot of different things to different people, meaning there can be no definitive playlist for the season. However, with these ten songs, this playlist attempts to cover the widest possible range of bases and suit a plethora of moods typical for this time of year. Here’s hoping that, from Radiohead to Joni Mitchell, from Vivaldi to Kanye, these songs help to bolster your winter playlist and make those Week 10 deadlines that little bit easier.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.