PODCAST: The Sader Sound, ep. 3: Albums for Winter


The holidays have passed, but wintertime is far from over. Here are our picks for the perfect albums to accompany the winter season:

Tanisha Chetty’s Picks

Vespertine – Björk
The ambient electronic production on this 2001 experimental pop album creates a beautiful glittery, winter aura. Björk’s unique and haunting vocals are really what makes this my quintessential winter album, managing to be both breathy and dynamic. This album is best enjoyed with a warm drink on a cold day.

Key Track: Cocoon

Guard Dog – Searows

Despite only being released in September 2022, Searows’ debut album Guard Dog has already managed to cement its place in my heart as a go-to indie folk album for winter. Perfect for fans of Phoebe Bridgers and Leith Ross, this raw and heartfelt singer-songwriter record reminds me of thick sweaters and soft smiles. Searows is also based in Portland, so this album is essentially tailor-made for PNW winters.

Key Track: Roadkill

Dummy – Portishead

Released in 1994, Dummy is Portishead’s most famous album. . This album was released to much critical acclaim, and is widely regarded as the project that popularized the trip hop genre. The hip hop and electronic production elements create a meandering, bluesy mood that feels more relaxed than sad, making this album perfect for kicking back during the winter season.

Key Track: Glory Box

Luminol – Midwife

Desolate, barren ambient music is one of my favorite things to listen to during the winter, and Midwife’s 2021 album is a prime example. While similar to other great artists such as Grouper and Have a Nice Life, Midwife crafts a surprisingly unique vibe that allows the crush of distorted guitars and hazy vocals to shine. The shoegaze and metal influences make this album perfect for fans of Men I Trust who are looking for something a little grittier.

Key Track: God Is a Cop

Disintegration – The Cure

While perfect for any time of year, the gothic rock and post-punk genres feel particularly wintery. Robert Smith’s distinctive voice adds a beautiful chill to the warm, comforting sounds of the guitars and drums. This 1989 album also includes some of The Cure’s most well-known songs, like “Lovesong” and “Lullaby.” (And for the record, The Cure is undeniably better than The Smiths.)

Key Track: Last Dance

Beach House – Beach House

Beach House’s debut self-titled album is packed with glimmering electronic production that evokes images of the pale sun peeking through frosted branches. Lead singer Victoria Legrand croons flowing melodies over eerie instrumentation, imbuing this album with a cinematic feel. Although Beach House’s other albums such as Depression Cherry and Bloom are undoubtedly more popular than their self-titled, this album is definitely worth a listen.

Key Track: Auburn and Ivory

Grace – Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley’s voice sounds like honey and feels absolutely transcendent. Touching on themes of love and loss, this alternative rock album released in 1994 remains fresh and captivating in the modern day. The album’s grand yet tender sound makes it an ideal soundtrack for a moody winter night. Buckley’s stunning cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is also included in this album.

Key Track: Lover, You Should’ve Come Over


Nolan Petrin’s Picks:

Can’t Buy a Thrill – Steely Dan

Steely Dan was founded in 1971, and their first album “Can’t buy a thrill” in 1972 established their dominance in the jazz rock scene, Selling over 40 million albums. VH1 ranked them 82 out of 100 best artists of all time.

Key Track: Only a Fool Would Say That

Foreigner – Foreigner

A story goes that when Mick Jones had assembled his new band, it was split equally with members from both USA and Britain, so he pushed for the name “Foreigner.” Their debut album was self-titled, and shaped them to be one of the most influential rock bands during the late 70s. The album peaked at number four on Billboard 200 for 10 weeks. This album features back to back hits such as “Cold as Ice,” “Headknocker,” and “Woman oh Woman.” The hard hitting rock music pairs with catchy, but deeply meaningful, pop lyrics.

Key Track: Headknocker

The End – Three Six Mafia

The End was released in 1996 and is Three Six Mafia’s third album. Sticking with their familiar Memphis rap sound, Three Six produced another banger album that is very similar to their debut “mystic Stylez” following their ominous Memphis style with outrageous and vulgar lyrics. Paired with graveyard beats and creepy synths. This album established Three 6 mafia’s position as king of horrorcore and the kings of Memphis rap. Featured on this album is Gangsta Boo, who I personally really enjoy, but many fans think she may have ruined the album by rapping too much about killing and trying to be “hard” etc.

Key Track: Walk Up 2 Yo House

Mother Nature’s Son – Ramsey Lewis

Was released in November of 1968 right after the Beatles released the original album. The cover was recorded live with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Lewis playing the piano. My favorite parts of this album include Ramsey Lewis’ beautiful piano composition paired with jazzy orchestral undertones.

Key Track: Cry Baby Cry

White Christmas – The Drifters

The Drifters’ “White Christmas” was recorded by a Black band, contrary to what most people know as “The Drifters” —a different jazz band in the 1960s that gained more popularity, when the original drifters were all fired one night in 1958 at the Apollo theater. “White Christmas” written as a soulful version of Bing Crosby in 1942, and inspired by The Ravens’ version in 1948. The track was largely appreciated by the Black community until 1990 when it was used in movies such as 1990 home alone and 1994 the Santa clause, making it a Christmas radio station staple.