There may be an endless list of things to do in the winter as the holidays draw near, but let’s be honest—who actually wants to go out and brave the icy cold? Winter is the season for sitting beside a fireplace and listening to your favourite playlist with great wine and even better company.
Unsure which tracks should make the cut? Fortunately, we have you covered. HOLR writer Chia Kougianos is all for winter-inspired (but not Christmasy) songs to get you through the season. Whether you’re embracing the cold or you’re counting down the days until the holidays begins, this list is bound to get you feeling all kinds of merry.
Check out these 8 perfect songs for a winter weather playlist next…
Billie Eilish – Ocean Eyes
Billie was just 14-years old when “Ocean Eyes” became an instant sensation. One of her teachers asked her if she would either write a song or have her brother write a song that she could choreograph a dance to. The track was eventually written and produced by Billie’s older brother Finneas O’Connell. It was posted on SoundCloud and went viral generating over a million plays.
In the song she talks about how deep she’s fallen, and how she gets sucked in by the eyes of her love interest. If you’re looking to escape Mariah Carey and Boney M this season, this song is perfect for you.
Lennon Stella – La Di Da
After her killer singles “Bad” and “Breakaway” we finally get to enjoy “La Di Da” from Lennon Stella’s debut EP. The 19-year-old Nashville star has also released a brand new music video which she directed and produced herself. In it, she’s reunited with her sister Maisy Stella, as they lip-sync to the lyrics while on a joyride.
“For the video, my sister and I literally duct taped my phone to the dashboard of my car and the rest is history,” she told Teen Vogue magazine. “I wrote ‘La Di Da’ at a writing camp in Nicaragua after venting to the loveliest Emily Warren and Joel Little for three hours straight about an argument I had gotten into before coming on the trip,” Lennon said. “We sat for hours talking and then literally wrote the song in one breath. I love when the lyrics of a song are heavy, but you can still dance to it and it makes you feel good.”
Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Mark Ronson has famously worked with the likes of Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born to Dua Lipa on Silk City’s “Electricity”. Now Mark has teamed up with none other than Miley Cyrus for their brand-new single “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart”.
Whether you’re partying on the dance floor with friends or wrapped up in a blanket reminiscing about your boyfriend-turned-ex, this one’s for you. The track was written during a time Cyrus was experiencing a broken relationship herself as lyrics include “These silver bullet cigarettes/This burning house, there’s nothing left/It’s smokin”.
Calvin Harris and Sam Smith – Promises
It was impossible to predict but who knew Sam Smith was such a fan of Calvin Harris? Turns out Sam hit Calvin up on Instagram and they had an amazing day together writing the song. Their new collaboration resulted in “Promises” being born and now the duo have finally released their music video for it.
Directed by Emil Nava, the music video is alive with all the glitz and glam of Hollywood and features a warehouse-turned-nightclub, with Sam Smith accompanied by loads of very glamourous backing dancers.
Dennis Lloyd – Nevermind
When it comes to the motivation behind “Nevermind”, Dennis reveals he was first inspired when he was living in Thailand. Spending his days without the luxury of Wi-Fi he turned his focus to solely recording new music. He then met his ex-girlfriend and they went on to date for over a year and a half. He revealed the inspiration behind the lyrics was a result of her constant travelling and his growing jealousy and doubt of their relationship.
He grew worried she would go off and meet someone new and it was out of this he wrote the lyrics to “Nevermind” at the start of their romance. Needless to say the relationship didn’t last but the lyrics and melody will stay with him and the rest of the world, forever.
James Arthur – Empty Space
In James Arthur’s latest track “Empty Space” Tom Felton steals the show. He appeared in all of the Harry Potter films playing the character of Draco Malfoy and now he stars as the leading role in James’ ‘Empty Space’ music video. The role came about as he’s one of James’ favourite actors.
Tweeting about Tom Felton’s appearance in the video, James wrote, ‘I’m hugely grateful to @TomFelton for appearing in my brand new video for Empty Space and giving such a brilliant performance. What an honour mate! Thank you. #EmptySpace #ComingSoon’.
The Chainsmokers – This Feeling feat. Kelsea Ballerini
Our next featured track entitled “This Feeling” sees The Chainsmokers teaming up with Kelsea Ballerini and has racked up over 100 million streams globally since its release in September. Their collaboration may not be all that surprising since Ballerini was the opening act for Lady Antebellum back in 2017 when she covered the Chainsmokers’ “Closer”. She then went on to upload an Instagram version of another of their songs, “Paris” which was another crowd favourite.
The country star and Chainsmokers vocalist Andrew Taggart sing about disagreeing with friends over a love interest and the dance-pop infused melody is sure to heat up every playlist this winter.
Oliver Heldens – Fire In My Soul
For our final track Dutch DJ and RCA Records recording artist Oliver Heldens teams up with Alexandra “Shungudzo” Govereto to create the ever-catchy “Fire In My Soul”. Billboard dubbed it “two minutes and 55 seconds of pure, unbridled celebration”.
The song was inspired by their love for African music and their diverse backgrounds. In an interview with Billboard magazine, Heldens noted “We all come from very diverse parts of the world; The Netherlands (Helden), Turkey (Felder), Zimbabwe, and the US. When we got into the studio, I told them I was very inspired by African music recently, so we started showing each other all this different African music we liked. That really got us in this vibe to create ‘Fire In My Soul.’