Sometimes, the winter’s wrath can quite literally leave us skating on thin ice when driving in inclement weather — just as a white blanket of snow over the road can leave us white-knuckling the steering wheel. That’s why I’ve found it’s wise to have some go-to chill music to keep myself cool, calm, and collected during snowstorm-laden commutes and other trying times of travel. Instead of letting slick conditions get you off track, let these few leisurely tunes get you focused and relaxed.
“Like Mariah” – HOMESHAKE
Cue the Seinfeld transition music. HOMESHAKE is notorious for groovy bass lines, but this one slaps. Vocalist Peter Sagar shares half-serious daydreams with us: “Oh, if I only could sing like Mariah,” he sings in a tender falsetto. With faint, twinkling synths in the background, “Like Mariah” is fuzzy, dreamy, echoey, and gentle as falling snow.
“Loro” – Pinback
This track has a way of immediately bringing a sense of peace. Heavy, repetitive strumming from the strings is prominent while pleasantly dull — like the comfort and warmth of a weighted blanket. A duet of male voices lulls a series of soft “Da”s in unison against the backdrop of a simple guitar, bass, and vocal arrangement.
“The Warning” – Hot Chip
Who doesn’t love a glockenspiel solo? “The Warning” starts off strong with a piercing mallet intro that continues to loop. Then, in comes the drum loop, followed by the bass line, until the song finally comes to fruition once the vocals add the final layer. It’s full of synth-pop suspense and energy, yet hushed enough to help set your sights on a smooth ride.