Tunesday: Frosty synthpop

Now that the holidays are over, winter has settled in. Without the canned cheer of Christmas songs to keep you warm, you might be feeling a little icy. These songs certainly won’t fill your heart with warmth and joy, but they might commiserate with the lonely, frosty feeling you get when the temperature dips down and the days get shorter.

“Life Round Here” by James Blake

James Blake is the king of frosty synths and cool electronic percussion. “Life Round Here,” a track from his critically acclaimed sophomore album, Overgrown, feels like stepping into the Arctic. Sparse electronic instrumentation and Blake’s silky R&B voice glide smoothly across lyrics tinged with melancholy.

“Holiest” by Glass Animals featuring Tei Shi

On “Holiest,” Tei Shi’s airy, heavenly voice drifts dizzyingly over layered back-up vocals and Glass Animals’ haunting synths. Tei Shi sings sultrily of both loving and hating something at the same time. It’s a holy combination of heavy production and breathtaking vocals, creating a frostily addictive concoction.

“I Tried” by Lucy Rose

While known for crafting primarily folk-influenced pop music, Lucy Rose’s most recent album, Work It Out, takes on a brilliant new synth-pop approach. “I Tried” expertly layers electronic drums and arpeggiated synthesizers, showcasing Rose’s delicate vocals in a dazzling way. It’s also appropriately heartbroken for the unforgiving winter as Rose begs her lover for a second chance.

“Echoes” by Lauren Aquilina

Lauren Aquilina is a rising star in the U.K. who has gained popularity by posting YouTube covers and releasing a trilogy of EPs. Now, she’s in the process of recording her debut album. In the meantime, she’s given us “Echoes,” released this past December. With gorgeous harmonies and sparkling synths, Aquilina sings of “getting lost in the echoes” and a lover who “built love inside a vacant home.” The result is delightfully icy.

“Uncatena” by Sylvan Esso

With hypnotic beats and breezy vocals blending seamlessly into the music, Sylvan Esso is an expert at creating a moody winter vibe. The band’s vocalist, Amelia Meath, sounds lonely and detached as she sings, “All I want from you is a letter and to be your distant lover / That is all that I can offer at this time.”

You can listen to this week’s Tunesday above. Follow Daily Cal A&E on Spotify!

Madeline Wells covers music. Contact her at [email protected].