OTU Presents: The Winter EP: Volume 1

My love of ‘winter music’ has been far from secret here on OTU, and several discussions with music fans of various tastes have led me to believe many OTU readers share that appreciation.

We’re all about satisfying the fans, so welcome to our new 5-part feature. Each edition features a selection of tracks that are taior made for the dark winter period, and in keeping with OTU’s diversity code, expect some old tracks, some modern tracks, with a vast range of genres represented (in no particular order either; for example, Vol. 1 doesn’t necessarily have all of the best tracks!)

Just to really drive those frosty vibes home, we’ll even provide you with fresh, original artwork for each ‘EP’ for you to download at your pleasure and finish off those playlists. Kind aren’t we? Without further ado, click below for 5 tracks to get your winter started.

Trey Songz-Does She Know
-One of the finest songs of his career, and the best from his Anticipation mixtape. A booming percussion sets a powerful atmosphere from the off, soon accompanied by a husky spoken word intro that enhances the mysterious nature of the track, before launching into a slow, sultry set of vocals that contrasts excellently with the unrelenting pound of the drum. There’s sex appeal and smoothness oozing out of this one, and it’s a perfect winter warmer.

+44-No, It Isn’t
-I analysed this track from a rather different perspective many moons ago, and hence I won’t delve into the context too much. This is about as dark and lonesome as an alternative track (from Blink and it’s associated acts) gets. Downbeat lyricism accompanied by little more than isolated guitar strums for first third, the track progresses slowly for a laid-bare expression of Hoppus’ pain. The slow build climaxes with a hard-hitting full band performance in the final third, stuffed with throttling guitars and breakneck percussion to switch the depression to a controlled ange. An excellent combination of isolation and tenacity.

Miles Davis-Moon Dreams
-We’re getting really old-school here, with a track from Miles’ 1957 album Birth of the Cool. The winding horns immediately pull you down a path of nostalgia, setting off imagery of dimly-lit streets and black-and-white films, and whilst the song progresses you inevitably get more drawn into the path of the music itself rather than the associations it creates. The increasingly freeform nature of the instrumentation is a wonderful listen, offering a soothing nature with the stifled bass plucks and soft percussion, alongside the exciting unpredictability of the horn work.

A$AP Rocky-Wassup
-Pulling it right back to 2011 with what’s to be Rocky’s next music video. An ambient, haunting production from the exceptional Clams Casino sets a cold, eerie backdrop that screams out ‘snowy winter morning’, whilst Rocky’s raps layer that vibe with a little energy and arrogance that prevent the production from sounding too one-dimensional, delivering an all-round package that will sit well with many.

The Foreign Exchange-Daykeeper
-Simply, a song that embodies winter. Soft electronic samples, hushed percussion, gentle synths and harmonic backing vocals combine for an ambient and atmospheric production that eases you into a winter landscape, whilst keeping you warm and comfortable throughout. The vocals from Phonte and Muhsinah are wonderfully suited to the production, combining whispery, drifty deliveries with passionate, emotive expressiveness that enhance and work alongside Nicolay’s production. Thoroughly excellent music that effortlessly floats above a few genres for a cohesive, luscious sound.


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