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Five albums that perfectly encapsulate the holiday season

Ruby Jenkins
Looking for some holiday albums to listen to over winter break? Whether it’s spinning a record or listening digitally, look no further than these five albums: “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” by Lana Del Rey, “Stranger in the Alps” by Phoebe Bridgers, “The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection” by Taylor Swift, “Evermore”by Taylor Swift and “Bewitched” by Laufey.

As the leaves fall and temperatures drop, it’s apparent that the new season should be rung in with albums that encapsulate the feeling of a cozy winter. Whether you’re looking for tracks to play at your next holiday party, or ones that feel like apple cider on a cold day, these five albums are a must for your winter playlist. 

Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” by Lana Del Rey

Originally released on Mar. 24, 2023, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” is Lana Del Rey’s ninth studio album, and happens to be one of her best both lyrically and aesthetically. Del Rey’s attempt at blending heartwarming tunes and meaningful lyrics proves it to be a perfect album for the winter months, perfectly encapsulating the calm and cozy vibes between each holiday. While Dele Rey has been a notable name in the music industry since her 2012 debut album “Born to Die,” she has had yet another spike in her popularity due to TikTok. In fact, this album has had many songs go viral, including “Margaret (feat. Bleachers)” and “Let The Light In (feat. Father John Misty).” The track that sticks out as a new holiday favorite is “Paris, Texas (feat. SYML).” It’s calming, yet happy, with a whimsical tone that will put anyone in a good, festive mood. 

Stranger in the Alps” by Phoebe Bridgers

As Phoebe Bridgers’ debut indie album, “Stranger in the Alps” wraps the solemn yet nostalgic feelings of the winter season. Each track is a journey through snow-kissed landscapes and cozy winter nights, creating a soundtrack for the perfect holiday season. Although the 2017 album didn’t top the charts when it was first released, it has since gained much traction with the rise of Bridgers herself. Her most popular song off the album, and rightfully so, is “Motion Sickness.” From the iconic intro to the heartbreaking lyrics and backstory, “Motion Sickness” seems to encapsulate most, if not all, of the themes of this album. However, the most holiday-feeling song off of “Stranger In The Alps” is “You Missed My Heart.” This album closer is remorseful, but has proved to be a lyrical gift.

The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection” by Taylor Swift

A holiday album list cannot be complete without mentioning Taylor Swift’s only Christmas album, “The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection.” As an extended play (EP) including both covers and originals, you can’t go from November to December without hearing it somewhere on the radio. Although this album was released back in 2008, many dig these songs up every Christmas season just to get a taste of nostalgia. Despite being one of Swift’s least streamed albums, many have questioned whether Swift will be re-recording it for her “Taylor’s Version” albums. The pop singer has spent the last two years re-recording her previous albums so that she can own the music she wrote and sang when she was younger, but will “The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection” be included in this? With tracks like “Christmases When You Were Mine” and a cover of “Last Christmas” originally by Wham!, we can only hope that Swift will remember this as she ventures into her last “Taylor’s Version” albums. 

Evermore” by Taylor Swift

While Swift has a Christmas album as mentioned above, it is not the only one perfect for winter. “Evermore” is Swift’s ninth studio album, coming only a short period after its sister album, “Folklore.” Despite the short release time between the two, and thus not as much hype around “Evermore,” this album goes above and beyond to prove Swift’s lyrical ability. With tracks such as “Cowboy Like Me” and “Coney Island (feat. The National),” there is no topping the wistful aura of this album. However, its surprise release on Dec. 11, 2020, stunted both its chart growth and popularity amongst fans. Typically, Swifties end up putting “Evermore” at the bottom of their rankings, despite the album being the soundtrack of many people’s favorite season. If you ever find yourself on a foggy day, with a hot drink in hand, sit down and take time to fully immerse yourself into the depths of this wintry album. 

Bewitched” by Laufey 

Laufey is a newly popular artist, greatly influenced by her most recent album, “Bewitched.” The Icelandic singer released this album on Sept. 8, 2023, gaining much popularity from several viral songs on TikTok. Her soothing voice and melancholic melodies pair for the perfect winter evening songs. The most popular song, “From The Start,” was the first single off the album, setting the tone for the coming tracks. Laufey describes “Bewitched” as “a love album, whether it be a love towards a friend or a lover or life.” This description is perfect for the album, for both fan-favorites like “From The Start” and “Letter To My 13 Year Old Self,” but also the most holiday-like song, the title track: “Bewitched.” The intro not only feels like the start of a Christmas movie, but the lyrics create a calming and bitterly sweet track to listen to over and over again. 

While this list only names a few, there are plenty of other albums to listen to this season. Some honorable mentions include “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Who Really Cares” by TV Girl and “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel. So, if you find yourself bored during the holiday season and wishing for some music to put you in the spirit, look no further than these five albums.

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About the Contributor
Ruby Jenkins
Ruby Jenkins, Assignment Editor
"Jeopardy," “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and iced vanilla latte with oat milk enthusiast.

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