PLAYLIST: Seven Miserable Acts to Soundtrack Your Inevitably Depressing Winter

The streets are littered with orange tinted leaves and the nights are drawing in, which means autumn has well and truly arrived. With that in mind, here are a few bands to help you wallow your way through the winter period.

Bon Iver

I’m not talking about Skinny Love. We all know it, we all love it but Bon Iver is much more than a one hit wonder, with his latest effort 22, A Million being his most enchanting yet. Perfectly encapsulating the cold feel of late December evenings, Justin Vernon’s deep yet versatile voice is enough to wash anyone with a shiver. Despite taking a more electronic turn on his latest album, Vernon utilises accapella samples and crisp piano notes to retain his ever warm touch.


It’s as if Fleet Foxes and Modern Baseball had a lovechild. Pinegrove’s sound fuses emo with americana and it has proved a winning blend for the New Jersey outfit. The band have two albums under their belts now but it’s their second outing where they truly shine. ‘Aphasia’ is the musical equivalent of Radox Muscle Soak bubble bath, Evan Hall’s soft vocal tone against often harsh guitar tabs is something unique.


Reminiscent of bitter winter evenings in suburban settings, Turnover are the musical equivalent of a harsh blunt. From their sophomore effort onwards, the band took on a whole new persona, one that embraced lo fi vocals and reverb fuelled guitar melodies. Peripheral Vision combines emotive lyrics and slow burning anthemic tones to create a sound that is relatable for almost anybody.

American Football

Mike Kinsella and co. crafted a quiet legacy in the early 2000s, breaking up before they even received the majority of their acclaim. The midwest emo outfit became the soundtrack of teenage sadness, with many taking solace in their dulcet tones and jingle jangle melodies. From their dorm rooms in Illinois, American Football wrote probably one of the most influential emo albums of all time, with their candid honesty shining through via their intermittent lyrics.

Father John Misty

I’ve previously written at length about Father John Misty and the man is the definition of excellence. Utilising wordplay to his full advantage, Josh Tillman’s writing makes for thought provoking and challenging lyricism. With a sense of self-righteousness throughout, Father John Misty’s music retains an element of class and clarity. Whether it be a piano ballad, synth filled single or driven guitar anthem, the former Fleet Foxes drummer always manages to produce an impassioned and well structured masterpiece. His self reflection and self deprecation makes for a very solemn and miserable archive of tunes to keep you going through the seasonal period.


As the opening notes of ‘No Woman’ sound with trumpets resonating through, it is evident that Whitney have something special. In 2017, it is rare to find something strictly fresh and new, however Whitney have just about managed that. Using just about everything in their arsenal, including maracas, the Chicago based seven (SEVEN) piece make the kind of music even your Grandma could appreciate. It’s intricate, it’s tender and at times it might sound like the soundtrack to a modern western, but it is superb.

Phoebe Bridgers

Having been championed by Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams, Phoebe Bridgers released her debut album in 2017 and it is a miserable masterpiece. The remarkable first album from the Californian musician flaunts innocent vocals and touching violins. Best listened to in the dark, wrapped in a quilt with tears in your eyes, or some other suitably grief-stricken situation.

The playlist:

Sam Feeley