Portland Monthly’s Essential Winter 2021 Playlist

Icy tracks from Oregonians old and new to help you through the dwindling daylight

By Conner Reed December 2, 2021 Published in the Winter 2021/2022 issue of Portland Monthly

Winter is here—the days are colder, the nights are longer, and the radio is clogged with stale classics. Here’s a selection of homegrown tracks to break up the monotony. (Be sure to follow us on Spotify for more mixes.)

“The Sound of Silence,” Chromatics 

The Portland electronic duo spins the Simon & Garfunkel classic into an icy, menacing lullaby.

“Killy Holiday (Anitia Kutt),” Mosley Wotta 

Confrontational, speaker-shaking hip-hop from Bend emcee Jason Graham and producer Colten Tyler Williams

“For Heaven’s Sake,” M. Ward 

One of the loveliest cuts from Think of Spring, Ward’s Billie Holiday cover album that dropped last December

“No One Played Santa for Me,” Jinkx Monsoon 

The Drag Race champion and Portland native takes it to the cabaret for this delicious number about the pitfalls of working-class Christmas from her 2020 holiday special with BenDeLaCreme.

“Winter Rules,” Worthington 

The recently rediscovered alt-rock outfit goes fuzzy in the middle of their 1998 LP, He Was Not a Micromanager, to satisfying effect.

“Addicted,” 3AM 

Drippy, rainy emo rap well-suited for January bus rides.

“Oh February,” Y La Bamba 

Slight “Kate Bush at a campfire” vibes in this 2013 track from Luz Elena Mendoza’s indie band (This is, of course, a compliment.)

“Orange Sunshine,” Growing Pains 

An ode to the big star we’ve loved and lost (at least until April or so) from melodic Portland punks that calls to mind peak Beach House.

“Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas),” The Decemberists 

Solid, John Denver–covering advice from the best