The winter (and all that it entails – the snow, the cold, ya-da ya-da) metaphorically affixes itself to all kinds of melancholic affairs: heartbreak, loneliness, childhood memories, etc. Unsurprisingly, then, the season is the indie artist’s favorite buzz topic, with the cold months providing an abundance of inspiration for the construction of timelessly toasty (and typically tearful) tracks. Check out 10 of SONGLYRIC’s favorite indie winter warmers, below.

Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal

Is anything quite as cozy as the lush harmonies of our favorite bearded folk collective, Fleet Foxes? Warm up with the blissful “White Winter Hymnal”, a quaint eight-lined fairytale full of frosty imagery.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

And Michael, you would fall,
and turn the white snow red
as strawberries in summertime.

Mumford and Sons – “Winter Winds

“As the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts…” begins Mumford and Sons’ anthemic “Winter Winds”. Follow the melancholic story of two lonely hearts in wintertime, yet arise above the chill upon the chipper banjo clammer.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

Was it love or fear of the cold
that led us through the night?


Arcade Fire – “Neighborhood #1 Tunnels

In 2004, Arcade Fire were unleashed upon the world via the awe-inspiring Funeral. The album was full of chilly imagery, namely the uplifting epic, “Neighborhood #1 Tunnels”, a tale of first loves escaping beneath a blanket of snow.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

Then our skin gets thicker
from living out in the snow.


Elliott Smith – “Angel in the Snow

The late, great Elliott Smith sighs of hopeless love amid the stunningly sad “Angel in the Snow”, which was made available on the posthumous Smith album, New Moon.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life
that fell down here to lay beside you.


Tori Amos – “Winter

In 1992, Tori Amos arrived with her debut LP, Little Earthquakes, and the heartbreaking ballad, “Winter”, to boot. This chilling musical-anecdote brings to life magical winter landscapes as viewed through a child’s optimistic eyes—landscapes which ultimately slip away as we grow into adulthood.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

Years go by and I’m here still waiting,
withering where some snowman was.


Animal Collective – “Winter’s Love

Animal Collective endorse snuggling with lovers in wintertime in the kaleidoscopic bliss that is “Winter’s Love”, which of course features an abundance of mad hatter harmonies along the way.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

I love this light in winter time,
the frost cakes in the carpet.
In winter time I have no legs,
just stumps of meat below me.

Iron and Wine – “Faded from the Winter

Escape to a snowy pastoral dreamland with Iron and Wine‘s delicately rustic love song, “Faded from the Winter”, which name-checks all kinds of snug imagery including sleeping dogs and the moonlight. Ahhh…

Favorite winter warmer lyric

Daddy’s ghost behind you
Sleeping dog beside you
You’re a poem of mystery
You’re the prayer inside me.

Sufjan Stevens – “Sister Winter

In 2006, Sufjan Stevens treated fans to an entire box set of Christmas songs. “Sister Winter” was an undoubted highlight from Songs for Christmas—a delicately twee number where Sufjan watches as both the weather, and the heart grow cold as ice.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

Now my heart is returned to sister winter
Now my heart is as cold as ice.


Laura Marling – “Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)

British songstress, Laura Marling, writes an ode to her nippy motherland via the nostalgia-evoking “Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)” (the second song on the list after Fleet Foxes to nab the cliché wintertide ‘red scarf’ image!)

Favorite winter warmer lyric

I might be cold
But I’m just skin and bones
And I never love England more
Than when covered in snow.

Bon Iver – “Blindsided

Winter, 2007: Following a painful break-up, Justin Vernon retreats to his father’s log cabin in the woods of North Wisconsin in order to write and record what will be Bon Iver’s heartbreakingly tender debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago. If any album defines winter—it is this one. “Blindsided” is a particularly icy number, telling the story of a man spying on his ex-lover through a snowy window pane.

Favorite winter warmer lyric

I crouch like a crow.
Contrasting the snow.
For the agony, I’d rather know.