Heavy Rotation: December 2017

I’ve got to level with you: most of December is the worst time of year to ask me what I’ve been listening to. I don’t like to lie, so I would honestly tell you how many times I played side A of The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album (I almost always skip side B of this particular album) and the stack of classic holiday records I have sitting beneath the tree. These are on heavy rotation from the week before Thanksgiving all the way through Epiphany (aka Three Kings Day, aka Little Christmas, which falls on January 6).

All of that is to say, my Heavy Rotation playlist this month is a little sparse. It’s just hard to keep up with new music during the holidays… there are just SO many cookies to eat and movies to re-watch.

Maybe next year I’ll make a Heavy Rotation playlist of Christmas music? 

I mostly state that as a reminder to myself. I was once interviewed by the lovely Joanna Wilson for her blog Christmas TV History where I got a little nostalgic about Muppet Christmas Carol, and since then I’ve wanted to make a list of my top Christmas tracks… but alas, time gets away from me.

Here’s the final Heavy Rotation from 2017:

Features this month:

First Aid Kit

Folk music is a standby for me in December when I’m wanting to feel cozy, but not in the mood for Christmas tracks. I know what I said above, but yes — there are moments I just can’t listen to Bing or Vince Guaraldi, even when I’m feeling festive…

The Söderberg sisters are exceptional, and I’ve been a fan since the first time I heard “The Lion’s Roar”.  This new track really has me feeling hygge, but First Aid Kit hails from Sweden, and I’m sure they have their own word for or form of hygge; I just don’t know the Swedish word for it…

Surprising as it seems, google knows Swedish! The Swedes term for hygge is lagom (pronounced: laaaw-gum)–meaning moderation and balance–which is basically what I’m seeking by listening to “Fireworks” instead of White Christmas for the 30th time today. Nailed it.

Sufjan Stevens

I could write something about this Tonya Harding tribute by Sufjan, but so many others have already done that. I know Tonya hates it, but this song is just gorgeous and I could listen to it forever (as long as I could still listen to the entire Sufjan Christmas catalog in December as well.)


While I do love Christmas, I don’t always love the cold weather that comes with the season in Ohio. Enter: Tennis.

No matter what the weather is doing outside, if I need to get a taste of summer, Tennis can always bring me back to warmer days sitting beneath a huge tree with a good book… I was glad to discover this new Tennis track just as days were getting incredibly short and temperatures outside were dropping.

A few more songs to highlight on this month’s playlist:

  • Crowded Places from Banks (because it’s just gorgeous.)
  • A new single from The Oh Hellos.
  • A track from Renée Fleming featured on the soundtrack of The Shape of Water 

In 2018, I plan to do quarterly playlists as opposed to monthly, that way I may actually post them within a reasonable amount of time. That should leave plenty of space for my “top holiday albums” list next December!

Happy New Year!

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