Here at Detour, plenty unites us: our love for Detroit is a big one. Our musical tastes, however, are all over the place. We believe we are better together, and playlists are no exception. So we put together a little winter survival playlist to keep us all sonically warm and, we hope, give us that little oomph we need to get us through to spring.
But this is no finished product. We want your contributions! Send us a link to a song and a one-liner about why this song helps you survive the winter — tweet us at @Detour_Detroit with the hashtag #letsdetourwinter or submit it here. And find all our winter survival tips here.
Here are our liner notes:
“Why Don’t We Fall in Love” by Ameriie — this song sounds like summer. Every time I hear it, I’m easily transported to a sunny afternoon with my friends. It’s a feel-good record.
First released in 1983 (when I was 8), New Order’s “Blue Monday” is still a go-to for raising my heart rate and summoning the will to live on a cold, gray wintry Michigan day.
Songs that remind me of summers riding down Gratiot in the backseat of the car with the window down on the way to Eastern Market in the 1980s: “Eye in the Sky” by Alan Parson’s Project. “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes. “Stand Back” by Fleetwood Mac.
Songs that make me smile and want to move: “Sedona” by Houndsmouth. “Squirrels” by Illy Mack (what ever happened to them?), “Time to Pretend” by MGMT. Favorite Radiohead song, good for any season: “Let Down”. Best #hamildrop: “First Burn.”
Sylvan Esso’s “Coffee” is spare and haunting, but still warm and tinkley, like being wrapped up tight on a cold evening. When Amelia Meath sings “Wild winters / Warm coffee,” I want to stay there — and when she gets to “Blazing summer / Cold coffee,” it’s a reminder that the winter’s only a temporary state.
There’s nothing that sounds like winter more to me than Sufjan Stevens — snowy, rural, childhood Michigan winter, to be exact. “He Woke Me Up Again” is no exception.
Nico’s “These Days” has been on my winter playlists since high school. Nostalgic, soft and lonely — is there anything more wintery than that? Putting it on your headphones while buttoned into a big coat is a perfect way to make a windy walk feel cinematic. And “Hold On” by Yola and The Highwomen is nostalgic but still hopeful, a big-hearted crooner to sing along to.
“Honeybody” by Kishi Bashi is cheerful and infectious enough to get me out of bed on dark mornings without annoying me. Same goes for “This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies and “Detroit Baby” by Habibi.
I’ve been gravitating to heavy music lately, I assume as a way to release some of the anxiety and moodiness we’ve all been experiencing.
Plus anything Curtis Mayfield, whose “Cannot Find a Way” has a song that speaks to really all political climates, but is especially pertinent now when we need unity but also must address multiple crises.
Finally, I’ve been going through the discography of John Prine, a victim of COVID. One of the greatest songwriters/lyricists of all time. “Hello in There” is a good place to start.
The music of SAULT, like the track “Wildfires,” makes me feel like I’m living inside an En Vogue video. I love putting on this mystery collective’s “Untitled (Rise)” album to power me through yet another round of dirty dishes.
–Ashley Woods Branch
To my fellow musical nerds out there: I’ve been on a “Hamilton” soundtrack kick since Disney+ released the film in July. It’s on my regular rotation while working, in the car or if I just need a little inspiration. The lyric “I am not throwin’ away my shot” in “My Shot” is especially relevant right now…
Here are some other favorite songs that I’ve played on repeat:
- “Do it” by Chloe x Halle
- “Levitating” by Dua Lipa and DaBaby
- “Better Not” by Louis the Child with Wafia
- “Day in, Day Out” by JR JR (from Detroit!)
- “Floating” [filous remix] by Alina Baraz featuring Khalid
- “Look Up Child” by Lauren Daigle
- “Make Up Your Mind” by Florence + The Machine
- “Coffee” by Quinn XCII (from Detroit!) featuring Marc E. Bassy
- “Lonely Legend” by Fantasia
- “SUPERBLOOM” by MisterWives
Here are some songs I use to remind myself to refer to myself for the life I want, rather than rely on the approval of others:
- “Queen” by Jax Anderson
- “More Cake” by Charity
- “Starship” by Yahzarah
- “I Keep” by Jill Scott
- “Chance” by Nicholas Ryan Gant
–Courtney Wise Randolph
Pro tip: Marble Bar, Coup D’Etat (a Detour Detroit Keep Detroit Local Partner) and Haute to Death have all been producing monthly playlists. And I create my own quarterly playlist — here is Winter 2021.