Sounds Like… is our brand new playlist with a difference. Each month, we bring you a series of three pieces of music that we think encapsulate our monthly theme. And what better a theme to start with in January than ‘Winter‘?

Here are our wintry picks, with the reasons why we’ve picked them… what sounds like Winter for you?

Shostakovich, 5th Symphony, 3rd movement:

For us, a cold, icy, grey, rocky and mostly flat landscape with little sign of life. This performance in particular is stark and bare.

Bjork, Hyperballad:

The percussion sounds are like wind, snow and ice, pricking your face; there are so many strands of sound. The vocals are quiet in the mix – as if they were part of the elements, and are almost completely without echo or reverb – as if they were recorded outdoors.

Arvo Part, Spiegel im Spiegel:

This has loads of possibilities for the imagination, but one is of ice melting; so maybe it is the end of winter, as it is pretty uplifting.

We’ve struggled to find jazz that sounds wintry; everything we could think of evoked firesides and warmth, rather than the atmosphere of being out in the winter elements. Suggestions are welcome, folks, and we’ll add them to the list!

What we didn’t choose:

To us, it doesn’t evoke Winter particularly (though it may to others), and its use in adverts has diminished its power for us. Sometimes it is hard to listen with fresh ears.