THE WINTER PLAYLIST

If the freezing weather is anything to go by there is snow falling somewhere in Australia, and reports from Thredbo say 5cm of the white stuff has blanketed the village overnight with a nice snow encouraging temp of -4 degrees, with further snow showers expected over the next few days. Snow makers are also in full swing making use of perfect snow making conditions.

To celebrate the coming of the snow we enlisted Channel [V]’s Billy Russell to take on the task of creating a winter themed playlist.

Isn't winter just the best? The hot milky drinks, using blankets (and know-how!) to build forts on the couch, the fact that attractive shirtless people are condemned to a period of hibernation in which they can't shame the rest of us with their disgusting bodies. Winter is pretty much the recluse's time to shine! And I love it. In fact, the only two things I love more than winter are clunky segues and themed playlists on my iPod. "Hey Billy, wouldn't it be great if you combined your love of winter with your love of playlists and made a winter themed playlist?" Why, yes it would, nobody.

Now, let's first establish a few ground rules. One: Making a playlist is an art that should be treated with great respect. I don't actually know what that means, but it just seems like the right thing to say at this juncture. Two: A themed playlist always needs a snappy title to go with it; something that says 'my creator's knowledge of good music is matched only by his or her love of bad puns'. Something like COLDPLAYLIST or COOL SONGS or ONE OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER'S LINES FROM BATMAN & ROBIN. OK, let's get to it.

Obviously, if we're dealing with a winter list, we're going to want to include as many tracks as possible that deal lyrically with this amazing season. I'm talking about songs like Paul Kelly's Winter Coat, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow and Lisa Loeb's Snow Day (because, hey, if we had more time to add to that aforementioned list of things we love, 'librarian-type chicks with glasses' would be somewhere in the middle).

Of course, the problem with our list as it currently stands is that the songs included are actually good. And where's the fun in that? A playlist is a place for confounding expectations and raising eyebrows, especially if being created for a pair of ears other than your own. As such, what you'll want to do is throw in some winter tunes which have obviously been included for their LOL factor. Think Snow's Informer, Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby, and The Whitlams' Winter Lovin'.

It's also worth noting here that playlists are, above all else, an opportunity to show off. "Oh, so it's a winter themed list and that song has 'winter' in the title." Big deal, son. "Oh, so it's a winter themed list and you've included The Thermals, The Raincoats and some other band I've never heard of in a three-song interlude as part of a tribute to cold climate outerwear". Now, you're talking! Show your friends you know how to be more specific. This means including sub-categories of winter songs, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Ones where the listener has to actually think about the reference (Outkast's Hey Ya. "What's cooler than being cool…?")

  2. Ones that test the listener's knowledge of the French language (Did you know Bon Iver translates to 'Good Winter'? Oui, it's true!)

  3. Ones that were played during the Frost Giants’ battle scenes in Thor 3D (no examples immediately spring to mind)

  4. Ones made by Icelandic artists because, as I understand it, the country is made entirely out of ice (Sigur Ros, Bjork)

  5. Ones that have nothing to do - lyrically or otherwise - with winter, but which nonetheless complement the insular feelings associated with the colder months (anything off Kid A, Flying Lotus).

Of course, by the end of the playlist, after you've endured a few hours of tunes with subject matter more depressing than that time you caught your 25-year-old sister having a Sunday afternoon SingStar tournament against herself, you're going to want to conclude with a sixth and final category: Ones that manifest your realisation that, for all its promises of Snuggies and hot chocolates and the forthcoming MasterChef finale, winter is something best experienced outside on the slopes. Chairlift and The Avalanches it is!

By Channel [V]’s Chilly Billy Russell

To ready yourself for this year’s snow season, head to the newly launched Snow Australia site featuring all of Australia’s ski resorts in one place www.snow-australia.com.