Songs To Keep You Warm Through The Cold Winter Months

Songs To Keep You Warm Through The Cold Winter Months

For when you need some extra good vibes to power through.


Is it just me, or is it harder to get up and feel energized in the dead of winter? Personally, I need some exceptionally peppy pump-up songs to help me make it through each day. I made this playlist and it has done wonders for my mood and energy, so I'm passing it on to you!

1. My Favorite Fish by Gus Dapperton

I might be the world's biggest Gus Dapperton fan, and his newest single is one of my all-time favorite songs, period. Released only a few weeks ago on January 24th, this quirky spin on the traditional love song will both warm your heart and make you dance!

2. Homage by Mild High Club

In my humble opinion, Mild High Club has one of the most distinct and unique sounds in indie music today. To find out if you agree, give "Homage" a listen.

3. HEADY by Reaper

Listening to this song makes me feel a LOT cooler than I actually am. I'll leave it at that.

4. Never Ever by STRFKR

This song just makes me want to DANCE! It's perfect for one-person bedroom dance parties! I know this from personal experience.

5. Saw You In A Dream by Japanese House

This song cannot possibly fail you in any way, ever. It matches every occasion known to man. You can dance to it, but you can also cry to it, and it serves as the perfectly appropriate soundtrack for both situations. I also know this from personal experience.

6. May 1st by Beach Fossils

This song feels and sounds like, well, May 1st. Sometimes you just need some spring vibes in the dead of winter, you know?

7. Lucy by Still Woozy

I recently discovered the absolute magical genius that is Still Woozy, and this song is an instant bop. It never gets old!

8. Marcel by Her's

This song feels like it came from either a different era or a different planet, or maybe both. I'm not sure how else to explain this, so you should probably just listen to it and then, maybe you'll get what I mean. Probably not, though.

9. Dark Red by Steve Lacy

This song is super catchy. The only problem is that the first lyric is, "Something bad is about to happen to me." I am quite superstitious so I often fear that something bad will, in fact, happen to me after I listen to the song. Once, it came on shuffle in my car and I got into an accident a few minutes later, so maybe I'm onto something. It's definitely worth the risk to listen, though.

10. Little Dark Age by MGMT

This was actually the song that was playing at the very moment I got into the aforementioned car accident, so it kind of carries chaotic vibes now. But I think those vibes work in its favor, honestly. It's still an awesome song.

11. Chamber Of Reflection by Mac DeMarco

A classic. That's all I have to say.

12. Omaha by Toro y Moi


13. Alaska by Maggie Rogers

My girl Maggie is going somewhere. Don't believe me? Listen to this song.

14. Sit Next To Me by Foster The People

You probably heard this song on the radio last summer, so I don't know if it technically qualifies as indie music anymore. Honestly, I don't care. It's a perfect song.

15. Fallss by Bayonne

This song feels very inspirational, like something you'd listen to at the top of a mountain you just climbed, you know, if you were the mountain-climbing type (I'm not).

16. Tieduprightnow by Parcels

If you haven't listened to Parcels yet, what are you doing?! Their music feels so unique and new, yet somehow also reminiscent of the 80s. "Tieduprightnow" is my favorite.

17. Sugarcoat by Kid Bloom

Kid Bloom rarely lets me down, and they certainly did not fail me with their most recent release. Less than a month old, their new single, "Sugarcoat," is perfect in every way.

18. Sunday Best by Surfaces

So many of my friends have been telling me to listen to Surfaces for months. I never understood what all the hype was about until I heard this song. Now, I'm completely on board.

19. I'll Come Too by James Blake

James Blake's new album, Assume Form, is amazing, experimental, fresh, and just beautiful from beginning to end. I've never heard anything quite like it. It was pretty hard to choose just one song to put in this article, but I think this was a good choice.

20. Lemon to a Knife Fight by The Wombats

Cool song, even cooler cover art. That's all.

I hope that one of these songs becomes your new anthem. Happy listening!

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My Best Original Screenplay Oscar Predictions Based Solely On The Writing, As It Should Be

Let's focus on the writing, not the politics.


The Oscars are almost here, so it's time to make predictions.

Except, if you're like me, you probably haven't seen all the nominated movies. This year, I realized I had not seen any of the films up for Best Original Screenplay. This was a bit of a failure moment for me as a hopeful future screenwriter, but I took the opportunity to do something everyone always says to do when you're learning—read scripts.

I decided to read these scripts and make my predictions based solely on the writing, as it should be. I read each script, then watched the trailer and read a few articles about the movies to answer any questions.

And here's what I decided.

"The Favourite"

I'd heard great things about this movie before reading it, so I was excited to study this screenplay. It was well written, I will be honest, so bravo to Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. But, it still left some to be desired. It definitely has its good qualities and is justified in its being a, well, fan favorite.

Except, the script relied heavily on subtext for commentary. Any narrative, no matter what time period it takes place in, will be held against the current societal environment regardless of intentions. However, it was clear that this film's intentions were to place a female voice in history and in current outlets. Which, of course, is not a bad thing. However, this film does so with disregard for true equality. The female focus is at the men's expense, which is not true equality (but that's an argument for another time).

I actually found the story predictable. The story tried to build suspense around the war, but even that seemed like a second priority to the writers after the love triangle. The script didn't explicitly tell the reader "how to feel," but it was strongly implied by the end.

"First Reformed"

This was a solid film written by Paul Schrader. Each scene really does move the plot forward which is story 101 but still important to note sometimes. Even the scenes that seemed like they would be time fillers allowed for the voice-over narration of Toller's journal.

This voice over was a nice touch of characterization and introduced well in the first scenes. This introduction was so well written, I could see exactly how it would play out, which is textbook screenwriting. The dialogue was believable. The setting description was a good balance and told part of the story too.

But there was that ambiguous, "La La Land"-dream-sequence-ish ending though.

"Green Book"

Okay, this one. This film is important and was skillfully written, so definitely a bravo to Peter Farrelly, Brian Currie, and Nick Vallelonga.

This film spoke to racial equality in the sense of true equality—meeting on the same level. It took place in one of America's shameful times and followed a white man realizing how things really are for those different from him and learning how to use his privilege in a way that helps and not harms. Like Dr. Shirley said, "You never win with violence." And as far as movies nominated in this category based on true stories, this did the best at maintaining the integrity of the original.

The writing was phenomenal. There was a personality in the action. The characterization was shown, not told. This was done through the actions, letters, reactions, how the characters treat others and how other characters treat the main characters. There was evident development in growth in the two main characters Lip and Dr. Shirley. It ended nicely, and the scenes were paced well.


This story would be better as a novel, in my opinion. The descriptions were beautifully written, so much so that every time there was dialogue or a scene change, I was roughly drawn out of the story. For a script, the action was almost too artsy and I could tell that it would be better visually than in writing. There were a few inconsistencies, like how Pepe calls Cleo "mom" in the beginning when Señora Sofia is actually his mom. Of course, this was probably meant to be just a kid crying for his mom when he was tired, but it leads to some confusion going forward when introducing characters.

This film was artfully written by Alfonso Cuarón. Most of the time, there was a good balance between detailed and vague descriptions (except that one part that described the color of the sky even though this is a black and white movie). I was struck by the impactful use of sound descriptions woven into the script, such as the car horn or the plane flying overhead. This was something that was present in the other scripts but didn't make as much of an impact, in my opinion, as it did in "Roma"


Oh goodness, where to begin? Adam McKay begins this script with an indignant tone in the superimposed text saying they "did their f***ing best" to tell a true story. But did they? No. If this Best Original Screenplay award is based on the writing, then "Vice" is shockingly nominated. If it's based on political people-pleasing, then I guess the nomination makes sense. The film is riddled with a bias to the left. It assumes the viewers agree with the flat narrative of the film and that we all see the characters as the one-dimensional people they movie portrays. The film even addressed this bias at the end, but the way they did didn't level the playing field at all, but just pandered to that bias, trying to pick a fight. Well, they shouldn't be dignified with a response, in my opinion.

But I digress. The writing. That's what we're here for.

Unfortunately, even the writing was objectively bad compared to the other scripts. And I don't say that lightly. It read like a school project that was completed the night before it was due. There were typos everywhere (notably, "due" was spelled "do"). The story and scenes seemed willy-nilly thrown together with the only goal of pushing an opinion. The framework and organization were centered around how best to convince the viewer of McKay's views, not tell the story. It's a very serious subject that's covered here and could've been handled better instead of this script that reads like a comedy with political propaganda tendencies.

And now, my predictions for best original screenplay go to...

I'll break this down into categories.

My favorite: "Green Book."

What should win: "Green Book."

What will probably win: "The Favourite."

They all have a chance, but if "Vice" wins, then what are we all here for? The writing, or politics?

The other films all had their stance in politics without taking away from the story being told. "The Favourite" was female-driven with LGBT aspects and classist themes while telling the story of Queen Anne and her ladies. "First Reformed" critiqued megachurch culture, environmental activism, and big business while telling Toller's story of grief. "Green Book" also had some classist themes and attacked racist tendencies in a way that can educate and change minds by telling a historical story. "Roma" was the story of a family set in cultural and political context. But "Vice" was just about politics and not the story.

Let's focus on the stories. Let's focus on the writing.

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A Little Something About My Favorite RomCom

Cheers to an old school love... one for the books if you ask me.


Valentines Day has come and gone this year and instead of focusing on the fact that no one was standing in front of my door
with a large teddy bear, my favorite snacks and telling me to get back in bed because we're binging Netflix movies.

I've decided to recognize a love that I grew up seeing.

Over the years, I watched my parents continue to fall in love with each other. 5 years as friends and eventually dating,
27 years of marriage. 32 years together and 3 beautiful children later, they still pick on and laugh with each other as if
they just met. They still kiss each other hello and goodbye as if they are sharing their first kiss all over again. They still argue
and say I love you like they are continuously stuck in the honeymoon stage. I often find myself sitting at the kitchen island watching my dad watch my mom as she works. And when I truly look, there is nothing but love, support, and satisfaction
within his eyes. Over the years I have asked my dad what it feels like to be in love and be with one person for the
rest of his life, and he would reply along the lines of "because you know, your mom, she's my best friend... wouldn't want to spend this life with anyone else".

This type of love is really the only type of permanent love I have seen, and it made me think.

That although I am always gagging at the public displays of affection that my parents put on no matter who is there or
where we are, I didn't realize that when I grow up I want a love like my parents' love until this past New Years. You see,
New Years at my house isn't a rager. There isn't a lot of people. Just close friends and family that we as a unit want in
our lives for ball drop after ball drop. My house at New Years involves music and laughter that can be heard throughout
the entire neighborhood. At 18 I always envied my friends that got to celebrate together in someone's basement, but this
year I envied less because of this; let me paint the scene. Cue up an old school love song and imagine two wildly in love individuals dance and laugh together. My mother's hand in my father's as they sway and whisper to each other with nothing
but laughter and contempt in their eyes. They swayed and hugged and danced and laughed as if they were alone. As if the
whole room came to a slow spin and all that they could see is each other, all that they have achieved together, all of the years that they spent together, all of the things that they have seen and experience together, all wrapped up within their embrace.

My siblings and I are always the first people to bust their chops when they are all-- for lack of a better word--"lovey-dovey"
and I know I can't speak for them but I know that the love I see from my parents makes me hope I am lucky enough to experience that love. That type of forever love. It's the little things that stick with me and make me realize that this type
of love is beautiful. The type of love that takes its form as my mom falling asleep on my dad's chest while he watches
the game. Or the type of love that looks like unplanned outfit matching and even offering the last bite of a good meal just because. For 18 years I have had the honor of watching my parents continue to fall in love with one another and find
new things to love as time goes on. Constant love. Beautiful love. An irreplaceable type of love.

So to my parents, thank you for giving me the perfect example of what love should look like. Thank you for giving me my favorite romantic comedy within the walls of my own house. Thank you, because at 18, I now understand a little bit more
than I did. Love is messy, pure, and specific to the individuals. My parents' love can't be duplicated but they did give a rough outline for me to follow and make my own.

Thank you for reminding me that love isn't perfect and it takes effort and will, to keep something so wholesome.

Forever your fan,

(or their favorite child... you know whatever works for them)

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