Today I’ve been thinking about what hygge sounds like. Inspired by my pal Jake (whom you can find writing cool things about music and menswear over at Overdiluted.net), I have decided to introduce a more tuneful element to this blog. After all, I did say that I wanted to make my blog a more interactive, multidimensional experience, so where better to start than with some Sunday tunes?
I had a poke around on Spotify to find out what other people thought hygge sounds like, and I emerged none the wiser. Everything from Bonnie Tyler to Eminem to Nickelback (really?!) appeared on other users’ hygge-inspired playlists. None of these really spring to mind when I think of hyggesoundz, so I took the liberty of creating my own playlist to explain.
I don’t really know anything about music, so I can’t deconstruct my choices in terms of chords or timbre or whatever else, but I think there are a couple of common themes that I feel make a tune quintessentially hygge. Firstly, there needs to be a certain amount of intimacy. From my playlist, I reckon Sometimes You Need by Rufus Wainwright sums this up well. It tends not to be super noisy and it’s easy to feel close to the music. It’s not pretentious.
Secondly, warmth. You simply cannot convince me that Everything In Its Right Place by Radiohead is anything other than a fireplace brimming with embers. With hygge roughly translating as ‘cosiness’, it would be wrong for a song which captures this concept to be anything other than the musical equivalent of an extra jumper on a snowy day.
And finally, heartbreaking. I know, I know, but hear me out. There are some songs that have the power to make the listener feel incredibly vulnerable. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s like a funny little hand playing with all the muscles in your chest. In 156 by Mew, it’s the line ‘Don’t you just love goodbyes?’. Of all the songs on my Hello Hygge playlist, I think this is the one that best represents my understanding of hygge music.
I have embedded the playlist below for your Sunday night listening pleasure. It’s cold outside in the UK tonight, which is even better. I’m going to be updating this regularly, so why not subscribe for a constant drip-feed of hygge-friendly music? If there’s anything I’ve missed that needs to be on my playlist, please let me know in the comments – I’m always pleased to receive new recommendations.