2-Pack: Touchscreen Gloves

  • You get two pairs of screen-touch-capable gloves for the price of two pairs of generic non-screen-touch-capable gloves
  • Perfect for gifts, cold days, and slapping your rival to challenge them to a duel
  • No, they don’t work quite as well as your bare finger, but whaddya expect?
  • One size fits you
  • Model: ??? (they’re just gloves, people)
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The Nights Are Cold: Winter Indie-Pop

Hey, Meh writer @JasonToon here. I won’t BS you. These touchscreen gloves - all touchscreen gloves - are kind of goofy. They never work as well as your ungloved fingers. They don’t work at all with things like Touch ID. But they do work better than most gloves, I guess, if it’s just too cold to be worth taking your gloves off. In this case, you can get two pairs of smartphone gloves for the same price as you’d pay for two pairs of generic gloves, so what’s the harm?

And they’re especially good for two things: giving as gifts, and giving me an excuse to put together a weekend playlist of wintry indie-pop. (For the first time, this one’s (mostly) available as a Spotify playlist, too. Did I handle that link correctly? We’ll see!)

I usually associate indie-pop with summertime. Its echoes of '60s melody and jangle, its punk immediacy, its childlike tweeness, all seem to make more sense in the sunshine. But there’s plenty of room in the wide indie-pop palate for sounds that twinkle like snowfall, or wrap around you like a blanket, or whisper like the wind on the other side of a frosty window.

For a fleeting moment in the mid-2000s, the Pipettes were one of the most charming bands in the world. It all fell apart, but they left behind gems like the gleaming “A Winter’s Sky” (2006):

The Dentists’s chilly 1985 debut single “Strawberries Are Growing in My Garden (And It’s Wintertime)” feels like that moment when you step from a freezing cold night into a steaming hot club. Everything’s foggy and disorienting, you can barely make out the band, but it’s all very exciting anyway:

“Autumnal” is the seasonal adjective usually associated with Scot indie-pop giants Belle and Sebastian. But the flute hook on “Mary Jo” (1996) sounds like an icicle, and the rest of the song feels like curling up under your favorite blanker:

The Housemartins’ “I Smell Winter” (1986), on the other hand, evokes that moment in the year - usually around right now - when you first catch a whiff of that austere winter feeling in the air:

You know those long, dreary January afternoons of grey and slush, when you don’t feel like you’re feeling anything until every emotion you can feel comes rushing out at once? That’s what “Last Forever” (2007) by the Swedish band Irene reminds me of:

A few excitable British music writers once thought House of Love was going to be the biggest band in the world. But they never matched the chilly, windswept “Shine On” from 1990:

What I said earlier about music that twinkles like snowfall? I was thinking of Belfast’s Language of Flowers and the frosty beauty of their “You’re the One” (2006):

Maybe the Fastbacks were more of a punk-pop band than an indie-pop band. But the Seattle stalwarts’ “In the Winter” (1989) can match anybody for melodic, high-energy melancholy:

It’s nighttime. The streets are empty. You’re walking alone through the falling snow. It feels like “The Nights are Cold”, a 2010 non-LP single by Glasgow’s finest, Camera Obscura:

The Popguns’ “Waiting for the Winter” (1989), on the other hand, is a skidding ride down an icy highway:

While the Vaccines ’ “All in White” (2011) is looking out at the freshly fallen snow in your backyard, anticipating leaving the first footprint tracks:

Under other cirumstances, I could hear “Falling Out” (2013) by Veronica Falls as an autumnal, springtime, or even summer jam. But its cool atmosphere and decorous melody fits right into this winter landscape:

The snow is deep and every step is an effort - but also a delight. That’s what Teenage Fanclub’s “December” (1991) makes me think of:

And suddenly there’s that moment when there’s still snow on the ground, still a chill in the air, but the sun is shining and everything sparkles and winter is anything but dreary. That’s “And Suddenly” (2012) by the School:

If you stuck with me through this sled ride across the wintry hillside of indie-pop, thanks. I love this stuff and I hope you love some of it too. Maybe when you’re waiting for a bus or walking to school and listening to this Spotify playlist, these smartphone gloves will come in handy (no pun intended).

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