Friday Music Round-up: Hot tracks for your winter solstice

"Wait" M83 Vimeo.com

Happy winter solstice! It's the shortest day of the year, and for much of the country, the weather can only be described as frightful. (Or at least frightfully cold!) But never fear, The Feed is here to keep you warm during these long nights with some of the hottest tracks of the past few days. Up first is a blistering a capella medley from Pentatonix. This quintet of talented vocalists blazes through a medley of classic NSYNC songs in just under four minutes. With the material Pentatonix is working with, you can expect the tunes to be catchy. But it's the excellent a capella arrangements that really make this video stand out.

Next up is a visually stunning video from futuristic French producer M83. The song "Wait" from M83's 2011 album "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" is a soaring, atmospheric track that gets suitably epic treatment in the video. This is actually the third video in a trilogy of M83 tracks directed by Fleur & Manu. Don't worry about following the plot (though be sure to check out the previous two entries if you dig the style.) Just let yourself get swept away by the evocative visuals.

But fair warning, there are some brief flashes of violence in the beginning.

From sweeping visuals to stunning vocals, we move next to a pair of young Swedish sisters who make music under the name First Aid Kit. Johanna and Klara Soderberg make beautiful music in their own right (we're fans of their song "Wolf") but in the above video, they cover an American classic, "America" by Paul Simon.The Polar Music Prize honored Mr. Simon at a recent ceremony in Stockholm. Judging by the standing ovation he gave First Aid Kit, we think it's safe to say he enjoyed himself.

Finally, a little holiday cheer as we enter the homestretch of 2012. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a winter classic that has been covered and re-invented more times than we can count. Everyone from Louis Armstrong to Willie Nelson to Zooey Deschanel has tried their hand at the 63-year-old song. But we're traditionalists here at The Feed, and for our money, you can't do better than the couple who wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in the first place. Frank Loesser was a songwriter in the early half of the 20th century who wrote hit tunes for Broadway musicals "Guys and Dolls" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," among others. This recording (courtesy of NPR) has Frank and his wife Lynn performing the song the way it was meant to be: a playful young couple, a piano and a snowstorm.

Stay warm out there, friends.

  • Bailey Johnson

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