“Then you walked in and my heart went, ‘Boom!’” The musical Hamilton might be the story of perseverance and revolution, but most of all, it’s about love. Over the holidays, I’m humming Helpless because with great people around you, and some instruments around the house, there’s always room for pure magic. Here’s to your heart going “Boom!” sometime this holiday season. 


For several days in a row I’ve been humming and listening to Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack. I eavesdropped on a cover version of it while watching About a Boy (the most non-cliche Christmas movie in my memory), and its original version struck me even more. I especially enjoy the tender-yet-strong vocals, and as for lyrics, they, sorry for repeating the song’s title, are killing me softly.


This holiday season, I have been listening to the evergreen Bengali folk song, Milan Hobe Koto Diney, on loop. This remake by Coke Studio is a perfect blend of baul (Bengali folk) and modernism. The vocals of Anupam Roy and Babul Supriyo make the song even more soulful.


There is nothing Christmassy or even winter-y about Graceless by The National other than the fact that I first heard it in late December, many years ago. Now, whenever I listen to it (just hear the first chords, in fact), I am transported to that time, revisiting my teenage self and almost feeling that winter from the past on my very skin.


My soundtrack for this December is I Won’t Wait by Spector. Though it has nothing even slightly winterish to it, this song happened to accompany me throughout this month, warming me up during even the coldest days. Catchy and disturbingly underrated, it’s well worth a listen: if not for an I-got-you-moment, then for an upbeat and dynamic style.