As the nights get colder and longer towards the end of the year, it is easy to feel lonely, depressed, and tired. And since most of us have seen months of quarantine and other pandemic-related changes in our lives, many may find this winter particularly difficult. To try to make this season a little more bearable, below are some soothing Korean ballads that I hope will help you comfort and warm your heart this winter, no matter what lies ahead in the days to come .
Park Ji Yoon – “Winter”
“Winter” paints a heavily monochrome landscape, held still by snow and ice, both through the MV’s visual imagery and its sparse instrumentation. Melancholy trumpets and gentle vocalizations are particularly nice additions to the second half of the track and deepen the feeling of warmth and thoughtfulness when they shine like gentle rays of sunshine on a cool winter day.
Yang Da Il – “Darling”
If this one doesn’t melt your heart this winter, I don’t know what will happen. “Darling” offers a simple piano line alongside Yang Da Il’s full vocals as well as heartfelt lyrics that feel like a handwritten love letter. The song becomes even more touching when it is accompanied by the MV, who tells a sweet but sad story of love and loss.
Crush – “Alone”
As always, Crush’s voice is gentle as honey in this soulful ballad, written to comfort those who feel alone in the dark, in a world full of sadness. While it was undoubtedly a heartwarming hearing last winter before the global pandemic hit, “Alone” is exceptionally soul-stirring this time around and hits just the right chord in these troubled times.
Ji Jinseok – “Here”
This compelling ballad uses minimal instruments to focus on Ji Jinseok’s powerful, clear vocals. The way he plays the chorus gives this song an additional raw atmosphere that makes “Here” all the more beautiful and moving.
Lee Sora – “Winter, Farewell”
“Winter, Farewell” is a breathtakingly beautiful song that possesses a divinity that is difficult to describe, especially when Lee Sora hits those ethereal high notes. Her dulcet tones blend in wonderfully with the gentle sounds of the piano and acoustic guitar and give this song a nice emotional depth.
EXO – “Universe”
“Universe” is a true masterpiece that brings the warmth of a steaming cup of coffee with it on a dark, cold winter night. Though it starts out calm and reserved, the song hovers like a shooting star throughout the chorus, making the members’ vocals glow as they pour out their emotions.
Shin Yong Jae & f (x) Luna – “You’re the one”
“It’s you” is sweeter than a plate of Christmas cookies, and it’s the perfect song to curl up in a blanket and fall asleep. The melody is light, the vocals are delicate and dreamy, the lyrics are full of love, and to top it off, the MV is as sweet as it gets!
Ailee – “I will go to you like the first snow”
Needless to say, “I will go to you like first snow” is a must have for any winter playlist. While the original version is phenomenal, check out Queen Ailee’s duet rendition on “Fantastic duo 2”(Shown below) as it takes this song to new heights.
Park Hyo Shin – “Sound of Winter”
“Sound of Winter” is a heavenly song that acts like a fresh and refreshing winter breeze on a calm, sunny day. As the track flies during the chorus, you can’t help but feel a calm peace settle in thanks to the great melodic piano accompaniment and the delicate vulnerability that pervades Park Hyo Shin’s voice.
Kevin Oh – “Anytime, Anywhere”
“Anytime, Anywhere” is a song that is flooded with nostalgia of days gone by and far away, evoking images of family and friends, childhood memories and home. With its soulful piano chords and heartwarming lyrics, this track offers a sense of comfort and familiarity amid the chaos and uncertainty of this year.
Girls Generation Sooyoung – “winter breath”
“Winter Breath” is a smooth track made up of faded happiness and dreams that are not yet fully realized. Although Sooyoung’s vocals remain relatively quiet throughout, the song is in no way lacking in emotion. It sounds like an entry from her diary and opens a window into some of her innermost feelings.
Park won – “Try”
Rousing orchestral lines and sentimental piano chords accompany Park Won’s rich, scratchy voice on this heartbreaking track about falling in love. Fair warning, “Try” probably hits you right in the heart and can lead to tears, but hey, sometimes a cathartic scream is just what it takes.
Between the meaningful lyrics and Hyuk’s passionate delivery, it’s hard not to feel touched by this beautiful song. “A Long Night” is exceptionally moving during the first chorus where Hyuk begins powerfully singing with all his heart. He falls back almost in a whisper as he moves on to the chorus and sings, “I hope the night doesn’t hurt you,” almost like repeating a prayer.
Lyn – “Back in Time”
We’ve all been there wishing we could travel back in time, thinking of precious memories of people who were once dear to our hearts. Lyn captures this feeling perfectly in “Back in Time”, whose lyrics of longing for what once was and the wistful melody make it a really moving hearing.
DAY 6 – “I’ll try”
“I´ll Try” is a great rock ballad that maintains a certain gentle tenderness from start to finish while still being full of emotion. The a capella portion is particularly breathtaking. The members’ voices are flawlessly layered to create mesmerizing harmonies that are sure to give you goosebumps.
What are some of your favorite winter ballads? Let us know in the comments below!
see is a software developer by day and an avid K-pop concert-goer at night. Occasionally she also appears on Twitter (@_seheee).
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