This Summery New Song From PB&J Takes the Chill Off

This nice warm playlist is the perfect antidote to winter’s gloom.

Johan Bergmark/STUNT Company

This week: “Wrapped Around the Axle,” by Peter Bjorn and John (PBJ Musik, 2018)

Why we’re into it: A slow and steady jam to simplify the busiest time of the year.

In a departure from the usual hooks, beats, and lyrics that have captured our attention most Fridays, there’s something about this track that makes it a must for this week’s Friday find.

Part of that something is the oddly familiar feel to this song that makes it comfortable, sweet, and redolent of those late aught’s indie and alternative blockbusters. (Which makes sense, given that the biggest hit thus far from Peter Bjorn and John—also known as PB&J— is their 2006 single “Young Folks.”) The ones crafted by MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club all have a sense of warmth to them and of a simpler time, which is exactly what “Wrapped Around the Axle” brings to the final few weeks of 2018.

As December digs in with all its holiday demands, the days get shorter and darker, and the cold sets in, “Wrapped Around the Axle” is just the track you need this weekend, when you are in the mood for a one-soundtrack-fits-all experience. It’s a simple song, and that’s part of what makes it great. It doesn’t demand that you invest in its storytelling, but it also doesn’t leave out a narrative. Fused with a powerful violin intro and consistent drumbeat, the guys craft a solid track that holds up against their older work.

From their newest album Darker Days, “Wrapped Around the Axle” is an immediate stand out, but it doesn’t stop there. “Living a Dream” sounds just as if it was plucked straight from the 60s, and “Every Other Night” provides the kind of boogie jam you’d come to expect from the guys. Put it all together and you need no further proof that Darker Days is a contemporary alternative hit that will fill even these dark days with light.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.