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Stylish Soundtracks: Cottagecore

Let's get cozy
Colleen Phelps
Let's get cozy

This is part of a series of essays and playlists related to various trendy aesthetics that we’re calling "Stylish Soundtracks." From mermaids to Barbie, we’ve got your cores covered - musically, that is.

Peasant dresses. Eyelet lace. Fairies. Wildflowers. And, of course, cottages.

Cottagecore is characterized by the idyllic image of the English countryside. As a way to play make-believe, it’s been around for a long time. Marie Antoinette enjoyed doing chores in her village-looking pretend play area called "Hameau de la Reine" centuries before 1960s counterculture brought back floral dresses.

Taylor Swift may have released Folklore in 2020, but classical music was way ahead on Cottagecore. Composers have been setting bucolic scenes and leaning into their Romantic sensibilities for hundreds of years. While the controversial prairie dresses of just a few years ago have made their way off of racks, cottagecore is still around in 2023. Its countryside charm remains especially popular for home decor among Gen Z.

So put on your best Laura Ashley print, tie your hair into loose braids, set up some afternoon tea, and turn on this Classical Cottagecore playlist.

Quite possibly nothing is more Cottagecore than an English garden, and Frederick Delius set that very thing to music. Except maybe the opening of Adolphe Adam’s ballet Giselle, which is a village wine festival on the Rhine. Many composers in the Romantic period, like Edvard Greig and George Butterworth, were setting their national folk songs and dances for both piano and orchestra.

Let us know what we missed on any of our social media platforms. And if there’s an aesthetic you love, ask us to build a playlist.

Colleen is the Music Director and host for LPM Classical. Email Colleen at colleen@lpm.org.