Lead singer Anthony Raneri
is involved in writing almost all of Bayside's songs, but "Winter" is notable for being written without any of the other band members. The song is a great showcase for Raneri's lyrical style, which typically goes for direct, hard images that evoke strong feelings in the listener.
The song was written as a response to a tragic 2005 traffic accident that resulted in the death of the band's drummer, John "Beatz" Holohan. On the last night of the band's acoustic tour which followed the accident, Raneri sat alone in a diner to reflect on the drummer's death. Over the course of seven early morning hours, he wrote the song and immediately after walked to the studio and recorded it. This stripped down performance was the lead track on the band's subsequent EP, Acoustic
, and is dedicated to Holohan. Raneri describes the song as a "closing of a book for the band," and it has never been performed live.
Lyrically, the song explores the dissociation experienced by Raneri in the wake of Holohan's death, as well as the newfound appreciation he felt for all of his close friends following the accident. "Winter" never directly mentions Holohan, instead referencing him in only indirectly - as an angel, as an absence, as a true friend who's moved on.