20 SONGS TO SOOTHE YOUR MIND
Copyright: Eric Roux Fontaine source Artchipel.
Copyright: Eric Roux Fontaine source Artchipel.
There are times when you can just imagine yourself lifting off your miserable office chair and gently floating away from your miserable desk located next to your miserable boss who is yakking on about an overdue miserable worksheet. I am not a meditation enthusiast but I do get legal highs from music that leaves me pleasantly spaced out. There’s nothing quite like the tingle of your brain saying au revoir to your body for an hour as it travels through puffy clouds and starry night skies. So whether you’re slaving away at work or looking to take a quick nap on the beach, try it, I won’t tell a soul that you’ve made a temporary brain escape. Enjoy the mental jailbreak and the aerial view, hit play:
1. Drifting In And Out – Porcelain Raft
A dream pop gem composed by Mauro Remiddi… Relax your shoulders, prepare for take off and let your boss’s voice and the office drone gently fade out… Oh there you go drifting out the window; welcome to the wonderful world of mind floating.
2. Princess – Mint Royale
Drift off to the voice of Neil Claxton, whilst the sun slowly starts to set and your body floats gently to anywhere and nowhere.
3. Maximalist – Baths
Maximalist is a trippy track imagined by Will Wiesenfeld, an American electronic musician affiliated with the chillwave movement. His layered and dazzling songs are often composed of vocal samples, and sounds of objects like clicking pens which punctuate his trademark ethereal synth sounds.
4. Opening Message – Ladysmith Black Mambazo
A chef d’oeuvre by the South African male chorale group led by Joseph Shabalala whose voice is pretty much what my idea of heaven should sound like… and if like me you can be a bit of a cynic, this song will reconcile you with humanity. This song is a starry sky to itself, full of life and honesty and reassurance like the smell of a baby’s head.
5. Drift Dive – The Antlers
Since the release of their album Hospice in 2009, the band has been on an upwards tangent, releasing gems such as Burst Apart and Undersea, a four song EP which the band describes as an “imitation of the serenity of drifting off to sleep or sinking to the bottom of the ocean”. Sinking, floating , flying whatever, the effect is the same, your mind just ambles off with Peter Silberman’s honey liquid voice to a state of near bliss, absolutely cathartic.
6. Homeless – Paul Simon
This is a demo version (which featured on the 25th anniversary edition of Graceland) of ‘Homeless’ that Simon wrote with Joseph Shabalala from Ladysmith Black Mambazo (see song 4). They recorded the in two days at Abbey Road studios in London. A great song to soothe all those twisted little knots in your mind and heart.
7. Opening – Philip Glass
Considered one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century Glass’s music is often controversially described as minimal music. Whatever people consider his music to be, it remains above all transcendent, liberating, like the minute of sleep you want to hold on to just that little bit longer because the dream you’re having is so good.
8- Lanterns Lit – Son Lux
The spiritual almost holy aspect that carries the song only amplifies Ryan Lott’s beautiful but mournful, powdery voice. A song that will detach the last unraveled thread that links your mind to your body.
9. Olsen Olsen – Sigur Ros
The Icelandic band founded in 1994, famous for their ethereal sound and use of ambient soundscape (use of natural sounds and human-caused sounds in a given environment), delivered a chef d’oeuvre when they released Ágætis byrjun in 1999. ‘Olsen Olsen’, featured on the critically acclaimed album, is an absolute ode to Icelandic landscapes and their breathtaking beauty. Think snowy valleys, Aurora Borealis’, vast and endless skies, there is nothing quite like floating over one big miracle of nature.
10. Do Your Best – John Maus
This little synth-pop pearl, is one of those songs that remind you of when you were a kid asleep in the back of your parents car hypnotized by the street lamps flickering by.
11. Dancehall Places – Mint Royale
Better known for their remix of ‘Singin’ In The Rain’, Mint Royale also composed ‘Dancehall places’ which features along with ‘Princess’ on the album by the same name.
12. Yr Love – Holy Other
The repetitive loop on the song, induces drowsiness, well being, and leaves you pretty much tanked.
13. Welcome – Balam Acab
This song can work both ways, its underwater effect can leave you slumberous and dazed, or it can creep the hell out of you. However if you push forward to 4 minutes, the song comes into its own with an explosion of ecstatic uplifting deistic chanting that’ll send you soaring to the stratosphere… exquisite stuff no less.
copyright: AkagenoSaru source Deviantart
14. I’m In Your Church At Night – Active Child
If this song doesn’t do the trick for you as it does for me and your feet are firmly back on the ground, I would strongly advise you check out the music video for some wtf giggles.
15. You – Gold Panda
‘You’ appears on Lucky Shiner, the debut studio album by English electronic producer Gold Panda. He recorded the album at his Aunt and Uncle’s home in the Essex countryside in Christmas 2010. Think long walks, silence and logs crackling in the fire.
16. Boy 1904 – Jonsi And Alex
The LP Riceboy Sleeps is the fruit of an artistic collaboration between Sigur Rós vocalist Jón Þór Birgisson and his longterm partner Alex Somers. The album composed in Iceland also features the Kópavogsdætur Choir who can be heard on this track.
‘Boy 1904’ is a gorgeous and intoxicating 60 minutes of pure euphoria and rapture. There isn’t a problem in the world when you play this album.
17. Goodbye Forever- Evenings
Oh those gentle waves breaking on the shore; 3:37 minutes of gentle looping music, as you drift around with nothin’ to prove to no one.
18. Immunity – Jon Hopkins feat. King Creosote
Recorded in Mosfellsbær, Iceland (just outside of Reykjavik), Asleep Versions was conceived as a single piece of music, based on the original more upbeat album Immunity composed by Hopkins in 2013.
Deep sleep my friends, deep sleep… If you don’t believe me check out the artwork.
19. The Magic Place- Julianna Barwick
A saintly voice, I need say no more.
20. Daniell In The Sea- Jonsi And Alex
This song just tops it all. Enjoy one last extract from the album Riceboy Sleeps before you make it back down from the clouds or wherever it is your mind has sailed off to (if it has sailed at all, I am not a miracle maker). ‘Daniell In The Sea’ is probably the embodiment of serenity and beatitude, or the sound of heaven opening up. A song to listen to if you wish to restore your faith in humanity and its capacity for creating some really beautiful things out of thin air.
copyright: Nancy Liang source Artchipel