Sometimes, we experience fairly large life events that touch us deeply, and often we turn to music for solace. I recently lost someone dear to me, and found that listening to music helped me deal with the loss I had just experienced. Cliché…sure. But also—real talk.
Here’s the thing. I’ve always been most moved by music when the construction of chord progressions and notable instrumentation pull at my heartstrings. Lyrics tend to take a back seat with me. I either don’t listen to them, or sometimes I feel like they’re suggesting how I SHOULD feel. Perhaps it’s a result of being raised by parents who played Miles Davis and Duke Ellington nonstop, or because my initial musical outlet was creating instrumental grooves and beats. Sometimes I find a song particularly healing, only to have someone ask me, “Have you LISTENED to the lyrics?! They’re about heroin!!!” Oh boy… Maybe it’s because I didn’t consider myself much of a singer, and focused on the theory aspect of it all?
I’ve decided to put together a particularly healing playlist (at least for me), of exclusively instrumental songs. Every song is powerful enough on its own, sans lyrics. I’ve included a few favorite artists, such as Cape Town-based Bateleur, a brilliantly talented band who put on an absolutely intoxicating live act; Todd Terje, a recent discovery that, I admit, should’ve been on my radar much earlier; Julianna Barwick, who creates mesmerizing soundscapes using her voice as a primary instrument; and Flying Lotus, who I believe is one of the best hip hop producers alive.
My hope is that when you give this a listen, you’ll think of someone special in your life, and get lost in where the music takes you. Have a cry. Have a laugh. Get mad. There are no lyrics to dictate the direction your emotions go.
|So What||Miles Davis||Amazon|
|Green Onions||Booker T. & The MGs||Amazon|
|Electric Worm||The Beastie Boys||Amazon|
|Waves||J Dilla aka Jay Dee||Amazon|
|The Nightcaller||Flying Lotus||Amazon|
|Huron River Drive||Shigeto||Amazon|
|Dear Grandma and Grandpa||Tortoise|
|Algol||Dawn of Midi||Amazon|
|Preben Goes To Acapulco||Todd Terje||Amazon|
|Roygbiv||Boards of Canada||Amazon|
|Bats In My Hair||Felix Laband||Amazon|
|Olson||Boards of Canada||Amazon|
|Early In The Morning||Felix Laband||Amazon|
|only love can conquer hate||Ryuichi Sakamoto||Amazon|
|1/1 (2004 Digital Remaster)||Brian Eno||Amazon||Total running time: 2:23|