Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle Music

The Wind Down Playlist

This term, I’ve been making idealistic, hyper-specific playlists, to both communicate my ‘current vibe’ and curate what I think I’ll need when these feelings hit in the future. Are you feeling the pressures of these later weeks, during the slow build to Christmas? Here’s a little playlist full of songs hopefully provide a little relaxation after one of those days.

The songs are ordered based on how they blend into each other – I recommend listening in order, crossfade optional!

The Tourist – Radiohead

I find this such a lovely beginning to any playlist – the slow guitar rhythm (which threads all the way through the track) feels somehow like an introduction. This song builds in a beautiful way during the choruses, both texturally and through Thom Yorke’s classically cathartic vocal style. My favourite part is around 4:15, where the instrumental is at its peak and Yorke’s vocals fade in a haunting and powerful way.

Space Song – Beach House

This song makes me feel like I’m levitating – I love to grab some headphones, lay in bed, and feel as though I’m on another plane. Beach House’s music is generally heart-breaking in such a necessary way. It feels like a reset, and it seems as though that’s exactly what is needed when you’re looking for songs to decompress.

Hand It Over – MGMT

One of the rare occasions that ‘Discover Weekly’ gives you a good song! From the backing singers to the relaxed synth, this song is too lovely to say much about – I love the altered vocals, and the way the sound seems to surround you, wherever you might be.

Forget About Life – Alvvays

I think I will forever recommend all of Alvvays’ music. Molly Rankin’s style of singing and lyricism make for a melancholic and heartfelt track, in every single one of their slower pieces. Disclaimer: it also makes it much harder to sing along to for someone as vocally average as me!

The instrumental at around 1:23 feels like driving down a dimly lit road, passing those streetlamps and disconnecting from yourself for as long as you need to. Sometimes our days just feel like ‘inhaling this undrinkable wine’.

Crying All The Time – Alexandra Savior

I first heard Savior’s title track from this album, ‘The Archer’, and was enticed by her simplicity of structure and echoing, vague-feeling vocal style. This song’s slow-paced instrumentation is somehow a breath of fresh air. Breathe in time to her words – it really is beautiful.

Work Song – Hozier

Now, I’d hardly be a bisexual girl making a playlist if I didn’t add any Hozier songs. This track is both tender and powerful, and works wonders in calming me down every time I need it. With a slight build in each chorus and a gorgeous simplicity in texture and instrumentation, I find it to be a calm homage to a care we all need in our more high-demand moments.

Where the Pigs Don’t Fly – Suede

The B-Side to Metal Mickey (another great song, but sadly less fitting here). Brett Anderson has a wonderfully unique style similar to The Cure.  

Alison – Slowdive

This kind of dreampop really is my thing recently. Somehow the medley of instruments makes for a warm buzz. There’s a soft melody under everything in ‘Alison’, which, with the haze-inducing lyrics over the top, mixes to make something ideal for this playlist’s theme.

The First Days of Spring – Noah and the Whale

From the eerie drum beats at the start of this song, to the incredible crescendo towards the end, this song is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. Charlie Fink sings about his breakup with another band member, making this (once again) a necessarily cathartic tune. I feel like beginning again with each time listening.

Miles and Miles – Graveyard Club An ideal ending track by an incredibly slept on band – I used to sit on the steps of a church near my home, looking out over the sweet factory and the road below, and listen to this song to really destress. ‘Goodnight Paradise’ as an album is certainly one to recommend, but the synth and the slow, pulsing drum pattern in this song in particular makes you so able to lay down and chill out entirely. I find it incredible.