Something I made at work for Mental Health Awareness Week. Which track or album would you choose?
In terms of calming instrumentals, I’d recommend either lush cellos from Julia Kent, harps from Mary Lattimore, pianos from Poppy Ackroyd, and the rolling walls of guitars from Noveller. Search for my Music for Office Workers playlists on Spotify for all of these and more.
Max Richter’s Blue notebooks
My favourite piece of music, some lovely relaxed instrumental melancholy that calms me.
Anything from this lovely vibraphone album
Also the album Nepenthe by Julianna Barwick
Also the song Cool Cool Water by Beach Boys
SOTL and their refinement of the decline for me. Can get totally lost in that album for hours. Also, Nepenthe is a really good shout
Either of these two. Also useful if you can’t get to sleep.
That album is indeed lovely
That’s a tough question, most calm instrumental music counterintuitively makes me feel really anxious (like Eluvium or the latest Yo La Tengo album).
The best answer I can come up with is probably Gynis by The Smashing Pumpkins from the No Alternative compilation. It has such a warm, calm, hushed tone to it, a surprisingly uplifting second half, and a beautiful vocal performance by Billy. It’s the musical equivalent of falling asleep on a spring day.
I don’t usually go in for ambient when I’m whacked out, I actually have a playlist of pavement at their most knackered and it seems to resonate a lot. Like this sort of thing:
When I have had serious mental health episodes my listening becomes very limited, I’m not exploratory at all. It’s messed up but I often end up feeling like I don’t deserve to enjoy things so if something sticks it really does. Lost In The Dream was the biggest instance of this for me, the wash of the music was one thing but (this rarely comes up) his open ended lyric sheets capture the unending feel of an episode of anxiety exceptionally well. Genuinely helped me feel less alone during a bloody awful breakdown and was a real tonic.
these are my go-tos every single time
Substrata by Biosphere. Listened about 250 times according to last.fm
The opening notes of Poa Alipina have a pavlovian effect of calm for me
Most of Goldfrapp’s Felt Mountain
This piece of genius:
And this from Marconi Union:
Read about it before hearing it and was skeptical, but it works for me.