Music has an uncanny ability to shift our moods drastically. We've all used the power of pump-up music to get ready for the day or go out on the town. Who hasn't used a sad song or two to commiserate after a breakup? That’s all well and good, but we’re here to talk about music that calms you down. We've put together a few artists from different genres of music that we feel will put you in a more relaxed headspace. Obviously everyone's taste in music varies, and it's impossible to cover everything, but hopefully these three categories (and their crossover genres) will be a good start to more tranquility.
Here we have a pretty broad genre of electronic-based music. For the purposes of our review, we’ve focused on the more laid-back style of electronica music. So whether you're chopping veggies at home or making your way to the grocery store, these tunes will boost your chill factor.
Air: Start floating on a cloud of loungey bliss with this groove-able, funky and seductive French duo.
Aphex Twin: This master of IDM (intelligent dance music) also releases incredibly dreamlike and atmospheric tunes.
Boards of Canada: Leveraging a wide range of field recordings and audio samples, Boards of Canada creates a lush space for introspection.
Before there was electronica, there were artists who paved the way for future techy musicians. Rather than melody-driven music, these artists focused on experimenting with ambience and new instrumentation.
Brian Eno: A pioneer of ambient music and an award-winning producer — it’s hard not to appreciate Eno’s atmospheric soundscapes.
Tangerine Dream: Get properly zoned out with airy yet compelling music that tows the line between progressive synth rock and ambient soundtracks.
Steve Hackett: Unable to be pinned down into any one genre, Steve Hackett left Genesis to create what some might call ethereal guitar music.
Sometimes we're just in the mood for a hefty dose of nostalgia and warm memories. For those moments when you want to take a trip to yesteryear (and stop stress at the source) look up these golden oldies.
The Beatles: 'Nuff said. But seriously, this mammoth of classic pop music delivers song after song of happy headspace.
Crosby, Stills and Nash: We can't go back to Woodstock, but we can revisit the bands that embody incredible, hippy-hued harmonies.
Fleetwood Mac: The singalong ability of Fleetwood Mac songs are pretty much unrivaled. Belt out some Stevie Nicks and boost your serotonin.
The New Old School
Some modern artists have a way of channeling their predecessors in the best way possible. Here are a few artists who put a fresh spin on that loveable throwback sound.
Leon Bridges: Probably the most commercially successful of a new wave of soul and R&B artists, these jams will have you groovin'.
The War on Drugs: With vocals like Bob Dylan and fuzzed-out instrumental backing, these guys know how to produce neo-psychedelia that soothes.
Dawes: Country-twinged indie rock that gets the foot tappin' while recalling the likeness of a more mellow Neil Young.
Maybe you want to dip into the pool of modern-day music. There are plenty of artists out there who make a good living by creating tunes that soothe. We've gathered a few options from chart toppers to obscure indie.
Alvvays: Echoey, dazed-out indie rock from melancholie Canadians, sure to lull you into subtle head bobs.
BØRNS: Enjoy a variety of upbeat songs that blend the sensibilities of a singer-songwriter with the accessibility of dance pop.
Mat Kearney: On the more guitar-driven, folksy side of things, Mat Kearney brings a sunshine-soaked approach to pop.
Fresh Instrumental Beats
On the modern side of electro, new artists have created some really interesting ways to blend samples, real instrumentation and electronic production.
Tycho: Tycho's tunes are caught somewhere between swooning dream pop and highly inventive dance music.
Emancipator: Rather than crank out bass-bumping hits, Emancipator focuses his skills on electronic with a meditative musicality.
Gold Panda: Fast and choppy beats lay the groundwork for bold and unconventional electronic that has some serious power to pump you up.
We've curated a Soundtracks That Soothe playlist on Spotify so you can listen to a song from each artist and see what you like best. (It's a lot easier than looking them all up, right?) Give it a listen below and let us know what you think!