Sunday, 8 September 2013

Top 10 Albums That Will Send You To Sleep


Many things help us nod off. It could be he lighting, your position, your sleepwear, or just your concentration. The body can be living on an abnormal time frame thanks to your late nights and late meals, it all factors in with poor sleeping habits - I should know. Music can be the answer for some, it may also just be a case of relaxing yourself. We've constructed a list, good enough to send you to sleep. Get these on your playlist and you will drift away...



10. Slowdive - Souvlaki


Sleeping Drivel: "Some Velvet Morning" - "Flowers growing on the hill, dragonflies and daffodils. Learn from us very much, look at us but do not touch, Phaedra is my name.

Don't let the genre fool you, shoegaze can send you in to a deep sleep just as much as ambient music. Now listening to Loveless may be to some degree over the top, but people can and regularly rave about nodding off to My Bloody Valentine. The softer, velvet second place shoegaze band has to be Slowdive, and no other album than Slouvlaki can send you in to a dreamlike state. Think Mogwai without the quiet / loud / quiet / loud structure, this is Mogwai when they're quiet, but with all the guitar drones good enough to wake you up in the morning. Listen low at night, and drift away to Slowdive.



9.Radiohead - Kid A


Sleeping Drivel: "In Limbo" - "You're living in a fantasy. I'm lost at sea, don't bother me, I've lost my way. You're living in a fantasy."

Radiohead can put listeners to sleep at any point in the day. It’s not that they're boring, far from it. Thom Yorke's voice is familiar, and when confronted with a familiar voice at night, then comes the realm of sleep. Kid A is the most progressive and genre binding of all Radiohead albums. Taking electronics and ambience in to account and mixing it with eccentric vocal recordings and imaginative lyrics creating dreams, dreams galore. None better than Yorke's vocal work on "In Limbo".



8. Global Communication - 76:14


Sleeping Drivel: "14:31" - "tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock."

Global Communication's 74:14 is a 90s ambient classic. Lasting way over an hour, 74 minutes... GC's ability to create soundscapes has been truly represented on this album. The sound of a clock through "14:31" counts the listener in to deep sleep, while the opener "4:02" is bound to set you up for the eventual ambient dreams you'll be having. 74:14 is relaxing gold from start to finish. When I saw GC in 2010, they almost put me to sleep standing up. They have the power to caress the listener with their electronic sounds, none better than "14:31".



7. Sigur Rós - Ágætis Byrjun


Sleeping Drivel: "Ágætis Byrjun" - "Setjumst Niður Spenntir, hlustum Á Sjálfa Okkur Slá, Í takt við tónlistina, Það Virðist Enginn Hlusta. Þetta Er Allt Öðruvísi, Við Lifðum Í Öðrum Heimi, Þar Sem Vorum Aldrei Ósýnileg." / "We Sit Down Excited and Listen To Ourselves Play In Rhythm In tune with music No One Seems To Listen This Is Completely Different We Lived In Another World Where We Were Never Invisible

Sigur Rós are Iceland's post-rock export. They rarely go all out in rock power like some of post-rock's giants. Instead, Sigur Rós keep the listener entertained with a tender touch. Whether it is a looped acoustic guitar riff or a killer piano pattern, Sigur Rós are the essential chill out band. Their sophomore album has some of their best instrumental work. Clocking up 71 minutes, equivalating to a good eight hours sleep.



6. Brian Eno - Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks


Sleeping Drivel: "An Ending (Ascent)" - 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap, for mankind'.

The ambient genius that is Brian Eno belongs on this list. His compositions have forever been recognised as some of the most innovative and interesting in the electronic genre. Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks isn't his magnum opus, hell, it's no way near his best album. This compilation of spacious ambience was created for a documentary on the NASA Apollo missions. Eno's musical compositions are astounding, putting the listener on the verge of space, truly in a dream.



5. Beach House - Beach House



Sleeping Drivel: "Saltwater" - "Love you all the time, even though you're not mine. Love you all the time, dream I'm in the saltwater." 

No surprises with this inclusion. Beach House have been releasing soothing dream pop ever since their self-titled debut album was released in 2006. Some listeners have been in a dream, since that year... So there's no wonder why this album makes the list. This album takes the best features of Mazzy Star and  Galaxie 500, adding a Victoria Legrand vocal to create hibernation. 



4. Galaxie 500 - Today


Sleeping Drivel: "Flowers" - "I could be there when you're sleeping, I could be inside your dreams."  

The Massachusetts masters of two / three chord songs. Galaxie 500's debut album is incredibly basic, right down to the structures and chord progressions. The sound, textures and dreariness of Today is excruciatingly trance like. Tracks "Tugboat", "King of Spain", and "It's Getting Late" are all similar, but equally as authentic as a Slowdive song. The reverberated electric guitar acts as a pillow for listeners, as the similarities between tracks create a platform for relaxing, enjoyment, and sleeping.



3. Red House Painters - Rollercoaster


Sleeping Drivel: "Katy Song" - "A chance for calm A hope for freedom,  outlet from my cold solitary kingdom. By the forest of our spring stay, where you walked away, and left a bleeding part of me empty and bothered, watching the water, quiet in the corner, numb and falling through, without you what does my life amount to?"

Red House Painters are one of the most pessimistic bands to come out of the 90s. They were deeply involved with the 90s slowcore / sacdcore scene that evoked the lyrical emotions of Nick Drake and the music creations of Low. Mark Kozelek is a talented song-writer, and it's often too easy to get hooked in his lyrical world. When you're focussing on Rollercoaster, you can really hear the dream pop come out of Red House Painters. The long tracks of delay, piano, and a soft voice make for an easy sleeping album.



2. Sigur Rós - ( )


Sleeping Drivel: "Vaka" - 'interpret these lyrics as you see fit'.

Ágætis Byrjun is the cool down album to ( ). Both have distinct sounds and features, but the long build-ups and grandness structures of ( ) make Sigur Rós the only artist to feature twice on this list, and for good reason. Out of all of these albums, only Sigur Rós have the ability to imprint glorious images of Icelandic soundscapes in to your brain. When sleepy, late at night, Sigur Rós can be an insomniac’s cure. Tracks like "Vaka" and "Samskeyti" will instantly put you at ease, just be careful of the powerful album closer "Popplagið". If this album is played too loud, the back half of this track could awaken you.
 


1. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II


Sleeping Drivel: "Z Twig" - 'twinkle twinkle, delay delay, beep bloop'. 

It's easy to dig your head under the covers and get lost in the music, but with Aphex Twin, you don't just get lost, you're taken to a whole new universe. His ambient records are by far his most relaxing and enjoyed. SAW II is the follow-up of the highly acclaimed electronic and beat heavy SAWI. With SAWII, Aphex Twin takes the electronic one step further and adds to Eno's ambient mastery. Like Global Communication's 76:14, SAWII sounds like its one huge soundtrack to a movie, your movie of choice. You can imagine storylines, people, faces, thoughts, all while listening to SAWII trying to sleep. This is the album most likely to send you in to a deep sleep, and if it does, you'll ever have the most wonderful dream, or an incredible Aphex Twin nightmare.
~Eddie

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