Attempting to keep up with new releases is exhausting. And the never-ending quest to discover an act before they hit >1000 plays on Bandcamp is all but rewarding. Having given up full time music writing a little while ago, more often than not I find myself feeling a mix of FOMO and IDGAF about new, local music while compiling my Spotify playlists. With this feature, we (that is I) aim to put together a weekly mixtape—without being (a) judgemental asshole(s).
For this week’s edition, I’ve rounded up a bunch of people who I think would have some kickass reccos for music to sleep to, sleep through or try and sleep to, but not really.
“Sleep” by Max Richter
“I know everyone loves to sleep, but I really love sleep; the action of winding down, slowly drifting into unconsciousness and the eventual dreaming. When I was younger, I could lucid dream very easily; it was almost like picking what adventure I want to go on. While this doesn't happen as frequently anymore, I'm always interested in anything that can improve my sleep experience.
This 8-hour album by Max Richter (one of my favzzz) is designed to be enjoyed as you sleep. I love listening to it while awake as well, but sleeping to it is a one-of-a-kind experience. The link above will take you to an uninterrupted 8-hour listening experience, and honestly, it is best enjoyed as that.”
—Nidhi Salian, Associate Producer and can sleep at the start of a car while on shoot
“Big Jet Plane” by Angus and Julia Stone
“There are some artists whose music is just plain hypnotic. Artists whose music seem to always feature on a sleepytime playlist because that's just where they belong. This isn't an insult to their music. On the contrary, the ability to put someone to sleep is a beautiful thing and no one does it better than Angus and Julia Stone for me. This Australian sibling duo have all the right ingredients to make for the perfect lullaby—soft voices that harmonise like a dream, gentle melodies, and delicious musical arrangements with just the right amount of repetition to make you want to snuggle in a warm blanket and drift into dreamland.
This song has been a part of my life for many, many years now. “Big Jet Plane” is almost a decade old, but is still one of my favourite tracks to fall asleep to. It's comfort food for the soul. And like your favourite blanket, very hard to give up even after all these years.”
—Samira Kanwar, Head of Content, VICE APAC and sleepytime specialist
“Ayahuasca” by Vancouver Sleep Clinic
“Haven't managed to get my hands on the drug yet, but this song seems to do the job just as well. Nerves? What are those? Plug into your headphones when you're in bed and trying to get some shut eye—I promise your brain will find itself relax into this new age lullaby, and you'll be lucid dreaming before you know it.”
—Aashna Sharma, Social Media Executive, and questioning the will to live errrrday.
“The Ribbon” by Rodrigo Amarante
“Best heard on a hammock.”
—Veddaant Joshi, Senior Editor and is now working for football Mondays
“A Pillow of Winds” by Pink Floyd
“My favourite sleepytime song is actually an entire album from my moody childhood. It takes its time unravelling, beginning with a mostly instrumental “One Of These Days” and ending with a 23-and-a-half minute “Echoes”. But because no sleepytime song should have lyrics like “One of these days, I’m going to cut you into little pieces,” I picked the far more appropriate second song, “A Pillow of Winds”. With soothing acoustics and calming words, it carries you to a place where you are alone and no one can reach you. You need no one there. Like the entire album, there’s an underlying sense of death in this song, but what is sleep if not death in a bite-sized package?”
—Sneha Nair, Associate Producer and delivering that sucker punch with the last line
“Flux & Mutability” by David Sylvian & Holger Czukay
“Part 1 of the Flux & Mutability record, this 21-minute ambient music journey is a moody trip down the rabbit hole; a masterclass in how to stir up emotions. Creating a bed of floating chords and weaving slide guitar with slow and dramatic pitch glides, Sylvian and Czukay instantly send you to a calm and meditative place. There’s plenty of ear candy in the form of tape hiss, exaggerated feedback, synth warbles and emphatic but short-lived horn sections. Driven by a small percussive loop, the whole piece feels like hypnotic dissolution into moodiness, which lingers on long after the music has gone (if you’re still awake). If you manage to stick around for Part 2, expect a less dense and more open musical space, with improvised washes of synth and guitar melody just looping endlessly. It's a vibe.”
—Krishna Jhaveri, Bassist for Skyharbor and the most-zen dude I know. RLY.
“Holocene” by Bon Iver
“Remember that time when everyone went Who Is Bonnie Bear? Man, I love that. I’m not sure of the time I discovered Justin Vernon’s gorgeous not-so-little project, but I do miss the time I did—and the music he was churning out back then. Don’t get me wrong; I love his new stuff just as much, including his friendship with Kanye and this collab with James Blake. “Holocene” just seems like the rousing wave you shouldn’t be listening to, especially when trying to fall asleep, but there are times when the fervent drumming and mounting vocals lead to such a release that one feels hypnotised by the melody, the trinkets, and the lingering soundscapes that Vernon encapsulates from his log cabins. Is there anything nicer than knowing that Vernon has the clarity to see for miles before going to bed? I think not.”
—Naman Saraiya, Producer who is sure of averaging 8 hr sleeps each day
Check out our previous editions here.