The Handbook
The Handbook

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, it’s understandable to just want to throw on your headphones and escape reality right now. If you’re looking for a little light relief, we’ve put together a list of our ten favourite albums to lose yourself in.

From the album you can play to your plants to Max Richter’s eight and a half hour dreamy epic, here are ten albums guaranteed to chill you out.

Sigur Rós – Takk…

Often defined as jazzed up whale music, you’ll no doubt recognise Icelantic band Sigur Rós’ melodies from multiple tv adverts, but also for featuring on BBC Planet Earth. Set alongside a backdrop of Earth’s bewildering landscapes, Sigur Rós’ mesmerising sounds just work. 

Usually known for their post-rock sound, their 2005 album Takk… is stripped back, championing big orchestral sounds and muted vocals. Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson’s vocals are almost indistinguishable, expressed through (you guessed it) whaling-type sounds. 

Mort Garson – Mother Earth’s Plantasia

If you’re sick to death of houseplants, look away now. Mort Garson’s 1976 album, Mother Earth’s Plantasia has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to us millennials obsessing over our green tipped friends, and quite honestly, it’s a trend we’ll happily jump on board. 

Subtitled ‘warm earth music for plants and the people who love them’, it’s easy to see who Garson was aiming this album at, but even if you aren’t a plant lover it’s definitely worth the listen if you’re looking for something to totally chill you out. 

Play this one to your favourite photosynthesising friends and just see their leaves perk up instantly, or not.

Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter

Mercury-nominated, folk singer Laura Marling released Song for our Daughter earlier this year, but it already deserves to claim its spot on this list thanks to its soft, folk sound. 

Written for her figurative daughter, it’s both Marling’s delicate voice and powerful message the album portrays that keeps you gripped and wanting more.

Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports

Don’t let the album title put you off, Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports is at the top of every chilled-out, relaxing music list and its sweeping sounds and calming persona will see you revisiting this short four tracked LP. 

It’s the pinnacle of what ambient music means; there’s constant movement and rush, but it’s toned down and relaxing. It’s also part of a wider project of Eno’s too if you fancy deep diving into his wide body of artistic expression. 

Sun Piano – Laraaji

There’s nothing more relaxing than listening to the soft sounds of a piano, unless it’s the haunting Jaws theme of course.

Sun Piano sees American multi-instrumentalist Laraaji reconnect with his first and favourite instrument – the piano. Powerful and mesmerising, the album guides you on a journey through spirituality. It’s the first of three improvised recording projects Laraaji is undertaking. 

Sqürl – Paterson

The soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, the film following Paterson (Adam Driver), a bus driver, who follows the same routine day in and day out. 

Sqürl had the pleasure of creating the score for Paterson and the result was effortless. It’s ambient, droney and will send you off into a blissful sleep.

Solange Knowles – When I Get Home

Solange’s latest album, When I Get Home, is an album that’s not afraid to break the rules. It’s still heavily influenced by pop, but instead she’s stripped the format back, flooding the album with simple synths, layered vocals and endless interludes.

Every track has a similar low energy tempo and floats effortlessly into the next. It’s understated and dreamlike, and definitely worth the listen.

The xx – xx

Hailing from none other than Wandsworth, The xx helped pave the way for futuristic indie-pop, quite frankly, because they were mere infants, or rather, students when the they released their debut album in 2009.

Aptly named xx, the album encompasses the best of its kind. It’s electronic but still mellow, it’s catchy but not pop heavy, and it’s indie but not pretentious. Back in 2009, it was revolutionary and still eleven years later is seen as one of the best albums of the late 2000s.

Beach House – Bloom

Stare at this album cover too long and you’ll see polka dots flashing for the rest of the afternoon, Beach House’s fourth studio album Bloom sees the band swap their typically synth and guitar heavy sounds for a more spacious, dreamy soundscape.

Beach House is our generations definition of a dream-pop, and this album is bursting with drum machines, synth pads and lots of reverb. The drum machine is constant in the background keeping your attention during the sleepy synths. It’s both relaxing and catchy; an album to easily lose yourself in.

Max Richter – Sleep

Can’t sleep? Let Max Richter’s eight hour epic album, Sleep guide you into a transcendental, unconscious state.

Sleep is a concept album, and aims to explore a new avenue of music and how we react to it. Spread over eight and a half hours, it’s naturally calming and will send you off into a relaxing state.


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