By: Emma Jean, Staff Writer
Light some candles, listen to the rain, and put on this mellow mix of warm, gentle songs. With a focus on artists who are Canadian, queer, and/or Black, this playlist is perfect for a night where everything else needs to be put aside for now and all that’s needed is to find some peace. Unclench your jaw, drop your shoulders, and take a deep breath; it’s gonna be alright.
“So It Goes” – Buckman Coe
Tranquil, meditative, and almost magically calming, this song sounds like a quiet walk through the trees. East Vancouver musician Buckman Coe offers this gentle, earthy song with a steady rhythmic guitar and poetic lyrics about devotion and comfort from his 2018 album, Alter (from which almost any song would also fit this mood). “So It Goes” is perfect for easing into a quiet moment whenever you need it most.
“Piebwa” – Mélissa Laveaux
This track by Montreal artist Mélissa Laveaux features a minimal guitar and percussion that allows their measured, hypnotic vocals to shine through, with Haitian Creole lyrics over a swirling melody. This song feels full of quiet intrigue and curiosity. If you’re a fan of Sting’s “Shape of My Heart” (very dated reference but another gorgeous song), you’ll be just as drawn in to this.
“Josephine” – Brandi Carlile
A guitar ballad on the comfort of an old relationship that isn’t working but is too familiar to leave, Carlile’s warm vocals, met with gentle harmonies and an acoustic guitar, feel like leaning against an old friend and drifting to sleep around a campfire. The comfort of the music distracts from the melancholic lyrics, and the aching disappointment that Carlile had to cancel her appearance at the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival this August. Bygones.
“Heaven’s Only Wishful” – MorMor
A mellow jam by Toronto indie pop artist MorMor, this is about as upbeat as this playlist gets. A gentle electronic groove beneath MorMor’s smooth vocals provide a soundtrack to a late night drive. The verses get it moving, reaching a more urgent sound, until it returns to its smooth, serene chorus which brings it down to Earth each time. Vibe along to wake yourself up a bit and appreciate the gorgeous timbre of MorMor’s voice.
“Stay High” – Brittany Howard
Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard’s first solo single captures the feeling of being content with where you are and finding home in something or someone. Her stellar vocals soar over simple drums and piano riffs that portray a grounded but overwhelming optimism for the present. Listening to her testament to acknowledging pain in the past and finding contentment in the present, it’s hard not to find yourself in that place with her, even if you haven’t found it yet.
If you want to keep the vibe going, I recommend:
The Only Living Boy in New York – Simon and Garfunkel
Slow Burn – Kacey Musgraves
Moon River – Frank Ocean
Murder in the City – Avett Brothers
Invisible String – Taylor Swift
Heaven (Live) – Talking Heads
Both Sides Now (1969) – Joni Mitchell