I really enjoy listening to music that has a dreamy quality to it, especially when I'm writing. There's something very romantic about listening to ethereal songs and reminiscing about better days. So without further ado, here's a list of 11 soft, beautiful songs I adore.
1. Blue Pool by Vanessa Carlton.
Favorite Lyrics: "What is living to honor the past?"
"Blue Pool" is the lead single from Vanessa Carlton's new album, "Lieberman." It's quite different from the song she's best known for-- "A Thousand Miles." However, the one similarity between the two songs is the masterful use of the piano to create a lasting tune. "Blue Pool" is a such a minimalistic song, but it works well because it has such an elegant, nostalgic feel to it-- especially in the last minute of the song where Carlton drops her vocals to focus solely on the drifting notes as they twinkle and swirl like...waves in an azure blue pool.
2. Take It Easy by Vanessa Carlton.
Favorite Lyrics: "As your castle crumbles down--and it will--take it easy."
I had to include another song from "Lieberman," because this entire album has such a dreamy, vintage feel to it. (I highly recommend it) This is my second favorite song off the record because like "Blue Pool," it gives you space for some serious self reflection. The dark synths and echoing vocals are sophisticated and garceful. Furthermore, with lyrics like, "Have you ever broken your own heart?" and "I'm old enough to know, too young to let it go," it really makes its mark.
3. Blinding by Florence + The Machine.
Favorite Lyrics: "Seems that I have been held, in some dreaming state, a tourist in the waking world, never quite awake, no kiss, no gentle word, could wake me from this slumber-- until I realized that it was you who held me under.
This is without a doubt one of the most haunting and well written songs on Florence Welch's debut album, "Lungs." The fantastical imagery and references to Sleeping Beauty and Snow White make for a twisted fairy-tale world all contained within four minutes.
4. 57821 by Janelle Monae.
Favorite Lyrics: "I saved you so you'd save the world."
"57821" is a song from Janelle Monae's first concept album, which is about the forbidden love between a robot (Cindi Mayweather) and a human (Anthony Greendown). There's a very otherworldly feel to its tranquility and its vaguely galactic lyrics ("May your light lead us all back to one-- indivisible sum").
5. Fuel to Fire by Agnes Obel.
Favorite Lyrics: "Roses on parade, they follow you around."
Agnes Obel is the master of strings. She effortlessly commands her cello on every album she puts out, and her latest release, "Aventine," is no exception. Fuel to Fire is one of most cello heavy songs on the record, boasting a lilting, gloomy sound.
6. Clipped Wings by Emily Jane White.
Favorite Lyrics: "To go on pining for moon that only wanes."
Emily Jane White was a new discovery of mine on Spotify. This song, like her other work, is gothic and unearthly in the way it unfolds. Her tone is quite mysterious, and the entire thing makes you feel like you're in some foggy forest by a lake, pining over a lost love.
7. Saturn by Sleeping at Last.
Favorite Lyrics: "With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite--how rare and beautiful it is to even exist."
A good portion of this song is instrumental, but that lends to its transcendental beauty. Listening to this song feels like you're floating through the Milky way, beholding the quiet charm of the universe as it unravels before you.
8. Together by The xx.
Favorite Lyrics: "A premonition of the world comes to me."
9. Dark (Martin Hviid Remix) by Siv Jakobsen
Favorite Lyrics: "Someone told me there is light at the end of every tunnel / said there’s a light there waiting for me / but I don’t believe it, not now, not ever."
This was another Spotify discovery that typifies a deep, discouraging misery that accompanies some great journey. (An odyssey-like song for Odyssey, perhaps?)
10. Sour Times (Cover) by The Civil Wars.
Favorite Lyrics: "Nobody loves me, it's true-- not like you do."