There’s a playlist for every situation. D.C. Night Vibes is for living in D.C. at night, but in a chill way, not in a party way. These aren’t party songs, they’re for late night hangin, and mostly for me, driving late at night, because I do this a lot.
With splashes of atmospheric electronica, adult alternative and easy listening electric guitars, these songs together capture the feeling of driving down Massachusetts Avenue just as the lights of the embassys, local clubs and street lamps trade roles with the tired sun. Lyrics on dreams, nightlife, cruising through the night and cool instrumentation flood these tracks.
I grew up here in D.C. So I associate a lot of this music with growing up here as I drove through the city and it’s surrounding area.
You don’t have to live in D.C. to appreciate these night owl, dreamy tunes. But as a city dweller, the relaxing lullaby-like melody of Vampire Weekend’s Step brings me to the Georgetown Memorial Parkway at about 12 A.M. after a laidback hangout in Georgetown.
Broods Bridges’ tempo runs fast enough to keep me going as I drive down Canal Road on a late Tuesday night, but slow enough. She understands I’m tired and don’t necessarily want to jam, but that I need to stay awake for another 10 minutes while being entertained by her simple chorus.
Todd Terje’s Johnny and Mary feels like a slow club night in 1986 San Francisco. The smooth snaps, and waves of synth make me feel like I’m on some sort of cloud in the night sky looking over the 70s disco white dude on the album’s cover as he serenades my friends.
Panda Bear’s Ponytail actually feels like a dream. It’s super loopy, repetitive and startsa dn ends with the same, unbelievably catchy hook about a growing soul. It sounds like cotton candy.
Tycho’s See actually may be his strongest hook. The claps in the intro get me going, and his underwater sounding synths perfectly match my groggy late-night cognitive state as I look to my right at the glistening Potomac with the Washington Monument staring down at it and me. I look back onto the road, and I still like the song.