One of my favorite feelings in the world is looking out the train window at the countryside or city skyline zooming past to tune to a great song. I've been traveling around Europe since January, and indie-folk music has been the soundtrack of my journey.
I am linking my Spotify playlist "Airport Lounge" here for you to check out what I have been listening to on my London semester abroad.
I was inspired to create a travel playlist after hearing José González's contribution to "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," (2013) soundtrack. González is a Swedish-Argentinian indie-folk artist working under his own name and the band Junip.
I have included a few González songs and some from the film soundtrack. I recommend the song "Step Out" by González to introduce yourself to this soundtrack. This song captures the feeling of wanting to step out of your life and fly off to a new city. I particularly loved playing his music on my recent trip to Stockholm.
Some of these songs capture the folky spirit of driving miles through the western United States, like "Walk Unafraid" by First Aid Kit. First Aid Kit is a Swedish sister duo who mastered the classic American folk sound. Another one of my favorites by them is "My Silver Lining."
No road trip is complete without the golden trio of "Sleep On The Floor," "Angela," and "Cleopatra," by The Lumineers. Can you piece together the story of a failed love story of true travelers from these songs? If so, make sure to sing them louder with the windows down and the wilderness inside.
When I'm looking for a song to numb my flight take-off nerves, I'd put on "Panama" by The Cat Empire after the safety instructions. I hardly notice the wheels leaving the ground while listening to the upbeat lyrics of "I love things that feel impossible."
"Whole Wide World" by Bahamas will have you packing a swimsuit and booking a Caribbean cruise in search of exotic new love. Two of the more indie-pop songs on the playlist include "Shotgun" by George Ezra and "Barcelona" by Ed Sheeran, and both will have you dancing in the sunny streets of somewhere new.
On a trip to Dublin, I discovered the song "Ireland" by Liza Anne. I almost didn't come home after hearing her sing a tale of leaving everything behind for the Irish countryside.
If you're a romantic roamer, I recommend listening to "Moonlight" by Joe Purdy for a soft-folky love song. I play "Subway Song" by Julianna Zachariou when I'm swaying with strangers during morning rush hour on the London Tube.
And finally, if you're feeling homesick, pour yourself a strong drink and play "Rivers and Roads" by the Head and the Heart. This tearjerker will have you calling your family back home.
I hope this playlist inspires you to book a plane ticket or wander around aimlessly with some new music. No matter where you going, you should always have a good soundtrack.
Please let me know if you have any travel songs to recommend.