Happy New Year!
As I re-familiarise myself with the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, I can only imagine how you guys must have felt buying presents, turning up to school recitals, finishing up work late, eating Christmas pudding, and watching fireworks outdoors.
It’s a very busy festive season, and most importantly, I hope you have taken time for yourself.
Here are 4 of my top guitar songs to listen to relax. It’s a selection for those that feel stressed, and need some quality “me time”. Most of these artists are contemporary musicians in the acoustic/folk/indie subgenre, and may swear once or twice in their recordings (not enough to be noticeable). Watch the music videos for greater effect.
These songs are also great suggestions for young guitarists that want to expand their technique in private or group lessons next year.
1. Holocene – Bon Iver
I first found out about this song when I was doing yoga with my girlfriend. With it’s finger plucked passages permeating through the whole song, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver talks about difficult times, and how to get through tough times through self appreciation. What I like about this song is the crescendo and the gradual layering of sound effects and instruments.
2. Hello, I’m In Delaware – City and Colour
Starting off with a smooth strum of chordal passages, Dallas Green tells a story about an absent loved one, and how he longs to ‘see her again’. What I like about this song is the emphasis on the vocal melody, and the soaring vocals from 4:40 onwards. The guitar provides a background that is constant, yet tells intricate stories through Dallas’ hammer ons and pull offs, and interplays with the single notes played on the piano.
3. Electric Indigo – The Paper Kites
The strong electric guitar riff introduces a vibe reminiscent of Seattle, when at night, cars crawl the streets under the dim streetlights. It also reminds me of the bus trip I took from Seattle to Tacoma to see Motley Crue, a slow ride with purpose and excitement. The song is very similar, with the lyrics speaking of a guy who cannot be separated from the girl he fell in love with at first sight. The thunderous drums, the graceful melody and the volume swells on the guitar make for a very pleasant listen.
4. Slow And Steady - Of Monsters and Men
The acoustic guitar is only faintly heard in this mix, with the aural background being the rhythms of the drums, the single chords anchored by the piano and the cascading vocals. This song is a bit hard to interpret, but I think it’s about a dissociation of the mind to reality, and how a person can struggle to completely be himself/herself for fear of the outside world. Notice there is a fading sound effect from 1:13 onwards – this is an electric guitar with possibly a digital reverb pedal, producing a shrill but thick tone.
What are your favourite songs that you’ve been listening to?
More importantly, has music made you relax recently?
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Til’ next time!