By Kate Cheng
While Travelle’s road trip playlist series is strictly meant for, well, a road trip, an evening journey along the motorway can be taken for many reasons: a drive home after a fabulous dinner party. A midnight trip to blow off steam. A sleepy trip to get the morning flight. A solitary journey home at last after work. Many reasons to spend time behind the wheel - or at the back of an Uber – in the p.m. With no one but your own thoughts for company, nothing is more peaceful than having the night stretched out in front of you, even longer than the road. Tranquillity and calm take over, and your mind settles into the quiet of the wee hours. Travelle has the perfect soundtrack to accompany these midnight mental wanderings, easing you into a gentle lull that matches the smooth undulations of these songs.
'Close Encounters' – Bat for Lashes
Natasha Khan’s new album features the beautifully haunting ‘Close Encounters’, which swells from a sparse track to tumultuous, cavernous heights. Pitchfork calls the album a mix of ‘chamber music’ to ‘emotional electric pop’, and indeed, Khan’s breathy voice does add a traditional edge to the modern backing synth tracks. The airy sound is perfect for driving along the open road during the witching hours of midnight – bonus points if a vast, starry sky is involved.
'Fool Boy' – Nedelle Torrisi
Switching tempo rapidly, Travelle’s next selection whisks listening ears away to the cool, breezy sounds of this Californian native. Bringing back memories of hazy summer days spent perspiring gently into our SPF 50 , soft waves almost as soothing as the Cosmo clutched in your right hand, this track is perfect for a summer road trip, or at least, for making you feel like you’re on one! Relax into the endless hours (or maybe just twenty minutes, but it sure feels endless when all you want is to get into a warm bed!) and let your thoughts drift to the rhythm of Torrisi’s soul-fuelled, vivid vocal.
'Soul Love' – David Bowie
The tragedy that was the passing of Bowie can only be honoured by listening to his music and revelling in its genius. Soul Love is a glam rock track that combines the feelings of exhilaration and comfort – it’s a complex, layered record that opens beautifully, vocal floating in over the deliberate beat before the guitars are slowly introduced one by one. Get lost in the exquisite production as you’re winding down a tree-lined lane, or weaving through traffic in an over-exhausted city – once the fantastic saxophone solo meanders over the intricate composition, you’ll feel like a rock star behind the wheel, queen of the road.
'Music To Watch Boys To' – Lana Del Rey
Lana gets a bad rap for sounding depressing and sad, but her melancholy is what adds such a rich dimension to her music. Music to Watch Boys To, the lead single from her new album, is classic Del Rey – seductive and slightly miserable, Brooke Shields when she’s having an off day and wearing clumpy mascara; off kilter in the best possible way. The track deliberately evokes the underbelly of glamour and lust, capturing the ugly, tender ache of yearning. A lot to absorb for late night travel! But, if you can’t ruminate and indulge in a little self-pity and wound-licking when you’ve got endless hours to kill in the silence of the night, when can you, right?
'Lazy' – Suede
This is the song to play when you’re just around the corner from your destination – which is hopefully somewhere wonderful! Britpop at its finest, this Nineties track berates people for living soul-less, drug-ridden, desolate lives – yikes! The electric melody at once belies and complements the scathing lyrics, which is why it’s the perfect track to end on. It feels both like the sleepiness of a Saturday morning, a slow rising, and also like the exciting zing at the prospect of new adventure. So whether a late night on the road is to wind down, or to kick start into action, Lazy will leave you feeling as revved up or as still as required. Drive on!