Top 10 Relaxing Songs to Listen to While Traveling

May 4, 2017 Max Petot

Guest-blogger Max Petot shares his 10 favorite relaxing songs of various genres to listen to while traveling. Let us know what you like to listen to while traveling in the comments below!


Music is essential to traveling and thanks to mp3's and streaming sites, it's now easier than ever to take a whole world of music with you as you travel. Here are some of my favorite songs to listen to when I have a long trip ahead of me. 

1. Clair de lune by Claude Debussy

In French, Clair de Lune translates roughly to the light of the moon. If you've got an overnight flight or a long drive ahead of you, this beautiful piece will turn your travels into a breeze. The piece’s wonderful melody easily gets stuck in my head and can provide quick solace on a stressful day. If you're a jazz enthusiast, saxophonist Kamasi Washington does a killer jazz version of this tune that's worth checking out. 

2. Of a New Cool by Christian Scott

Christian Scott is one of the most exciting contemporary jazz artists today. His album Stretch Music features flute, trumpet, trombone, pan-African percussion, bass, drums, vibes, and guitar. Scott dubbed the term "stretch music" as an idea of developing his own genre which incorporates aspects of New Orleans jazz, fusion, Latin, rock, and hip hop. The whole album is definitely worth a listen and will have you on the edge of your seat. 

3. MCMXIV by Ratboys

Ratboys are a 4-piece indie-folk rock band out of Chicago, IL. They're set to release a new album on Topshelf records in June called GN. This is easily one of my favorite groups in Chicago right now. These catchy songs are great for any trip and they'll have you humming their tunes for weeks to come. 

4. Bug by Alex G

Alex G has unique songwriting, arranging, and recording techniques that he implements in his music. This song Bug showcases his melancholy lyrics and appropriately hollow acoustic guitar. Alex G’s music is great for a long trip because there’s a lot of it! He has 14 albums/EP's on Bandcamp and more to come with his new album Rocket set to release on May 19th of this year.  

5. Fast Future by Donny McCaslin

Donny McCaslin is a superb saxophonist who plays his saxophone like Jimi Hendrix played the guitar. McCaslin appeared on David Bowie's final album, Blackstar, playing tenor and soprano sax. This piece showcases his unique solo ability and complex compositional style. This jazz-fusion piece is compelling and one of my favorites in the genre.

6. On the Road Again by Willie Nelson

I had to do it, Willie Nelson's On the Road Again is an absolute classic that will bring a smile to your face as your make your journey.

7. Prelude in c-sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Frustrated after many long hours of travel? This piece will take you on a musical journey and distract you from your frustration in the best way. Rachmaninoff’s tragic odyssey is an angst-ridden and emotional piece that I like to listen to as I watch the road stretch on behind me. 

8. Woo by Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu's Woo has a groove no one can resist. You'll be sitting in your seat, bobbing your head, and enjoying your trip every mile of the way listening to this song. 

9. Charming Girl by Heinz Kiessling

Heinz Kiessling was a German composer who produced a lot of music for film and television. His pleasant melodies with prominent string lines and dainty rhythms make for easy listening as you travel to your destination. 

10. Don't Get Sassy by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis

Finally, this bouncy big band tune will definitely keep your spirits up on a long trip. Thad Jones and Mel Lewis led this fantastic ensemble for 12 years beginning in 1965. You'll feel like Mickey Mouse as you stroll down the street and whistle this tune's catchy melody.

 

What are your favorite songs to listen to while traveling? Let us know in the comments below!


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About the Author

Max Petot

Max is a drummer, bassist, and guitar player in Chicago, Illinois. He plays in the bands Harvey Dentures, Old Joy, Squid, and Nomar as well as the Columbia College Jazz ensemble. Growing up outside of Boston with two music teachers as parents exposed him to a lot of music growing up. He will be graduating from Columbia College Chicago in May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts and a focus in music business.

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