Indie rock / ambient lullabies
October 22, 2013 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I like to listen to music while I fall asleep, and I'm in need of some new material. I don't care if there are lyrics or not, but preferably nothing prone to making one rather emotional. I'd rather avoid New Age (no Enya, please!) and "space music." Here are some things I often sleep to: -Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" (this is my go-to) -Olafur Arnalds -Pop by Gas -Nepenthe by Julianna Barwick Sometimes I'll try Sigur Ros, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, or Global Communication, but those can be a bit distracting. When I'm really, really tired and need coddling, I listen to Hafdis Huld singing Icelandic lullabies. Any suggestions?
posted by mermaidcafe to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
I like Explosions in the Sky for this.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 7:58 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ETA: I went through similar threads already and am acquiring some of those suggestions. Also, forgot to include Max Richter and Tim Hecker.
posted by mermaidcafe at 8:00 AM on October 22, 2013

I recommend Do Make Say Think and American Analog Set.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:01 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Appalachian Lullaby by Shudder to Think.
posted by amoeba at 8:05 AM on October 22, 2013

Cinematic Orchestra
posted by inigo2 at 8:05 AM on October 22, 2013

There's Weightless, by Marconi Union, which has science to back up its lullaby credentials (as discussed here) - listening to it through headphones was virtually the only way I could get to sleep in the last 2 weeks I was pregnant.
posted by kitarra at 8:08 AM on October 22, 2013

Four Tet!
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:17 AM on October 22, 2013

Stereolab. Anything.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:18 AM on October 22, 2013

As a teen, I fell asleep every night listening to the Jazz radio station. It isn't exactly what you're asking for, but maybe try some Duke Ellington originals, or something mellow from the 50s or 60s like Milt Jackson or Sonny Rollins or my favorite Dexter Gordon.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:27 AM on October 22, 2013

Bill Holt's Dreamies puts me to sleep every time. I prefer Program Ten. (As a testament to its effectiveness, I don't think I've ever consciously heard the end.)
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:30 AM on October 22, 2013

I am not religious, but I've been listening to the Prayer Cycle album for 14 years, apparently, when I need soft but dense background music.

Weirdly, the Amazon listing just credits it as "Alanis Morissette and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan" but it's a bunch of artists. Wikipedia says: "Featured vocalists include Alanis Morissette, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Salif Keita, Linda Ronstadt, Ofra Haza, James Taylor, Richard Bona, Mah Damba, Yungchen Lhamo, and Perry Farrell, who were backed by Devin Provenzano, The American Boychoir and The English Chamber Orchestra & Chorus, conducted by Lawrence Schwartz."
posted by Lyn Never at 8:40 AM on October 22, 2013

-- Finnish kantele player Arja Kastinen

-- French electro-acoustic composer Colleen
posted by neroli at 9:05 AM on October 22, 2013

Jose Gonzalez is great sleeping music. This is a YouTube playlist for his album Veneer.
posted by sacrifix at 9:09 AM on October 22, 2013

How about William Baskinski's Disintegration Loops? Repetitive, beautiful, melancholic, and organic.

Great review of the box set from Pitchfork.
posted by Magnakai at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2013

Not sure what you mean by "space music," but here are my sleepiest artists:

Brightblack Morning Light - s/t
The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
posted by yaymukund at 9:19 AM on October 22, 2013

Seconding Stars of the Lid. ...and Their Refinement of the Decline is my go-to sleep music.
posted by saul wright at 9:49 AM on October 22, 2013

Amp "Perception" from the Bliss Out series (Piano Magic would probably also work) is very much sleep music

The Azusa Plane would probably work as would any of those Jessamine (sometimes w more beats) or Flying Saucer Attack (a little noisy) and Tarwater
posted by J0 at 9:52 AM on October 22, 2013

Spacemen 3 - Dreamweapon
Sonic Boom - Spectrum
posted by porn in the woods at 9:53 AM on October 22, 2013

Geotic is one of my go-tos for sleeping, specifically "Riding Thermals." (and it's all free!)

Marcus Fischer/map~map - For Friends This Winter, Arctic/Antarctic, and Correspond (a collaboration with Devin Underwood) are all freely downloadable. The rest of his stuff is worth the money, especially At Frame ($1!), and On Shore ($5).

The Dead Texan is a slightly more active Stars of the Lid side project; still very droney.

And since you specifically mention Sigur Rós, you should definitely hear Riceboy Sleeps. It's a great record by Jónsi & Alex, and is perfect for sleeping.
posted by god hates math at 9:54 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Have you seen these:
posted by ATX Peanut at 10:37 AM on October 22, 2013

I really love The Album Leaf's In a Safe Place for this.
posted by anoirmarie at 10:52 AM on October 22, 2013

My favorite for this is Dntel, especially Life is Full of Possibilities. I can't even listen to that in the car anymore because it conks me out.
posted by anthropophagous at 12:08 PM on October 22, 2013

Cocteau Twins. Pretty much anything by them. Sorry, on my phone so no links.
posted by wildflower at 1:54 PM on October 22, 2013

Metal Machine Music. Seriously. Way, way down, right at the threshold of hearing.
posted by anagrama at 4:28 PM on October 22, 2013

The Sea and Cake
posted by Clustercuss at 5:59 PM on October 22, 2013

Every time I've been to a Loscil show I've fallen a good way.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 6:40 PM on October 22, 2013

Johann Johannson - They Imagine the City Growing Out Into the Ocean
Helios - Nothing It Can, Halving the Compass
Black Elk - Aphotic Widow
Benn L. Jordan - A Distant Earthrise
Bola - Whoblo
Kane Ikin & David Wenngren - Call
posted by Serf at 6:45 PM on October 22, 2013

I like to fall asleep to:

Inspired Flight: try songs "It's the Chemicals", "Pull, Push, Let Go", and "An Ocean of Great Whites"

Cinematic Underground: album "Annasthesia", though there are a few songs with harsher instruments and they use things like alarm clocks.
posted by DisreputableDog at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2013

I'm a huge fan of Low Roar. Icelandic group, only one album out, but it's great. Hopefully the follow-up is out by year's end.
posted by dogwalker at 12:02 AM on October 23, 2013

Also! The film soundtrack collaborations between Nick Cave & Warren Ellis are good for sleepy times, especially The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
posted by dogwalker at 2:42 AM on October 23, 2013

Bjork's Vespertine

Also seconding Four Tet.
posted by St. Sorryass at 3:00 AM on October 23, 2013

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