Lull me to sleep
May 21, 2015 2:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm putting together a playlist to doze off to most nights. Downtempo probably goes without saying, piano is a plus, vocals are acceptable, and I don't want to lean too much on the ambient genre. Suggestions?

Four bedtime songs representative of my taste:

"Sweet Jane" - Cowboy Junkies
"Save Me From What I Want" - St. Vincent
"Rolled Together" - The Antlers
"No Surprises" - Amanda Palmer, covering Radiohead

(Thank you!)
posted by dee lee to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Rachel's -post-rock chamber music. Minimalist - some piano, plenty of strings, dynamic but not bombastic. No vocals but based on your other preferences, you'll like it. I especially like the album Systems/Layers for this sort of thing.
posted by cilantro at 2:36 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nan Vernon's version of Moon River is one of the most lovely, soothing songs I've ever heard. It's so lovely and soothing it's almost chilling, like it's the music you hear when you die and you go into the light or something.

Bonnie Breecher's Come Wander with Me is similarly gorgeous, but it's probably a lot more sleepy and soothing if you've never seen the Twilight Zone episode it comes from.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:42 AM on May 21, 2015

Perhaps Agnes Obel - Smoke & Mirrors; or Tiny Ruins - Me At The Museum, You At The Wintergardens.

In a different vein, some very slow jazz might work: Grant Green - Idle Moments; or Bobby Hutcherson - Step Lightly.

Or, if you don't mind classical: Arvo Pärt’s - Alina album always has a pleasantly soporific effect on me.
posted by misteraitch at 3:02 AM on May 21, 2015

Maybe throw in some Slowdive? Sleep Party People? Robin Guthrie ? Pia Fraus? Mazzy Star? Durutti Column?

(some of them might be far off, but nothing like trying)
posted by lmfsilva at 3:26 AM on May 21, 2015

The entire album "Rabbit Songs" by Hem. Especially these songs.

Also, "Med Sud i Eyrum" by Sigur Ros.
posted by jbickers at 3:33 AM on May 21, 2015

Here's a Pandora station for Classical Solo Piano Music.

Quiet, gentle, no lyrics, perfect for late night sleepy time listening.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 4:10 AM on May 21, 2015

Satie's Gymnopédie No. 1, 2, and 3
posted by sammyo at 4:24 AM on May 21, 2015

Ludovico Einaudi - Due Tramonti
Edward Shearmur's Powell's Return
Bill Douglas's choral version of The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
I wish I had a Window over the Bay by Vashti Bunyan
Pink Martini - Song of the Black Swan
Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Air by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
I wanna be like you by the Pizicatto Five.
Seconding Mazzy Star - Fade into You perhaps.
Nightwolf by Bohren and Der Club of Gore
Otterley by The Cocteau Twins
All 6 Gnossiennes by Erik Satie.
Who will sing me Lullabies? by Kate Rusby
Diana Krall's Prairie Lullaby.
Niamh Parsons singing 'Fear a Bhata'
Shriekback - The Only Thing That Shines
More than You know - Blossom Dearie
Ca the Yows - Dougie Mclean
Elbow: Lippy Kids
Herbie Hancock - The Kiss
Diana Coupland - Underneath the Mango Tree.
Bobby Gentry - Hushabye Mountain

Bien dormir!
posted by rongorongo at 4:27 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Opal - Early Recordings [download @320 - it's long out of print]
posted by ryanshepard at 5:17 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra: Melody Mountain - dreamy, floaty covers.

Inga Liljestrom: Quiet Music for Quiet People. You will be thanking me for this. Aussie artist so not that widely known.

Colleen, for example The Golden Morning Breaks or Les Ondes Silencieuses.

They're all based on the Cowboy Junkies Sweet Jane tip.

You could probably also look into múm.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:27 AM on May 21, 2015

KLF - Chill out. Heading towards ambient, but a cut above the rest.
posted by deadwax at 5:45 AM on May 21, 2015

Try some Iron & Wine:

"Such Great Heights"
"Communion Cups and Someone's Coat"

(Both are from the album "Around the Well")
posted by Petersondub at 6:21 AM on May 21, 2015

The following are all on my toddler daughter's sleepytime playlist:

Elsa - Bill Evans Trio
Deep Blue Day - Brian Eno
Julie With... - Brian Eno
Self Portrait in Three Colors - Charles Mingus
Through Hollow Lands - Brian Eno
posted by saladin at 6:41 AM on May 21, 2015

Seconding Julee Cruise, I find this album very soothing.
posted by Drexen at 6:50 AM on May 21, 2015

Also, seconding Bohren & Der Club of Gore!
posted by Drexen at 6:54 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Since I also like a lot of this music I have made my own playlist - some of my suggestions above and some suggested by others in this thread. Requires some sleep testing.
posted by rongorongo at 7:38 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

The entire album "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones. Vocal with piano playing a big role in the backing band. It's very pleasant and always works as drifting off tunes for me.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:39 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dub reggae can be wonderfully soporific. It's a whole genre (or sub-genre) unto itself. Start with a little Augustus Pablo as an entry point.
posted by Leontine at 9:09 AM on May 21, 2015

Chopin-Piano Concerto no. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, Mov. 2 is an amazingly lovely tune to drift off to.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:19 AM on May 21, 2015

Through a Dogs Ear (volume 1) doesn't just help calm dogs -- it definitely lulls some humans to sleep (well, me) with its very nice piano arrangements of classical music.
posted by apennington at 9:48 AM on May 21, 2015

Dirty Three - Ocean Songs
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:59 AM on May 21, 2015

Norah Jones - Long Day is Over
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:07 AM on May 21, 2015

Great Lake Swimmers first couple of albums Great Lake Swimmers and Bodies and Minds are go-tos for sleepy time purposes for me. Especially Moving Pictures Silent Films and Song for the Angels.
posted by yasaman at 10:12 AM on May 21, 2015

Loreena McKennitt - The Lady of Shalott. I spent years falling asleep to that song on repeat.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:12 AM on May 21, 2015

Yesss, Bohren & Der Club of Gore is like the most somnolent thing that I've ever heard.
posted by ovvl at 11:22 AM on May 21, 2015

A lot of Morrissey works well for this. He's good to half sleep to too.

Mazzy Star.
posted by Blitz at 12:11 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

How 'My Ever Gonna Get Over You - Al Kooper and Hank Crawford, maybe the world's most relaxing song.
And Riviera Paradise by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2015

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