Sing To My Northern Sky
May 27, 2020 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Playlist filter: I am in search of dreamy, ethereal music about the night sky, suitable for stargazing.

I've been on a whole stargazing/summer sky kick lately, but in more of an aesthetic way - think "lay out on a hill and just ponder the pretty twinkling lights" more so than "invest in a telescope and practice finding Betelguese" (although I may do that too down the line). I'm working on a playlist to sort of accompany that.

Here's what I've got so far, to help define what I admit is kind of a narrow niche -

Nick Drake, Northern Sky and Pink Moon
Van Morrison, Sweet Thing and Moondance
Debussy's Clair de Lune
Cat Stevens, Moonshadow
Sting, Sister Moon
Jimi Hendrix, Little Wing
The Beatles, Across The Universe
Sixpence None The Richer, Kiss Me
M83, Outro
Mojave 3, Bluebird of Happiness
Neil Young, Harvest Moon
King Harvest, Dancing In The Moonlight
Moby, We Are All Made Of Stars
The Waterboys, The Whole Of The Moon

….The last three are about as lively as I wanna get. Think more like a quiet delicate accompaniment to sitting alone on a hill and gazing into the universe as opposed to "whoopee we're gonna party in the backyard out under the stars tonight" (even though that's exactly what the King Harvest song is about, I grant).

posted by EmpressCallipygos to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Gregory Alan Isakov has a selection of songs he describes as "sad songs about outer space" including:

That Moon Song
This Empty Northern Hemisphere
posted by BrashTech at 1:45 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

You've got Sixpence None The Richer on there already, so The Sundays' Monochrome should fit right in :)
posted by slenderloris at 1:45 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Church, Under the Milky Way
posted by jabes at 1:48 PM on May 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

and Echo & The Bunnymen's The Killing Moon
posted by jabes at 1:49 PM on May 27, 2020

Slightly more ambient than much of what you have here, but I think The Enid's In The Region of the Summer Stars is perfect for this.
posted by Chairboy at 1:50 PM on May 27, 2020

The Night by Morphine.
7 Stars by The Apples in stereo.
Starmoonsun by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
posted by misteraitch at 1:50 PM on May 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also, might be heavier than you want, but I always loved Stellar for that "lying on the hood of the car in the dark" moment as a teenager.

I was about to also suggest 311's "Amber," but then I listened to it for the first time in 20 years and it's much more of a daytime song.

(I think I might have bad taste.)
posted by slenderloris at 1:52 PM on May 27, 2020

2 tracks from the John Hopkins EP "Asleep Versions" came straight to mind:

Form By Firelight
posted by protorp at 2:08 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Okay, I think my experience of this song is colored by King of the Hill and there isn't really an overt mention of the stars, but Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town" feels really right atmospherically.

Laurie Anderson, "Ramon."

Mike Doughty, "Navigating by the Stars at Night."
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:22 PM on May 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Black Sabbath - "Planet Caravan" (alternate version)
Blue Öyster Cult - "I Love the Night"
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:36 PM on May 27, 2020

Across the Universe by The Beatles.
posted by jquinby at 2:39 PM on May 27, 2020

Dammit it was already in yer list. Sorry.
posted by jquinby at 2:39 PM on May 27, 2020

Maybe too lively, but Australia by The Shins has a great opening line that I love, because I too love the night sky!

Oblivion by M83 - so epic and makes me feel like I'm in space.

Also maybe too lively? Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire

Myth by Beach House (not about the night sky, but might fit)

Magic City by Gorillaz

Silvia by Miike Snow
posted by GoldenEel at 2:52 PM on May 27, 2020

Might be too lively but Phish doing the 2001 theme will always get you into a dreamy state. (there are many versions... this is one of them). If it's too much for you, they're covering the Deodato version from the 1970s which is itself a pretty great cover.
posted by bondcliff at 3:14 PM on May 27, 2020

It's mostly just an intro and an outro that doesn't really have much to do with the rest of the album, but The Apples In Stereo album "Fun Trick Noisemaker" is kinda spacey.

Recreating the Voyager golden Record could be fun.

"Longer Boats" by Cat Stevens is about UFOs. And, there's always "Bad Moon Rising." The orchestrated Jack Kerouac album "Kicks Joy Darkness" has a really nice version of The Moon read by John Cale.

"Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven" by Godspeed You! Black Emperor is what I listened to while spending hours trying to photograph Aurora. I'm not sure the content is actually relevant. But, it's definitely weird and spacey and has some very slightly related lyrics that you can barely hear.
posted by eotvos at 3:24 PM on May 27, 2020

There's also, Mars is No Fun.

(Also, Major Tom and everything Ziggy Stardust, if aliens and astronauts count.)
posted by eotvos at 3:34 PM on May 27, 2020

The BBC series Case Histories has a soundtrack that's full of songs perfect for this. Here's a Spotify playlist with many of them.

On-the-nose title-wise and maybe right for the mood:
California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized
(and some shoegaze to go with your stargaze) Star Roving by Slowdive

Title doesn't fit but mood might do:
Teal by Joan Shelley
The Bug Collector by Haley Heynderickx
Floating on the Lehigh by Department of Eagles
Drive by Melissa Nadler
Hold But Let Go by Six Organs of Admittance
Seagull by Bill Callahan
747 by Bill Callahan
Curtain of Rain by Yves Jarvis
Cranes in the Sky by Solange
Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby by Cigarettes After Sex
Lord Knows Best by Dirty Beaches
Gone Tomorrow by Lambchop
Rickety by Yo La Tengo
Green Arrow by Yo La Tengo
posted by theory at 3:34 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Brian Eno, An Ending (Ascent)

Cinematic Orchestra, Arrival of the Birds

composer Marjan Mozetich, Postcards from the Sky (link to CBC Orchestra performance)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:42 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Hunter Moon and Beneath the Stars - both by Kate Rusby who I conclude is an avid star gazer. (The latter song gave its title to the summer festival she holds in her home town each year).
posted by rongorongo at 4:09 PM on May 27, 2020

A dreamy sunset song that perfectly fits the bill
Orange Sky-Alexi Murdoch
posted by Champagne Supernova at 4:10 PM on May 27, 2020

Staralful- Sigur Ros
Andromeda- Weyes Blood
posted by chrisulonic at 4:55 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Satellite - BT
posted by derogatorysphinx at 7:07 PM on May 27, 2020

(Sandy) Alex G - Southern Sky
posted by pinwheel spark at 7:18 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sleeping Satellite - Tasmin Archer
posted by hiker U. at 7:22 PM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm Going To Go Back There Someday from the Muppet Movie, sung by Gonzo
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:26 PM on May 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Guster - Satellite
posted by sigmagalator at 7:49 PM on May 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Hey You, Get Off My Moon - Velocity Girl.
posted by cowlick at 9:50 PM on May 27, 2020

Marumari's album Supermogodon has lots of rocket Spacey sounds.
posted by pynchonesque at 9:59 PM on May 27, 2020

Bob Geldof, Thinking Voyager 2 Type Things
posted by inexorably_forward at 10:12 PM on May 27, 2020

The whole of Air’s Moon Safari should surely make it to your playlist.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:22 AM on May 28, 2020

Alan Parsons Sirius/Eye-in-the-sky I feel the stars dragging me out there already ... AP again with Lucifer Most of his work is quite ethereal, seems to defocus/refocus my mind - YMMV.

I thought that a Jeff Johnson album from early 2000's would work but couldn't find. I had a bootleg tape that may have been a compilation - dreamy, very processed-synth Christian but totally different to and Christian music I've ever heard, felt like planets colliding and things drifting apart - very trippy, was more like Jarre and he's pretty good for emptying the mind to focus on bigger themes.
posted by unearthed at 12:43 AM on May 28, 2020

Underneath the Stars, The Cure
posted by srednivashtar at 2:58 AM on May 28, 2020

Mark Knopler: The Rocks and the Water - if you have ever seen Local Hero you will remember this from the star gazing scene on the beach (very long fade in).
Memories of Green - Vangelis: from the Bladerunner soundtrack - most of which might fit the bill.
Kate Rusby - Moonshadow - not the Cat Stephens version - but another take on the same idea.
Kate Rusby - Until Morning - about maintaining an all night vigil.
Dougie Maclean: Ca' the Yowes - His version of a Robert Burns song about taking your loved one up to the high lands where the sheep graze on a summer night.
Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis) - Cowboy Junkies
Icarus: Martin Simpson - You can't look at the heavens for too long without thinking about Icarus.
Prairie Lullaby: Diana Krall - there are a bunch of songs that have this sort of "cowboys at sundown" feel - I like this one.
Fairwell to Tarwathie - Judy Collins - Her version of a haunting Scottish song.
Ludovico Einaudi: Due Tramonti - or "two sunsets" - written in honour of a car trip in Tuscany where the composer and his dad saw a stunningly beautiful sunset - so much so that they drove to the top of a nearby hill to see it again.
posted by rongorongo at 3:08 AM on May 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

This list would be remiss without BOC's "Astronomy" even tho I Love The Night is a better fit
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:40 AM on May 28, 2020

Response by poster: Haven't had a chance to start listening yet and will later today - thank you so far! (I'll probably have more "best answers" to mark when I start listening.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:48 AM on May 28, 2020

Loadstar by Sarah Harmer
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:11 AM on May 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

The whole of the album “UFOF” by Big Thief but especially the first two tracks.
posted by Balthamos at 9:26 AM on May 28, 2020

Late to this party, but you might like to try some of Benny Andersson's album "Piano" (Benny Andersson formerly of ABBA) . Some gorgeous music there. Sample En Skrift I Snön.
posted by Logophiliac at 8:31 AM on May 29, 2020

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