Songs for airplanes

Why do some songs sound even better when flying?

There’s something about being in the air that enhances certain qualities in music.

Maybe it’s the headphones or relative lack of distractions that make it easier to concentrate and appreciate small details.

Or, maybe the altitude actually does something to our brains that affects how we perceive music?

If anyone actually knows why, I’d be fascinated to learn.

Meantime, here are a few songs I like that seem to sound even more textured and brilliant on a plane.

Do you have favorites?

Please recommend…

Untitled by Interpol

0:53 — that guitar lick is like a car speeding past you on the freeway

Family Tree by TV on the Radio

3:31 — drumbeat begins to mimic a beating heart and melds perfectly with the theme and lyrics.

Sigur 4 (Untitled) by Sigur Ros

The whole made-up language thing works better for me on a plane for some reason. Either way, the ethereal guitar on this track feels like sunshine breaking through the clouds.

Midnight City by M83

Not sure how to describe the droning, howling sample in this song but it’s fantastic.

Empire Ants by Gorillaz

2:15 — awesome descending synth melody that I can only describe as “backwards” sounding.

Read My Mind by The Killers

1:13 — “the good old days, the honest man…” So Springsteen and therefore great.

H/t to my colleague Tyler Gray for the idea behind this post, and great recommendation for Sorrow by The National.


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