The first thing I ask when I hop into a friend's car is always, "where are the tunes at?"
I'm pretty sure no one says "tunes" anymore because normally they look at me like I'm some kind of rare bird and say, "tunes?" But I recently learned that the term probably originated in Europe, where it is probably still being used. I even heard an Irish guy chant "one more tune" at the bar yesterday to the performer who was on that night. The idea that I might not be considered a loser in Europe is quite exhilarating to me, but again I'm going to need some music for the flights and the bus rides and the train rides. It is absolutely crucial to have a good playlist going when you're on the road.
But when it comes to putting together a playlist, where do you even start?
These days there is so much music available at your fingertips, every hour of every day, all the time, everywhere, to the point where it can almost be overwhelming. Gone are the days when your friend pulls out a mix tape from their bag and says “Here, I made this for you.”
If music is about connecting; if it’s about sharing an experience or feeling or thought through sound – then I would much rather listen to a playlist that was curated by a real human being.
God knows there are tons of algorithms out there that auto-select dozens of artists which are catered to my exact tastes. And don’t get me wrong, they work, and are wonderful in their own right. But it’s just not the same as when your best friend, or even a stranger, prophesizes your new favourite song.
Travelling, or going on a road trip, brings up a very deep and literal feeling of my life rolling forward on a journey, which I don’t always feel in my everyday life.
When I throw on a CD in the car, or search for something on my smartphone, I want to be prepared. I’m on this journey because I want to grow and discover something new about myself. And I want the music to reflect this. Some people are truly gifted at curating playlists for any given mood or life experience. I am not one of those people. I always seem to default back to what I already know, which is great most of the time, but not when you’re trying to step out of your everyday head space. And thus:
Here are my Top 5 YouTube Channel recommendations for your road-trip playlist needs:
- AlexRainbirdMusic (Who doesn't love a good Folk/Indie Playlist?)
- Mr. Suicide Sheep (Absolutely incredible Electronica Playlists and artists to be found here.)
- Heartbeat (What can I say, I dig the vibes.)
- Wave of Good Noise (You can really tell how heartfelt and genuine these curations are.)
- SamFishMusic (Discovered years ago, fell in love. Found my song "Woman of the Wind" on Sam's Feb '18 Playlist. Life complete.)