Albums to listen to during road trips
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
For some people, road trips are life’s greatest treasure—hours upon hours of just listening to music and hanging out with friends. Every year I travel to Seattle and have a friend meetup, but we sure do have to drive around a lot, so we need music to listen to during all that travelling.
Of course, good albums are always a joy to hear, but certain albums can add the perfect amount of road trip aesthetic that will colour your nostalgia in rosy shades. Here are some albums with a few selected songs from each.
Melophobia (2013) by Cage the Elephant is one record we’ve played loudly while driving down the freeway. Because of the music paired with the loud wind outside, I could not hear a single word spoken by my friends in the front seat. Instead I listened, grooving, to track two—“Come a Little Closer”—which reflected just such a scenario. The sound is spacey and psychedelic, while the lyrics are thoughtful and reflective. It’s the perfect tune for when the car is quiet and everyone is content with simply being in each others’ presence, finding comfort in watching large fields of grass speed by.
An essential song on the album is “Cigarette Daydreams.” As the last track on the album, it features brooding lyrics, heavy reverb on peaceful piano, rhythmic acoustic guitar, and a chorus that starts with “You can drive all night,” which your driver may not appreciate.
Hippo Campus’ Landmark (2017) is an album I’d never heard before my most recent escapade to Seattle, but I fell in love with it quickly. The sounds are airy and tranquil. I jotted “track 10” when it played in my friend’s half-broken-down 2006 Subaru Forester’s CD-only stereo. Funny enough, the song is called “Vacation.” The panning is a definite highlight to the track—especially the hard right pan for the lead acoustic in most of the song. The atmospheric qualities make the song itself sound surreal, perfect for a memory of you and your friends laughing too loudly (but you still can’t hear them because you’re still in the backseat!).
While I’d never really listened to Hippo Campus or Cage the Elephant before these long drives, there are still many notable albums for a road trip that aren’t so new to me. Tyler, The Creator’s Flower Boy (2017) is a rap album composed of amazing lyrical content and has intense vocals while managing well to maintain a mellow sound. “See You Again” is a slower song featuring Kali Uchis. With her soft and sweet voice, Uchis’s chorus ties together the vibe of the album’s softer side. Meanwhile, songs such as “I Ain’t Got Time” can have everyone in the car belting the words in unison, which is just as—if not more—fun overall.
After Laughter (2017) by Paramore is one of my favourite albums of all time. It has an incredible dance sound to the whole thing and is generally very upbeat, contrasting the deeper and much darker lyrics. Like After Laughter, really anything by Panic! at the Disco is a guaranteed fun time.
No matter your music choices, at the end of the day music ties people together, which creates fond memories you may cherish forever. These are some albums that have done just that for me—and here’s hoping they do the same for you.