Situation: You’re all prepped for bed but you can hardly sleep. For several years now you’ve religiously sticked with the strict rule of having the lights off 20 minutes before sleep. Your quick fix for a sleepless night has always been a warm cup of milk but today’s different. The more you watch the hands on the clock tick, the more stressed you get because you realize how little sleep you’re going to get. And if you’re anything like the modern man, you find yourself mindlessly fidgeting with your smartphone, with the bright lights rendering your whole lights-off regime obsolete. The aforementioned situation starts to seem all too familiar and it hits us even on the sleepiest of nights. If you happen to be reading this lying down in the dark, please go to sleep actually. Most of us don’t realise this until actually seeing it in bright lights – sleep makes up at least a third of your life.
Some 84 percent of people turn to music to set themselves up for a good night’s sleep. I do too. Which is a pretty plaintive statistical fact if you ask me, because look – we’re now relying entirely on carefully composed music to accomplish what should have always been primal to us – sleep. Having said that, I wouldn’t advise you to rely on your daily commute playlist. So if you’re a subway metalhead or a clubber on the go, avoid Judas Priest or Hardwell. Actually you know what, if it works for you – go ahead. Otherwise, these four sleep-inducing bands will put you to sleep faster than having to nod your way through a golf game on the television, starting with:
(Note: these bands are listed not because they are yawn bloody yawn-worthy. Quite the opposite actually – these acts sort of give off this calming sense of excitement, if you get what I mean. But whatever, let’s get on with it)
1) Manchester Orchestra
Don’t let this American quartet fool you. One, they are not from Manchester. Two, they are technically not an orchestra. Frontman Andy Hull has the sort of pre-pubescent-esque voice that transcends between soothing and brittle. In that way, the calculated vulnerability seems to have an unusual calming effect when paired with the rest of the massively talented band. Comprising of lead guitarist Robert McDowell, keyboardist and percussionist Chris Freeman, and drummer Tim Very, the band tends to veer into intoxicating, fleeting instrumentation – a testament to the band’s under-reliance on Hull. At the same time, the enchanting instrumentals are the very parts where you fall asleep to. This four-piece from Georgia could very well pass off as an orchestra after all!
The problem with post rock nowadays is that it really does put you to sleep because most of it is just pseudo-artistic snoozefest. You get gems like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai and This Will Destroy You who have been extremely generous to our senses, because you know – post rock is more than just auditory. It’s a multi-sensory experience in itself. Anyway, if you can look past the overly pseudo-intellectual part about post rock, here’s a band that is the very culmination of alternative, pop and post rock. Hailing from Sydney, sleepmakeswaves have received critical acclaim for their brand of ambience and catchiness. Doing justice to the very genre that has been saturated with Explosions in the Sky wannabies, sleepmakeswaves’ music is a testament to the theory that you need not have absolute silence to fall asleep.
Going under the moniker Moby (from Moby Dick), Richard Melville Hall is regarded by many as a modern music genius. Forget the Aviciis and the David Guettas – Moby was the man who started it all. He has a penchant for putting synths to good use. Whoever said that electronic music has to be infectious or has to necessarily include a bass drop? Heavily influenced by electronic greats Joy Division, Moby … If you can hardly stand music with standard band arrangements, you can never go wrong with Moby.
While I consider myself a fan of Radiohead‘s earlier work (Pablo Honey and The Bends era), you can never go wrong with any of vocalist Thom Yorke‘s musical projects. To be frank, I found much of their later releases like In Rainbows and The King of Limbs just a wanking concoction of ambient rock but upon further listens – you’d quickly realise the reason why the Oxfordshire outfit were ranked 73rd on Rolling Stone‘s list of “The Greatest Artists of all Time”. It really surprised me when I found out that Coldplay was most sleep-inducing according to The Guardian because in addition to being the pinnacle of modern rock and roll, Radiohead are so experimental and ambient that it’s just second nature to associate their songs with sleep.