When a person’s professional or personal life gets intense, there’s nothing better than listening to music that puts you in a calmer frame of mind.
Music is often said to be about “vibes,” but it’s said as if the expression is figurative when really music is sound waves that really do vibrate!
However you understand vibing out, we can all agree that music helps put people into a better mood. Here are three chilled-out singer-songwriters that will mellow you out.
The 22-year-old Lila Drew makes relaxed yet sprightly tunes that belong on any good vibes music playlist, but won’t put anyone to sleep. Drew has a way of singing earnestly without sounding too sentimental or twee. It’s refreshing to hear plainspoken love songs after so many years of layers of ironically detached lyricists. Her sense of humor and play balance things out.
The instrumentation feels pretty poppy but then has some surprising twists and turns. The second verse has sonic textures you don’t expect. Drew’s music is fun and sophisticated, so check her out.
James Taylor is an absolutely classic singer-songwriter from the 1970s. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would be incomplete without him! Thankfully, he’s been there since 2000, inducted by no less a singer-songwriter than Paul McCartney from a little group called The Beatles.
There’s something mesmerizing and even hypnotic about Taylor’s clean and complex fingerpicking patterns. His voice is so smooth! The timbre feels so warm, and the phrasing so excellent. It almost feels like one person is singing and another is playing guitar, as their timing is so distinct yet complimentary.
James Taylor is a captivating, enduring singer-songwriter who you’ll keep coming back to for years, so give him a real listen if you haven’t before.
Don’t try to put singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka’s music in a box. Sometimes, it’s just him and a lone guitar or piano, singing plaintively over raw, emotional lyrics. Other times, there’s a full band behind him laying down hip-hop and funky grooves. His music has a big, bold sound, but there’s also a disarming vulnerability.
Whether in his acoustic mode or in a larger band setting, Kiwanuka has already become more than just a cult favorite. His song “Cold Little Heart” was heard by millions, as it was the theme song from the hit TV show Big Little Lies.
He has won multiple MOBO and MTV awards, and his third album, entitled Kiwanuka, was nominated for a Grammy under Album of the Year. Audiences and critics around the world have showered him in praise. Thankfully, the success hasn’t gone to his head. Each of his first three albums is excellent but shows considerable evolution and artistic development. Kiwanuka is definitely an artist worth streaming, or even better, watching his fun and sophisticated music videos.
Music has an almost magical power to influence our moods. Whether you want chilled-out tunes in the background while working or cleaning the apartment, these artists are sure to mellow you out and make you feel better.