Music Reviews

10 Songs to Help You “Take a Nap” if You’re Too Woke

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Music is supposed to help you escape, right? Check out these chill tracks to smooth out.

There’s so much social and political unrest these days that it seems like we can’t turn our brains off. Whether it’s cops killing people, people killing cops, civil rights, or wanting to start all over and pick new candidates for President, it feels like we’ve got nowhere to turn for some peace. Luckily for us music-lovers, we do have somewhere to go: our headphones, earbuds, and stereos.

Lately, there are a ton of songs that make social commentary, so those are no-go’s if you’re looking to let your mind get away. Thus, I’ve put together a list of songs/playlists/albums to go to if you wanna get away:

1. Badlands by Halsey
This album is full of chill vibes to help you relax, but there are also some cool beats if you wanna tap a toe or two after a long day at work.
Personal favorites: “Castle” and “Haunting”

2. Drifting by 9th Sage
This is the perfect mix to do just what the title says: drift. It features the chillest of chill vibes in tracks like “007” by Atu and Suffoca and “Careless” by Bhonstro and Aso, but also has a sexy feel in tracks like “The Way” by Kehlani ft. Chance the Rapper. This mix is great to listen to alone or with a chill buddy (if you catch my drift. *wink*)

3. “In Space” by Röyksopp
Another completely appropriate title. Never have I ever felt so spaced out and chill. This song is background music for closing your eyes, visiting your happy place, and just being at peace with the world. Caution: your soul might escape your body if you listen too hard.

4. “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell
An oldie but a goodie. Some songs are just timeless, man! I can’t even really tell you what Maxwell is singing about, even after all the times I’ve listened to this song because it’s just so stinkin’ soothing to hear his falsetto sing those notes.

5. Field Trips Forever 9 by DJ Auditory
This playlist was birthed on 4/20, meaning it’s perfect for all our readers who indulge in….herbal essences, shall I say? The songs are mixed in such a way that they all flow together, so there’s no need to even worry yourself with getting up to change tracks. So spark one up and let the music take your mind – if you’re in Colorado, Oregon or Washington.

6. “Cruisin’” by Smokey Robinson…or D’Angelo
Speaking of letting the music take your mind, this classic has always been super vibey to me. There are a ton of Motown classics that will help you chill, but this one has that backing rhythm that just calls the chill out of our soul. Then there’s Smokey’s smooth, silky voice. D’Angelo covered the song in 1995, and it wasn’t too shabby. I’d recommend either for relaxing ride home.

7. “Only You” by Portishead
OK, so this song is a little creepy. But it’s Portishead so really, what did you expect? The bass line caught my attention first, then the fact that I can’t really hear what the singer is saying for most of the song. It sounds like something you’d hear in Urban Outfitters. If you’re into that (and possibly being fed some subliminal message) this will go well on your “Smooth Out” playlist.

8. Mindful Music on YouTube by Mindful Music
Didn’t know there were music playlists on YouTube? Well, there are! This playlist features songs by The Weeknd, Purity Ring, Prince, and a ton of other artists that you may have never heard of, but who definitely serve the purpose of vibey, after-work music to clear your head from the drama of the day.

9. Beauty Behind the Madness – Chopped and Screwed by DJ Auditory via The Weeknd
I’m from Houston so I had to get one C&S tape in there, sorry not sorry. I love Abel, and this is my favorite album from him. So when I saw DJ Auditory had chopped and screwed it, I was elated, and I was not disappointed. I will warn you, the album is super sexy already, so hearing “Tell Your Friends” amd “Often” chopped and screwed back to back may (definitely will) have you sending that late text.

10. “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull ft, Ne-Yo
Soooooo this song is nowhere near chill, I know. But it’s super fun, and the lyrics describe the “risk-it-all” feeling of being so freaking exhausted of everyone’s issues and just life, man! After a week of your boss, your man/woman, your mom, and your dog being on your case, this song is about letting go and just partying it out.

I hope you get some solace from listening to these songs/playlists, or at least some new music. It’s good to be aware of what’s going on, but if you find yourself arguing on Facebook about stupid stuff that’s going on in the world, you might just need to take a break.

Happy listening.

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Hope Carter
Hailing from "Screwston," Texas, Hope has been immersed in music since birth, first being exposed to Motown by her parents, then discovering her love for all genres as she trained as a dancer. Her unique set of life experiences growing up in Houston's Historic Third Ward as a lower middle class child, attending schools in more affluent neighborhoods, all the while attending an international church in which she was very involved, created her open-minded approach to music and art. Hope is very socially conscious, and prefers to take songs as a whole - both lyrically and sonically - before making her final judgment on their quality. As a dancer, she is inclined to be interested to anything she can move to, but her Dirty South roots give her room to appreciate a more laidback, chill (screwed) vibe. Her taste in music continues to change as she discovers new artists and as genres evolve.