I've been keeping a mental list of some of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, and wanted to share a few.
I've got some more on my list, so I'll probably keep adding more in new blog posts as I go. This list is in no particular order, varies quite a bit in genre, and will make your heart hurt in a good way. Enjoy the ride!
Without further ado:
1. 'Rhubarb' by Aphex twin
This track is off the 1994 Selected Ambient Works Volume II album (on the record it's just called '#3', not sure how it got to also be called 'Rhubarb'). Best listened to in headphones, in the dark, during the silence right after having just contemplated your current favorite (potentially) unanswerable existential question. You know, when the chatter in your head dissolves away.
2. 'Okuribito (Memory)' by Joe Hisaishi
This song is off of the soundtrack to the movie Departures, a 2008 film that deals with art and death that I first watched in a philosophy class in college (and am certainly due to rewatch). The movie is fantastic, but this track stands completely on its own as one of the most hauntingly beautiful melodies I've ever heard. Plus, it's played on a cello, which is probably the most lovely sounding instrument on the planet.
3. 'Round Midnight' by Thelonious Monk
'Round Midnight' is a jazz standard, written in the 1940s, and is without a doubt my favorite ballad. The melody and chordal structure wrench at your heart in one of those bittersweet, happy-sad kind of ways (you know what I'm talking about). Since it's a standard it has been played countless times by countless musicians, and each performance brings something a bit different out of the tune. I chose to include Miles Davis' version from 1956 (with John Coltrane on the sax) below. For different interpretations, check out versions performed by Thelonious Monk (1947), Michel Petrucciani (1993), Michael Brecker (1998), and Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter (not sure of the date).
I enjoyed getting to listen through these songs again, and hope you found something you like. I think I'll make this a thing, and keep a full list somewhere on the site. So yeah, if you liked these, stay tuned!
Have a thought on this, or want to get in touch? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.