Some songs just sound better at night. These are the songs that don’t have that aggressive car shaking production and bass that is a guaranteed go-to when we get the AUX, but the songs that soothe us no matter where we are. These are the songs that wrap us in a blanket of chillaxity (yes, I made that word up) whenever we hear them as the music envelops in a smooth melody and warm vocals. Sometimes these vocals aren’t exactly warm, but their smooth delivery and calm execution dance with the production in their own special way, such is the case with Nujabes’ “City Lights” which was produced by him and features Pase Rock and Substantial on the verses. In some cases vocals are not even needed such as with DJ Shadow’s “Midnight In A Perfect World” , as a warping sample stimulates our ears as we reflect on life and our many decisions in it. These songs are often overlooked by those who act like “hype music” is the only genre that exists, or are just completely overshadowed by those looking for a more sensual mood as opposed to a purely relaxing one. In some cases, the feelings experienced in these songs can relate to those of slower psychedelic rock songs or dream pop songs. The tranquility of the music makes the listener feel as though time is standing still and nothing but them and the music exists in a realm of pure bliss.
When I hear these types of songs I often envision images of night skylines, rain and stars. Or, a combination of these such as a lone individual walking through a neon lit downtown area after midnight as rain falls around them. I also tend to think about the past and reflect on multiple “what if” scenarios. From talking to different people, I’ve learned that this practice is actually quite common. Usually I’m listening to these songs while in bed at night so my mind is somewhat already on that subject matter, but the music also enhances it. People often say that people are their most vulnerable at this time of night and it’s when you truly connect with a person. I believe this is true for some people but, not me personally as I am a pretty open book. However, I do enjoy having deep conversations at night – as long as it’s a topic I’m interested in. In contrast, when I am having a conversation like this I am not listening to music as I believe the two should be separate experiences. When listening to late night music I like to be in my own world.
I made a playlist of Late Night Music that captures all the emotions and vibes I mentioned in this post. I put them in a particular order so please don’t hit shuffle lol. Check it out here!