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10 albums to help you relax

Feeling stressed? We’ve got you covered.

From the smooth, lush sounds of Bon Iver to the casual nonchalance of Faye Webster to Beach House’s hazy nostalgia, we’ve put together a list of the perfect records to calm your nerves.

Check out 10 albums to help you relax below.

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Bon Iver – Bon Iver

If the smooth sounds of Bon Iver won’t help you relax, I don’t know what will! Bon Iver’s self-titled features some stunning instrumentals and soft vocals that are sure to lull you into a deep state of relaxation. Each song represents a place and the composition reflects those settings, geographically ranging in space.

Jorja Smith – Lost and Found

20-year-old British singer Jorja Smith released her intensively vulnerable and personal debut album in 2018. The record seeks a sort of self-knowledge as Smith takes the youthful restlessness of early adulthood and makes it sound refined, yet intimate. The smooth R&B tracks are timeless and reflect an unrivalled independence full of bold statements and uniquely captivating instrumentals. Her lyrics are emotional, as she sings lines like “I’m constantly finding myself” and “I’m not trynna let you in/ even if I found the one.”

Beach House – Depression Cherry

Beach House’s vibrant, versatile album, Depression Cherry is full of a sort of hazy nostalgia, as the band fully leans into their dream pop sound. From the speak-sung vocals on “PPP” to the sway-able synths on “Levitation,” Depression Cherry is guaranteed to settle your nerves and transport you to a softer, more calming space.

Adrianne Lenker – songs and instrumentals

Technically spread across two albums (but we’ll count ’em as one), Big Thief singer Adrianne Lenker’s songs and instrumentals come together as one stunning, calculated work. songs / instrumentals contains some of the most vivid songwriting Lenker has produced thus far. Exploring themes of loss, solitude, and regret, the refined collection sees her music stripped back to just an acoustic guitar and vocals on songs before moving to the purely instrumental, windchime-focused instrumentals. Recorded in a one-room cabin in the woods of Western Massachusetts, both albums are so powerfully intimate that it feels as though you’re right there, sitting beside Lenker as she performs.

Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter

Laura Marling’s lyrically powerful, yet instrumentally soft album, Song For Our Daughter, was written for Marling’s fictional daughter, and by extension, her younger self. Song For Our Daughter revolves not only around Marling’s imaginary child, but as she reflects on the music industry that shaped her late teens and early 20s, it’s about “the responsibility to defend The Girl.” “It’s strange to watch the facade of our daily lives dissolve away, leaving only the essentials; those we love and our worry for them,” Marling explains. “An album, stripped of everything that modernity and ownership does to it, is essentially a piece of me, and I’d like for you to have it.”

Faye Webster – Atlanta Millionaires Club

Faye Wesbter’s genre-bending album, Atlanta Millionaires Club blends alt-country, R&B, and soul into a serene folk-pop package, making for a perfectly mellow collection of tracks. The album has a perfectly dreamy quality to it, that will make you feel like you’re lying in the sun no matter the weather. From casual, slack vocals to tearjerking instrumentals, Webster may come off as nonchalant, but everything on this album is perfectly calculated.

Courtney Marie Andrews – Old Flowers

Seasoned singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews delivered her fifth LP Old Flowers in 2020, and it serves as a stunning collection of folky tracks. Inspired by the end of a nine-year relationship, this gorgeous album sees Andrews simply wishing the best for her lost love, delivering lines like, “I hope you find love, settle down somewhere new/ And I hope that this world sees who I see in you.” Old Flowers isn’t your typical breakup album. Instead of harnessing anger, Andrews moves through a sort of melancholic longing, as each track is still so full of love, both through Andrews’ vivd lyricism and in her heartfelt vocal delivery.

Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Kurt Vile’s spacious album, Wakin In A Daze, offers up glimmering sounds and a sort of unique slacker wisdom, making for a soothing exploration of what it’s like to be human. Literally opening with a stretch and a yawn, Wakin In A Daze is sure to bring you some relaxing vibes, from Vile’s crooning vocals to his finger-picked guitars.

Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams

Arlo Parks’ highly-anticipated, genre-bending debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, truly blurs the lines between folk, indie, R&B, and jazz, as she delivers powerful lines like, “We’re all learning to trust our bodies/ Making peace with our own distortions/ You shouldn’t be afraid to cry in front of me in moments.” Opening with a sort of diaristic spoken word, the 12-track collection sees the British bedroom pop artist embracing intimacy as she sings of mental health, queer intimacy, and self-love.

Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

Kacey Musgrave’s latest album offers a unique complexity and some full relaxation, while standing out among other country artists. This album weaves seamlessly between celebrations on tracks like “Butterflies” and sadness on songs like “Lonely Weekend.” Golden Hour seems to be a reflection on how that beautiful moment after the sun sets can be gone just as fast as it arrives.

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