a, Arts & Entertainment, Music

Deep Cuts: Songs to cure your insomnia

Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey

Artist: John Mayer

Album: Born and Raised

Released: May 22, 2012

This peaceful track off of John Mayer’s fifth studio album stands out as a thoughtful lament, ornamented with simple harmonica and sparing guitar. Mayer’s soulful vocals create a comfortingly repetitive effect, evoking feelings of both melancholy and contentment in the listener. The barebones chorus manages to be both sad and beautiful in its minimalism.

Kiss Me

Artist: Ed Sheeran 

Album: +

Released: September 9, 2011

Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran penned this ballad for his godparents, who got engaged after years of friendship. The couple asked him to sing at their wedding, but none of the covers he tried felt quite right, so he decided to write them their own love song. Sheeran dips into the lower end of his register for this one, and a guitar riff that can only be described as heartfelt make this number the musical equivalent of a warm hug.

A Cold Night Close to the End

Artist: Said the Whale

Album: Islands Disappear

Released: October 13, 2009

Vancouver-based indie rock band Said the Whale has a bevy of up-tempo tunes, but “A Cold Night Close to the End” slows things down, giving it a calming effect despite the slight rockabilly feel provided by the lead guitar. The band is known for incorporating natural imagery into their songs, and this tale about a nighttime hike in winter is no exception. This track will have you drifting off to its steady beat and gentle vocals in no time.

The Temptation of Adam

Artist: Josh Ritter

Album: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

Released: August 21, 2007

Ritter’s expert guitar skills set the perfect backdrop for this Cold War love story. Relaxing you into the rhythm, this number offers one lyrically intricate verse after another. The soothing instrumental breaks keep the track from feeling too busy and Ritter’s folksy vocals create a cozy atmosphere despite the final stanza, in which he raises the troubling question of temptation alluded to in the title.

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