1. ‘Starry Starry Night’ – Lianne La Havas
This tender cover features in Loving Vincent and is the perfect track to open the playlist with. Lianne La Havas’ hushed soulfulness is like a lullaby that will have you dreaming of floating through Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’.
2. ‘Dream’ – Priscilla Ahn
Priscilla Ahn sings about dreaming of flying away. The clarity of her voice, especially during her “Ooooo’s”, is transporting. ‘Dream’ is sure to help you wind down.
3. ‘New Ceremony – Acoustic’ – Dry the River
A slightly more unusual choice, but I love the spirituality of the lyrics and the heart-warming chorus (if you interpret it that way). Peter Liddle’s falsetto has an echoing effect that draws you in beautifully.
4. ‘Song to the Siren – Take 7’ – Tim Buckley
Tim Buckley’s wistful and expressive vocals in ‘Song to the Siren’ are perfect for calming your mind into a sleepy state. Listen to this folky song tell you a story and fall under its otherworldly spell.
5. ‘Suzanne’ – Leonard Cohen
A sleep playlist wouldn’t be complete without ‘Suzanne’. It’s a poem put to music. Romantic and peaceful, you can find solace in its rhythm, the instrumentals and Cohen’s unmistakable sound.
6. ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him – Live’ – Amy Winehouse
The first ten seconds of this song transfix you. A lovely acoustic guitar accompanies Amy’s singing, but her vocals – bare and affecting – are firmly in the spotlight.
7. ‘Unchained Melody’ – Norah Jones
I love this song, and Norah Jones’s velvety tones bring a touch of haunting jazz and melancholy to her take on The Righteous Brothers’ classic. The sound has the texture of a vinyl record, as if it’s reaching you from an older time.
8. ‘Blue Moon – Take 9/M’ – Elvis Presley
In this atmospheric and artistic recording, Elvis’ bluesy vocals are accompanied by guitar strings plucked to sound like a horse’s hooves. The track includes an enchanting falsetto which makes it an even more unusual Elvis song. I’d also recommend checking out the Cowboy Junkies’ cover too.
9. ‘Be the Song’ – Foy Vance
Foy Vance’s voice has such an ethereal quality here. If you let the song wash over you, you’ll feel enveloped in the lush soundscape he creates.
10. ‘Mid Air’ – Paul Buchanan
This is a beautiful song to complete the playlist with, especially the way its ending trails away. With a slow rhythm that immerses and soothes your mind, a lovely piano part and Buchanan softly crooning, ‘Mid Air’ will lull you to sleep.
– Naomi Hart
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