May 29, 2013

4 Bands You Need to Know That Inspire Creativity and Invite Relaxation

Throughout our everyday lives, we're continually stimulated by sound. From the alarm clock and chatter of our children at breakfast to office conversations about work and incoming text messages. At the end of the day, silence — audible stillness — seems to sound the most beautiful. For me, experiencing silence at some point every day is imperative for my mental health. During this time devoid of dialogue, TV, texts, traffic and other noise, I can calm my mind and settle my thoughts. I'll close my eyes and pretend that I can hear the crashing of the ocean and cool, beachy breeze, which is the equivalent to my favorite types of music.

But aside from moments of quiet meditation, I couldn't write, workout, relax, get through troubled times or be happy without the sound of music. The following bands, albums and songs may change your life, or maybe just your mood.


Passenger's musical musings are referred to as "intimate, folk-inflected indie pop," as described by the Spotify biography of Mike Rosenberg, the singer and songwriter of Passenger. Throughout the years of debuting its first album, providing soundtrack songs and performing at South By Southwest in Austin, Passenger released its fifth full-length release called "All The Little Lights." Passenger's meaningful, charming lyrics and eclectic, upbeat sounds of various instruments create soothing music for moms to enjoy while sipping coffee on a Sunday morning before children awake or while getting lost in a good piece of literature while lounging on the back patio.

Andrew Bird

Singer, songwriter and violin aficionado Andrew Bird has been creating sweet folk tunes since the '90s. Not only does he have the most whimsical surname, his songs are also fanciful — an expression of German lieder and New Orleans jazz blended with distinct sounds of gypsy, folk and rock. For young creatives who just graduated with a concept artist degree, listen to "The Mysterious Production of Eggs" to feel artistically inspired and imaginative. Bird's most recent album "Break It Yourself," sees hopeless romantics get lost in love melodies like "Sifters," and dreamers will find comfort in the solely instrumental and affectionate album "Useless Creatures."


A trio of sisters who hail from L.A., Haim has only released their "Forever EP" and a few singles as well as remixes. Looking forward to springtime and the summer days ahead, I blast Haim's '90s-style pop and folky jams while cruising with the windows down. The Cali rocker girls also performed at Austin's SXSW music festival for the second time and was awarded the coveted Grulke Award for best developing U.S. act, as mentioned by USA Today. For a Californian daydream or girls' road trip, Haim's "Don't Save Me," "Forever," and Fleetwood Mac cover "Hold Me" are playlist must-haves.

The Avett Brothers​

I first heard about The Avett Brothers when my best friend told me she was seeing them live in concert on Valentine's Day with her new boyfriend. I have been enamored by them since my discovery. Get lost in their folk, bluegrass tunes that emanate with high spirits and pulsate with a rock and roll attitude. Listen to "January Wedding" on repeat while planning your outdoor vintage wedding or play "I And Love And You" as you draw or write down thoughts into your notebook as you lean on a tree trunk.

photo courtesy David Owen