New Year’s Concert? Who could have thought that the right music for the painful first day of the year is a battalion of violins and a string of timpani to the rhythm of a waltz? Probably a teetotaler, or quite the opposite, someone who on January 1 goes through such an advanced phase of his spreading that he doesn’t care anymore. A little sanity, please. The first day of the year, that day when even the respectable neighbor in the fifth year wakes up with a slight headache, requires another type of music. Just as that particular date requires specific lighting (as close as possible to total darkness), it also requires specific music. Let’s start from a base: we don’t have the body for noise. With this premise, and assuming that over the next few hours we are going to go through a series of different stages but all of them unpleasant, we propose an alternative route through the best therapeutic music (in the Spotify list that we have created you will find a selection songs).
12.00. We open our eyes: aqueous ‘ambient’
The little light that filters through the cracks of the blind hurts our eyes. Then we close them and bury our heads in the pillow. For some reason, this is no longer a lightweight bag of down but seems to weigh three tons. The heaviness of the head joins the dryness in the mouth. The ideal in these circumstances would be … to go back to sleep! Something tells us that if we succeed and wake up again four hours later, we will feel like a rose. We need sleep induction music, refreshing (or at least watery) and, by God, no drums.
→ Brian Eno: An ending (ascent) (1983)
Roxy Music’s exteclist alopecia is our man. Forerunner of ambientHe built his entire solo career on the basis of ethereal music that, rather than listening, one perceives vaguely. This song has an air like light at the end of the tunnel, of transit to an ultraterrestrial limbo, which seems appropriate given the situation. It runs in slow motion and turning in circles: just like our head.
→ Joël Flajerman: Flower’s love (1982)
This slender butt-filled synth composition was the soundtrack to a TF1 documentary series called The adventure of plants (“The adventure of the plants”). A flower, but faded, is what most resembles us at the moment, and perhaps a relaxing bath in this beautiful melody will make us believe in photosynthesis again.
13.00. Hunger and nausea: psychedelic rock
Since not even with these instrumental lullabies we have been able to resume sleep, we stir restlessly in bed and notice new sensations. We are overcome by a kind of embarrassment, as if everything drunk, instead of going down, was getting higher and higher, and for a moment we pondered the idea of going to the bathroom and freeing ourselves from the load. But we can think of something better: as we are also hungry, we trust that a sumptuous and greasy breakfast will restore gastric balance, satiating us and taking away the arc … the arc …
→ The Velvet Underground: Candy says (1969)
In these moments of anxiety, which are quite psychedelic, it is necessary to resort to the Velvet. Doug Yule, replacement for John Cale in the New York band, sings here as if he tiptoed into our room and didn’t want to disturb, which is appreciated. The narcotic atmosphere must be attributed to Lou Reed, who knew about these deficiencies for a while.
→ Fragrant Procol: A whiter shade of pale (1967)
The sound of a Hammond organ brings to our ears what a plate of scrambled eggs does to our stomach: restorative consistency. Dense, atavistic, big, reach in this ballad hippy its maximum expression. The lyrics, which narrate an ethyl lag (“They were tumbling around on the ground, I felt a bit dizzy, but people wanted more” … “When we ordered another drink, the waiter brought a tray”), seems inspired by our exploits last night .
14.00. Everything hurts: painless minimalism
The strenuous effort of getting up to prepare breakfast has left us on record of another drama: we have the fluidity of movements of a 70-year-old man. Our eyelashes hurt, so, depressed, we opted to go back to bed and continue to keep strict rest. In tune with this stillness, the best thing is to give us a portion of minimalism: painless music, without fanfare; instrumental, without a letter that we must follow; introspective, that connects us with our most suffered self. A return to nothingness, in tune with the fetal position in which we find ourselves.
→ Arvo Pärt: Mirror with mirror (1978)
Classical music of the 20th century by this Estonian composer who is currently 80 years old (and still producing). Without the sacred character of other of his works, this brief piece of piano and violin (or viola or cello) brings serenity and helps one imagine that they are in a spa, receiving a massage between candles and incense …
→ Aphex Twin: Avril 14th (2001)
The double of Pablo Iglesias gives us one of lime and another of sand. The same makes you a theme of balsamic minimalism that a stroke of psychotropic electronics suitable for a rave. This is one of the first; a short piano passage suitable for reflecting on who we are, where we come from and how we got to this point.
15.00. Chills: warm ‘bossa nova’
The feast has not finished fixing the body and the longed-for restorative sleep does not arrive. That accumulation of hardships is now completed with bursts of chills, which make us shiver even though the blanket covers us up to our bangs. What kind of music could have a warming effect on us? The bossa nova. Velvety voices and that signature guitar pinch are a first-class ticket to the steamy beaches of Rio de Janeiro, with all its ecosystem. A pity that our libido is on the ground.
→ João Gilberto: avarandado (1973)
The song is by Caetano Veloso, recorded with the voice of Gal Costa in 1967, but this naked 1973 version of João Gilberto, who sings whispering over his aching guitar, has a purity that is what we lack in critical moments like East.
→ Astrud Gilberto: How insentitive (1965)
Do you know of those singers indies who sing with a little voice? They have all been soaked in Astrud Gilberto, who was Joao’s wife. This standard (foolishness in its original language) bears the signature of Antonio Carlos Jobim, a leading composer of bossa nova.
16.00. Eloquence: after hitting rock bottom
Practically any musical genre with a compound name can be of great use to us when we manage to master the situation. We are not better, but neither are we worse; After having hit rock bottom, we started to climb back. The light coming through the blind is now a ray of optimism. As if to prove to ourselves that we are still alive, we begin to give the ember to whoever we have next to us, and these are the sounds of the comeback.
→ Portishead: Roads (1994)
From Bristol, Beth Gibbons and company embroidered that dark and cinematographic genre that came to be called trip hop. The Rhodes piano, which plans from the beginning for this song, has the quality of plunging even the most optimistic into misery. But it is not about gloating over the sadness it transmits, but about wrapping our unleashed verbiage in these sounds.
→ Tortoise: Along the banks of rivers (1996)
Our mood is as unclassifiable as the rock of this Chicago band, which can sometimes sound like the soundtrack of a western disturbing (as in this case), and others wander between progressive rock, jazz and electronics. The instrumental theme is perfect for loquacious.
17.00. Let’s face it as soon as possible: we have made a fool of ourselves
The neurons have begun to work and are dedicated to bombarding us with scenes from the night before. Unless we do not remember anything (which can happen), the most likely thing is that stupid phrases that came out of our mouths will begin to pass through our head when we want to make the funny and regrettable approaches to human beings who surely thought we were idiots. We wouldn’t care if we hooked up, but it didn’t happen. We have made a fool of ourselves and nothing can remedy it now; although it does mitigate its effects: dragged ballads for disastrous men.
→ Bon Iver: re:stacks (2007)
This is the guy who, to heal a love breakup, locked himself in a cabin in the mountains and recorded this album. Because of the atmosphere he created, his morale was rocky. But the album was a success and it was covered, proof that even the worst experiences can get something good.
→ Damien Rice: Elephant (2006)
Last night’s gaffes make us miserable, the way Irishman Damien Rice surely feels every time he composes a song. “I am the pillow in your pillowcase,” he proclaims, inspired by this theme, in a sense crescendo.
18.00. Ready to start again: pop hymns
Well, we’ve already flogged ourselves enough. We have done our penance, and it is time to return to the surface. Normality has been restored, that is, we have been glued to our mobile for a while, reconfiguring our social life, after long hours of solitary suffering. We are meeting for a snack before dinner, and if the world is going to welcome us again, let it be with the right humor. Let’s go for happy and choreable pop songs, and for a beer (just one) to celebrate that we are still young and have a hangover like nothing (more or less).
→ Ben Lee: Catch my desease (2005)
“My head is a box full of nothing and that’s how I like it.” It is the promising beginning of this conformist and carefree song that is almost impossible to listen to without putting yourself in a good mood. If you’re getting ready to go out, you’ll find yourself clapping your hands and screaming in the crowded choirs.
→ Chumbawamba: Tubthumping (1997)
Punks of the eighty who came up, Chumbawamba invoiced this immortal chorus that seems more like a song of hooligans than a song. With words like “whiskey” and “vodka” in its handwriting, we are in front of a monument to the party capable of erasing seven hours of agony and putting us in operation again. Yes, tomorrow, start over …