Sunday, April 09, 2006

All Things Go Sleep Mixtape

[artwork by Derek Davies]
I've taken my precious time putting together this masterpiece of a mixtape, but the finished product is worth it. With a little help from Derek, I've managed to create what I deem to be the ultimate experience in sleep-music. These songs are very different in style, but all achieve the same goal, a perfect recipe for a good night's sleep. The artists range from ultimate sleep music makers Belle & Sebastian to normally upbeat Stars. Some songs may not feature quiet, soft strings or a simple melody, but all of them are sure to help you close your eyes and drift into a deep sleep. With that, here are the songs for All Things Go Sleep Mixtape.
NOTE: I will be adding a link to download the entire album as a .zip tommorow, but I am too lazy and tired to do it tonight.
ZACK: If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, this one might be it. I worship this song, and it seems to always find it's way on to my stereo either on long drives or when I'm tucking myself in at night. Arguably the best track on Greetings From Michigan, Widows features stunning vocals and Sufjan on his finest instrument, the banjo. Using a mixture of pure talent and echo pedals, this song puts you in a trance from the first pluck of the banjo to the soft horns that quietly close this masterpiece. 2) Stars - On Peak Hill ZACK: I am a man, and am completely unashamed to admit that I love Stars. These guys (and gal) know how to make beautiful song after beautiful song, and On Peak Hill is the perfect example of this. I had a hard time choosing between four or five Stars songs, but this one, off of their 2001 debut LP Nightsongs, just seemed so fitting for a sleep mixtape. The simple guitar chords and hushed vocals are a perfect recipe for a good night's sleep. Plus, this gives me an excuse to mention one of the best names in the music business, male vocalist Torquil Campbell. 3) Andrew Bird - Tables and Chairs ZACK: This is one of my girlfriend's favorite musicians, and I can understand why. Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs was one of my favorite albums of 2005, and this song happens to be my, and my girlfriend's, song of choice off the album. Tables and Chairs is melodious, soft, and perfect for a mid-afternoon nap. Besides, who wouldn't want to fall asleep listening to a song about our crumbling modern society and the apocalypse? 4) Final Fantasy - Peach Plum Pear ZACK: Owen Pallett is a genius. There, I said it. Final Fantasy has become one of my favorite bands in a relatively short amount of time. During my recent trip to Amsterdam and Barcelona, Final Fantasy was the only music I would listen to. Listening to Owen and his beautiful violin put me to sleep every single night. Or maybe that was the coffeeshops. Whatever. While Your Light is Spent might be a better sleep song, I already put it on the ATG Valentines Day Mixtape, and Peach Plum Pear is the perfect lullaby. I just recently did an interview with Owen(!) and I will be writing it up and posting it sometime in the next few days. Also, he hooked me up with his latest album, He Poos Clouds (which will be released later this month), and I must say, it is a solid follow up to his breakthrough 2005 debut, Has a Good Home. 5) Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand In Mine (Goodbye) ZACK: I could've put on a number of songs from Explosions, but I chose the shortened version of Your Hand in Mine, featured on the Friday Night Lights Soundtrack (which is pretty much just an EitS album), because it is absolutely beautiful. The song is so simple, yet so entrancing. Put this one on your car stereo for a night drive and be careful, because you might just fall asleep at the wheel. 6) Imogen Heap - Can't Take it In ZACK: This song, feautured on The Chronic(what)cles of Narnia Soundtrack, is a beautiful blend of vocals and beeps. It sounds similar to many Imogen Heap songs, but that is not meant to take anything away from it. Imogen Heap has a very distinct style, and Can't Take it In is one of her finest. If I were Derek I'd probably describe this song as "ethereal". But, then again, if I were Derek I'd also probably study dictionaries and thesauruses in my free time. Her voice is breathy and breathtaking, and this song is a perfect lullaby for a young child. 7) Belle & Sebastian - Sleep the Clock Around ZACK: Derek said that this song is horrible for a sleep mix and asked "when have horns ever been used in a sleep song?" My response is this song. B&S is a favorite of mine, and this song, more electronica(l) than most of their music, is best listened to after a long night. The little whistles and simple drum noise are so adorable, and Stuart Murdoch's vocals are perfectly dreamy, as always. I've used this song as an insomnia cure since 8th grade. 8) Iron & Wine - The Trapeze Swinger DEREK: Sam Beam's finest work to date, his Mona Lisa if you will, "The Trapeze Swinger" is an absolute epoch, clocking in at 9 minutes and 31 seconds with lyrics that would not be out of place in a book of beautiful poetry. Operating with an interesting poetic technique in which every verse begins with the same "Please remember me..." refrain, Beam's ambiguously autobiographical lyrics are the best he's ever brought to the table and will easily lull you into a trance of. If you're still awake at this point in the mix I'd be surprised, but your consciousness doesn't stand a chance against this epic. 9) Ben Gibbard - Recycled Air (Acoustic) DEREK: Seriously, you're asleep already, I don't even know why I'm bothering to even mention these songs. But Zack wanted me to, and I'd do anything for that guy (note: "anything" does not include anything involving danger, physical discomfort, strenuous activity, or situations requiring substantial effort on my part). Here we have a lovely solo performance of The Postal Service's "Recycled Air", recorded live at KEXP, in which the swirling synths and blissful electronica of the original are stripped away in favor of Ben Gibbard's beautiful voice and acoustic guitar. 10) Death Cab for Cutie - Passenger Seat ZACK: Mr. Gibbard makes his second appearance on this mixtape in, dare I say, possibly the best song off of Death Cab's best album, Transatlanticism. This beautiful little ditty holds the distinct honor of being one of the small handful of songs that I can play (correctly) on my keyboard. Passenger Seat is short, simple, and features pretty much just a piano, but is one of Death Cab's most emotional songs. With incredible lyrics and Ben Gibbard's signature voice, Passenger Seat was made for this mix. 11) Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek (Ciaran Hamilton's Unofficial Strings Mix) DEREK: Everyone knows and loves "Hide and Seek" for it's sparse/non-existent arrangement and it's undivided focus on Imogen's unbelievable voice, so how could one possibly remix it and still preserve it's breathtaking beauty. By adding the one element that makes every song better, strings! Ciaran Hamilton keeps it simple adding some very subtle, very soothing strings to the mix, doing the impossible and actually creating a more sleep-able version of Imogen's sleep mix staple. 12) Sigur Ros - Untitled #3 (Samskeyti) DEREK: These next two songs are pretty much all I need to fall asleep and as a result have been the centerpiece (or in most cases, the only songs) on every sleep mix I've ever made. "Untitled #3 (Samskeyti)", which I first fell in love with after it's inclusion in the haunting final scene of last year's powerful/disturbing Mysterious Skin, is unbelievably beautiful despite it's incredible simplicity. In this instrumental masterpiece, the same piano line is played over and over again as Sigur Ros' signature dark ambience swirls in the background (and yes, I decided ambience can swirl), until just before the 5-minute mark when the piano jumps up an octave, and the result is what one can only describe as a musical epiphany. 13) The Album Leaf - Twentytwofourteen DEREK: Even if you've been popping speed and smoking crack all day, you don't stand a chance against this soothe-fest. On this, The Album Leaf's finest track, Jimmy Lavalle creates an instrumental masterpiece of unparalleled beauty. Each pristine note floats through your consciousness and takes you to a whole new place, where immaculate rivers flow through untouched and fertile valleys and no one ever grows old (note: I am sooooo lame). Game over, The Album Leaf has just pounded home the nail in the coffin of your consciousness (in the most soothing way possibe, of course). 14) Air - Alone in Kyoto ZACK: This song is pretty gosh-darn beautiful. When the plucking of the cello, or whatever instrument it is, comes in, I get some shivers down my spine. Alone in Kyoto, more than anything, is just a very comforting song, and what is more important than being comfortable when you are trying to fall asleep?
15) Dntel - Last Songs ZACK: Appropriately titled, this song by Dntel (AKA Jimmy Tamborello AKA the beats behind The Postal Service) is a remarkable instrumental track that, while somewhat repetitive, never gets old to me. During my recent trip to Delaware for my birthday, Last Songs came onto the iPod right as we were crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. No song could’ve been more fitting for the beauty that surrounded us (Note: I actually just complimented Maryland. This was hard for me.)
There you have it, the All Things Go Sleep Mixtape in all its glory. Thanks again to Derek for all his help and his aesthetically-pleasing artwork. I'd also like to thank Derek for using adjectives that I didn't even know existed. Once again, you can print out the cover art and give the CD to a loved one, sibling, neighbor, or the jittery crack-head that lives in your basement. I'm sure he/she/it will love it. That is, if he doesn't scatter when you turn the basement lights on. (NOTE: none of the Derek links are actual pictures of Derek. Except for that dwarf in a suit of armor one. That's Derek.)
PS: Leave comments please, I'd love to know which songs you liked and which songs you didn't. Also, I'm going to be buying a domain for All Things Go and want to know which domain name you loyal readers would prefer: www.allthingsgoblog.com or www.all-things-go.com. Goodnight.
-Zack

54 comments:

Derek said...

Man, this sleep mix is awesome. No more fighting over what to play at our slumber parties. I'm gonna go put on my ninja jammies and listen to this in bed.

Adrian said...

I've always been able to fall asleep easy to pretty much any Sigur Ros song.

Also, I like http://www.all-things-go.com

G'night cutie!

Anonymous said...

http://www.all-things-go.com


nice. im sleepy already. trapeze swinger is just the perfect song for any situation. someone needs to make a sweet remix so i can dance t it at parties.
also,

sigur ros= rosy sleep beautiful yes yes go time.

Marianne said...

Great mix !

I like the domain name www.all-things-go.com.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Great mix, I loved Sigur Ros, that Imogen Heap remix and the Dntel one.

Definitely: www.all-things-go.com

Ann said...

Great mix! Thanks especially for the strings mix of Hide and Seek - I didn't even know that existed. I can think of lots of great songs I'd add to this - a couple that come to mind are To Be Alone With You by Sufjan, Ryan Adams' cover of Wonderwall, Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch, and Twilight by Elliott Smith.

brian said...

Nice mix. I vote for all-things-go.com as well.

mjrc said...

You asked for it!

Passenger Seat is lovely, gorgeous, one of my favorites. Stars--I couldn't agree more with you, although I think Tonight is the best song on Nightsongs (or maybe Going, Going, Gone). No matter, great choice. And Final Fantasy has quickly become an obsession of mine. So yeah, I think this is a great sleep mix!

And I vote for all-things-go.

Anonymous said...

so i tried it out last night...
and heres what ive got:
-i might substitute a stripped down sufjan song, something from seven swans
-sleep around the clock is way to upbeat from "ultimate sleep music makers Belle & Sebastian"
-trapeze swinger did it for me, i didnt hear anything after that.

the end. thanks as always for the mix!

wwjblog said...

all things go.com, hands down. i dont thing all things do go blog, so that might confuse. LOVE the mix. LOVE it! do you fear the law coming after you for this? ryan adams lawyers hunting you down? im glad you did this.

i love you,
jesus christ

troy. said...

Thanks for the Immi tunes. Nice remix of Hide & Seek. And you're right, its hard to remix this song. I've heard really bad ones, BUT I got this amazing remix by R3volve -- let me know if you want me to pass it along via email.

Also, thanks for posting I Can't Take It In. I can't pay full price for the entire album, but promise I'll purchase the song when iTunes allows individual downloads of that song. (And I'm not sure why I just told you that.)

Derek said...

And it's not like I can't just tell you this in person, but I'm voting for all-things-go.com too. Mainly I'm commenting because I know you'll get a gumby when you see you got a new comment then be dissapointed when it's just me.

But yeah, this sleep mix is awesome, the rave reviews are well deserved (I mean it even got the seal of approval from Jesus). But I still think "Sleep Around The Clock" is too upbeat, I was sleeping to this last night and was jolted from my sleep thinking I was in the middle of an air raid or something, but it was just that fucking horns section in "Sleep Around The Clock". Thanks for tramautizing me for life.

Zack said...

haha. thanks for the heads up troy.

also, anonymous, thanks for your suggestions, but i had my heart set on both the B&S track and the Sufjan one. For the Widows is just absolutely and incredibly beautiful, and peerless. and sleep the clock around has been a favorite of mine since 8th grade, and has always put me right to sleep. I know something like "if youre feeling sinister" wouldve worked better, but, hey, not every song on this mix is the same. sleep the clock around makes sure you are still awake, yet doesnt wake you up. it says "hey! dont forget to listen to the rest of this mix" while at the same time being very comforting and soft. Also, Ann, i didnt put to be alone with you because i already had a Sufjan song and because to be alone with you is on the ATG Valentines Day Mixtape.

The feedback for this mixtape has been absurd. Thanks to everyone, I didnt know anyone really cared for our blog. Lovesies.

Anonymous said...

great mix! no electric president-insomnia? although that may be a bit ironic

Mordy said...

Gorgeous mixtape. Thanks. I personally added Sufjan's The Seer's Tower to mine, and a bunch of Beck songs from Sea Change. That album always knocks me out.

Derek said...

The second to last commenter got us big time. I'm pretty dissapointed in myself for neglecting to throw "Insomnia" into the mix, considering it's one of my most played songs on my iTunes right now and one of my five favorite songs of '06. Irony aside, it's a flawless sleeping song too, my bad, I dropped the ball.

Austin! said...

Sea change is a sleep mix in itself

Alex said...

Stars fans unite. I am in love with them and waited for them (and DCFC) after a show for like 2 hours once. We sat out there with a guitar and kept chanting "STARS STARS STARS"

I love the selections of violin music, Final Fntasy and Andrew Bid tickle me as I am a fellow violinist.
Appropriate ending with "last songs" its an amazing piece.

go with # 2 for the weblink

Anonymous said...

comment!!

bhlogiston said...

what a nice compilation. but - honestly - the problem is - I can't never listen the last tracks. I'm going to sleep before. *g*

Anonymous said...

what a great mix. also, how about au revoir simone's - and sleep al mar? am listening to it (after having listened to your mix - sis is in deep sleep as result) right now and starting to feel mellow and heavy lidded myself....cheers xox
all-things-go.com definitely

ClubhouseCancer said...

Great mix. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel actually connects one part of Virginia with another, so you've avoided jacking the rep of Maryland.

It's DelMarValous!

Mike Slagor said...

incredible - i cant wait for the zip file to come up......

i usually toss on sufjan's 'predatory wasp' and i'm out - i cant wait to try this stuff

Tim said...

This mixtape is awesome. I love that you included For the Widows in Paradise...one of my favorite songs! Might I reccomend that your next mixtape be a Wake Up mixtape?

Jimmy said...

Glorious mix. Although from personal experience, I'm going to have to say that any sleep mix is incomplete if it does not contain Lullaby by Assemblage 23.

Personal opinion. ;)

Anonymous said...

i am in love with this mix, especially the sufjan song that is brilliant. i am also in love with you guys for bringing us wonderful music!!

Austin! said...

It was our pleasure

Ciaran said...

Hey, thanks for featuring my mix of Hide and Seek. :D I'm glad you liked it.

I'm even more glad because the one you chose is the better (in my opinion) of two versions of the tune I did. You could call the version you chose "version 2" - version 1 was similar but it didn't have some of the subtle effects that version 2 does. Worse, version 1 used drums in one place.

If you really want to download version 1, you can do so at http://matrix.theblob.org/music/mp3/hideandseek-strings.mp3 , but I wouldn't bother if I were you. Version 2 is better in my opinion.

Thanks again. :D I'll take a listen to these other songs in the mix at some point too.

luke said...

absolutely fantastic. it was funny...i saw the cinematic underground play last night and they used that imogen heap remix as an intro. I was totally digging it and couldn't figure out who it was (at that point i was only halfway through your mix tape). This morning I listened to the rest and it was on there...made my day. Keep up the good work.

"Betty" said...

Thanks for the effort put into this...nice selections...will try them out this evening...but i feel i should ask...my doctor warned against habit-forming sleep aids...um...i hope you're not creating a bunch of addicts - the demand could get scary! I warned you.

Anonymous said...

isn't "peach plum pear" a joanna newsom song?

Adrian said...

yeah but Final Fantasy did a cover

Jared said...

ciaran's strings remix is breathtaking.

Evangeline said...

Thank you so much! I took most of them!

Jackman said...

"Asleep" by The Smiths!!

Knobtweakers said...

In case ezarchive goes down, you can grab Imogen Heap - "Hide and Seek (Ciaran Hamilton Strings Remix)" from Knobtweakers.net. You'll find some relevant links on my original MP3 blog post.

Jenna said...

Thanks! Too everything but Passenger Seat since I have it already. Can't wait to listen to the mix.

I like allthingsgoblog.com--I think the simpler domain names are the better.

Anonymous said...

"If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, this one might be it."

Back in the Michigan days, that was the first song I listened to, and I agree entirely.

-Pg.

Mike said...

awesome job on the mixtape. i know this post is relatively old, but ive just discovered this site and am impressed by all the good music i have found on it. twentyfourfourteen is my fave for sure. but i cant complain about any of them. keep it up!

Slowly packing my things said...

It's not a sleep mix tape

Awesome Mix, it has magical powers.

Its a Sleep with your roomate and friend of 2 years Mixtape.

I put it on...one thing led to another...

Well it was a Sleep with your roomate and friend of 2 years Mixtape... now it's more of a Reminds me of when i slept with my roomate and friend of 2 years only to have her slowly push me away and make every moment of my day a constant reminder that I am incapable of starting a relationship that won't end before it becmes and actual relationship Mixtape

and that kinda sours the entre mix now. Maybe in 10 years I can look back and it will become a Fondly looking back on youthful romance and lust Mixtape

Until then maybe you all can work on a Music to drown out the sound of some surfer douchebag pounding your roomate in the next room mix tape....I sense I may need it in the near future.

mark aubrey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mark aubrey said...

it's definitely all-things-go.com. the other isn't future proofed.

fantastic mix. i hadn't heard 'the trapeze swinger' before. what a find! the sigur ros track reminded me of 'beautiful skin' which i think was the only occasion i'd heard it before.

but am i the only one that thinks you can have too much imogen heap? i think despite her credentials there's something very middle-of-the-road about her. also i prefer the non-"strings" version.

for belle & sebastian, "don't leave the light on" would be a good alternative to "sleep the clock around". it continues the titular theme but is beyond reproach in its position as harbinger of zzz's.

Anonymous said...

awesome mix!
I adore the Dntel track!
I just read he has a has a new 7inch out on Aim records. Super beautiful as well!
www.aim-records.com

Ekko said...

sweet post, dudes.

Anonymous said...

That strings mix is complete rubbish. The song is bloody perfect the way it is, the string dilute and ruin it. Whoever did that is a moron.

Cassie said...

sweet tunes

but i thought the peach plum pear
was written by joanna newsom DD:

anywho, i really like the final fantasy cover

but yeah, great job on the mixtape
it really works

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NastyPolitico said...

All I can say is that I that Stars song is exactly right! I first came across Stars while looking at an art exhibit at the MOMA in Montreal and haven't heard about them, or any of their songs since then. Haven't even been able to find any of their music. Thanks for reminding me of this great group!

dehumidifier said...

Hi

This is exactly what I was searching for.
Thank,s

Brad
songs

tad said...

much as i love "tables and chairs", i find the second half of it too fast for a sleep mix. and oh man is that the best part (there'll be pony rides and dancing bears)

my favorite sleepy time song of all time is probably "natural beauty" by neil young--10 mins of easy goodness with cricket chirping at the end.

other recents: "post-war" by m. ward, "books written for girls" by camera obscura, just about anything by mazzy star, and you must try "dead to the world" by royksopp!

cheers, great post

Anonymous said...

this mix of songs puts me into an induced sleep of happyness! i also like that font you used on the back cover to name the songs, could you tell me what that font is exactly? thx :)

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