Soothe Your Traveling Soul With Our Songs About Wandering Playlist
Everybody feels the urge to escape sometimes. It’s part of the human condition — this hunger to leave the place we know, to start anew, to see the world. Whether it’s your feet that are itching to go or it’s your soul that needs a vacation, we’re all a little wistful with wanderlust.
We’ve put together a specially curated playlist featuring 30 songs about wandering. From geographical odes to heart-heavy ballads, from Norway to Los Angeles to New York to Berlin, from leaving on a jet plane to leaving old lives behind, you’ll feel the thrill of escape on this playlist.
1. I’ve Never Been To L.A. by Ludlow: Chicago indie band Ludlow’s newest EP, Sunset Blues, unravels the emotional aspect of traveling. Each song deals in some capacity with the link between emotional and physical leaving, so any track would have fit our wandering playlist, but especially this one. It’s a beautiful folk song led by acoustic strums and a whole lot of tender twang.
2. Big Volcano, Small Town by Charlotte Cornfield: Canadian singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield is a remarkable lyricist, expertly capturing big feelings in small doses. On this pretty acoustic track, she narrates a vagabond lifestyle on trains state-by-state.
3. Where I’m Going by The Wild Reeds: Off indie-folk group The Wild Reeds’ debut album, Blind and Brave, this track perfectly fits the emotional and physical components of wanderlust. Lush harmonies and sweet strums kick off this song rich with poignant lines about taking off and seeing where the wind takes you.
4. Runaway by Sasha Sloan: LA-based singer-songwriter Sasha Sloan has co-written major hits for big-name popstars, but there’s something extra special about the lyrics to her own work, especially on this punchy dark-pop effort that finds Sasha reflecting on self-sabotage.
5. Thinking About Leaving by Mooneye: With a rollicking guitar line and distant vocals, this song from Belgium-based band Mooneye is an addictive folk-rock romp getting real about the need for escape.
6. I’m Moving To New York by Trying: Columbus-based indie outfit Trying’s debut album, Leave and Never Come Back, boasts tons of thoughtful tug-of-war type tracks between Ohio and New York. Slinking with stripped-back sparkles and aching vocal delivery, this track is a bittersweet confession.
8. Oslo by De Joie: Singer-songwriter De Joie is a troubadour of sorts, penning songs about the cities she travels to. On this dreamy track, she reflects on her time in Norway, a sweet ode led by her strong voice.
9. Marathon Runner by Yellow Ostrich: Though Brooklyn indie band Yellow Ostrich have since disbanded, they’ve still got a colorful discography to swoon over. This dizzying, percussion-heavy song captures the feeling of desperation and the urge to run far away.
10. Free by Francesca Blanchard: On this track by Vermont-based singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard, an unbelievably lovely folk arrangement is the base for Blanchard’s pretty voice to float lyrics about a soft desire to feel free.
11. It’s A Longer Road To California Than I Thought by The Wind and The Wave: Texas indie duo The Wind and The Wave dot their discography with tunes about traveling, but this upbeat indie-folk foot-stomper especially reflects their wanderlust passion.
12. Traveling On by Lula Wiles: On this song by indie trio Lula Wiles, lush layers of gentle folk arrangements and dreamy harmonies offer a traveling track steeped in rich melody and roots-y twang.
13. What We Live For by American Authors: This track from NYC pop-rockers American Authors was destined for this playlist. Playful and upbeat, it’s an ode to love on the open road.
14. Home Away From Home by Brett Dennen: Off one of his latest EPs, this song from Cali singer-songwriter Brett Dennen is a sweet singalong led by warring guitars, notes of surf-pop influence, and Dennen’s distinct voice reflecting on his home away from home.
15. Berlin by Sam Setton: Brooklyn crooner Sam Setton’s music revolves mostly around “heartbreak and travel,” so it was no surprise that he’d make his way onto this playlist. This track is deep with throbbing dance beats and smooth R&B vocals as he talks through a fight with an ex in foreign land.
16. London / New York by Nikki Pope: English singer-songwriter Nikki Pope has spent most of her career back and forth between London and New York. On this vibrant pop-rock track, her powerhouse pipes battle two places she calls home.
17. Road by MARLBORO: New York based indie outfit MARLBORO recently dropped their debut album, Convertible Life, and this song fits our brief perfectly. Buzzing with tender guitar treatment and aching vocals, it’s a gorgeous ode to following the road.
18. Gone Astray by Gerhardt: Dutch musician Gerhardt confronts his conflicting feelings about leaving and returning home on this little folk ditty featuring vocal twang and percussive slaps.
19. Smooth Sailin’ by Leon Bridges: Soul singer Leon Bridges could sing the phonebook and it would be dazzling, but this jangling retro track off his debut album, Coming Home, uniquely compares love and travel, so it gets a standout spot on our playlist.
20. Nico’s Red Truck by dijon: On this gorgeous track, burgeoning R&B artist dijon earnestly reflects on his last months in Maryland. It’s a gut-punch slow-burn led by his impassioned vocals and a distant guitar line.
21. Little Wanderer by Death Cab For Cutie: Alt-rock band Death Cab For Cutie have a prolific discography and an important impact on today’s indie scene. In this gloomy, creeping track, they cover a bittersweet narrative of a long-distance relationship.
22. Wanderlust by AlunaGeorge: On this neon-drenched dance anthem, London-based electronic duo AlunaGeorge confront their hunger for love and wanderlust.
23. Runnin’ Scared by Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties: Philly-based folk-rock project Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties captures the unraveling of a fictional character. On this track, foggy pulsing percussion leads into a multi-instrumental eruption as Aaron West narrates his wild escape.
24. Take Me Away by Young Mister: This song from North Carolina based indie project Young Mister perfectly depicts the need for newness, thoughtfully delivered on a bed of vivid indie-rock arrangements.
25. I Love Leaving by Jonny Fritz: On this track from alt-country artist Jonny Fritz, the title tells all. It’s a refreshing folk tune led by Jonny’s gentle voice, rolling acoustic rhythms, and a steady smack of percussion maintained throughout.
26. On The Road by Houndmouth: Roots-rock group Houndmouth’s debut album, From The Hills Below The City, focused in part on a traveling theme. This addictive, pulsing folk-rock track uses the twang of harmony and key sparkles to tell a story of road roaming.
27. Run Away From It All by Trevor James & The Perfect Gentlemen: This decadent track from Canadian indie-folk group Trevor James & The Perfect Gentlemen is a gorgeous, slow-rolling, soulful tune about the need to run.
28. Big Sky by The Wild Feathers: This robust folk-rock jam from Nashville band The Wild Feathers was made for this playlist. It’s a shimmering, harmony-riddled track focusing on “wide open spaces and cool mountain breezes.”
29. Desert Song by Alice Smith: Powerhouse singer Alice Smith makes anything sound amazing. On this bluesy song, she drones a remarkable cabaret-style anthem tinged by a slew of genre-hopping influence.
30. San Clemente by Jelani Aryeh: Cali-based R&B singer Jelani Aryeh is destined to make it big. This plinking, drowsy track finds his shaky voice begging his love to escape with him. It’s a laidback track pulsing with a heartbeat.
Hit shuffle, lean back, and dream about your next destination.
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