The current combination of political turmoil, Glastonbury come-downs and unusually hot weather has led to our lying in a darkened room, listening to only the most soothing of tracks. Here are 10 instrumentals to restore wellbeing to troubled souls
Aerial M – Aass
Aass is the quietly confident work of David Pajo, formerly of not one but two hugely influential bands, Tortoise and Slint. It’s a lovely six minutes that combines both longing and reassurance into a warm, meandering and hypnotic melody.
Colleen – Sun against my eyes
Restrained and simple, this ghostly little melody played on the clarinet by experimental French musician Cécile Schott feels both contemporary and classic. Perfect for a filling a lull in the afternoon.
Aphex Twin – Avril 14
Taken from his 2001 double album Drukqs and owing a huge debt to Satie, this is the most simple and beautiful track the notoriously tricksy musician has written.
Claude Debussy – Clair de Lune from Suit Begamasque
Started by an impoverished Debussy in 1890, inspired by and named after his friend Paul Verlaine’s poem, this took 15 years to write. Not an easy piece to play, there’s a particularly lovely recording by Jean-Yves Thibaudet on Decca.
Lorne Casey Orchestra – Smoke Rings
One of the great sentimental melodies of the 1930s, this evokes debonair men in white tie leading a cool blonde across the dancefloor. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Brian Eno – Another Green World
A classic. Eno famously came up with the idea of music to be heard rather than listened to whilst in hospital. Half of this pioneering album is instrumental including this, the dreamy title track, and really shows how adept Eno had become at using the studio as an instrument in itself.
Vangelis – Love theme from Bladerunner OST
There have been numerous versions of both film and soundtrack, but the 25th Anniversary edition has the whole of Vangelis’s swooning 1994 version – stunning synthesised soundscapes
Bill Evans – Lucky to be me
Perfect Evans, a cool, melancholy solo from the wonderfully named album, Everybody Digs Bill Evans. The production is discreet and pared-back, allowing a flawless piece of playing to shine
Durutti Column – Sketch for a summer
Taken from their quietly impressive debut, Return of Durutti Column, Vini Reilly’s guitar is a delicate and understated thing, weaving around producer Martin Hannet’s electronic trickery.
Jon Hopkins – Small Memory
A combination of virtuoso piano-playing and impeccable electronic-skills means this plaintive composition of pristine chords is both sweet and concise. Keep it with you at all times in case of emergency.