Driving Songs

For many people, the radio is just background noise that accompanies the act of driving. I would not be surprised if most people wouldn’t even notice the presence of their radio unless it was broken. (With that in mind, how awkward is a car journey with no music? Unless you have an engine behind your head and a clear road unravelling before you, there’s not much excuse for having the music off).

For the majority of motorists, mundane jouneys pass by in a fug of charty mediocrity and irritating local DJs pushing the same tired old promotions. Listening to the radio always reminds me that I cannot tolerate the voluminous amounts of crap that gets broadcast nowadays, despite being classed as young, ‘modern’ and not being anywhere near pension age.

By reading this blog, I’d hope that you’re not like most motorists. There are many individual elements that, when pulled together, are the constituent parts of a ‘good drive’. Asides from the obvious components of a talented car and a great road, I’d say that the choice of music ranks pretty highly on that list. Your choice of music will not only affect how you drive, but also your enjoyment of it too. A song can fit a situation so perfectly that it can become strongly associated with a particular event. This first song will always be associated with a windows-down, convoy blast with my friends over the Cairn O’Mount one gorgeous May evening in Summer 2012:

Infinity Dream – Katy Perry/Guru Josh Project (White Panda Remix)

It goes without saying that both films and games are also a great source of musical inspiration. As most of my driving is done in the city, I generally favour hip-hop and R&B, with a pretty even split between retro and modern stuff. A chilled cruise through the city – particularly at night – can often tell you as much about your driving style as a concentrated, rapid drive through the countryside. Songs such as the treble below have great basslines, a decent chorus and yet are subtly different enough for each driving mood :
Skeletons – Stevie Wonder

Changes ’98 – 2Pac ft. Talent
Look What You’ve Done – Drake
For longer road trips, I find that a few rock/alternative tracks help me to maintain a good average speed. I grew up listening to a lot of Meat Loaf, which no doubt had an effect on my love for power ballads. I’ve somehow managed to avoid dropping a massive wedge of 70’s cheese into this blog, so instead I’ll replace it with some other rock. It’s a little odd how I can simultaneously like this…
Money for Nothing – Dire Straits


…whilst also maintaining a massive soft spot for these Californians. Their whiney, repetitive riffs not only remind me of being a kid but are still catchy today:
Always – blink-182

Finally, there are those songs that just make you want to take the long way home. These rarer songs can be played in virtually any situation and still not lose their effect. This song has got me through rainy rush-hour traffic, down empty motorways in the small hours of the morning and through a series of windy B-roads in the summer.
Buy some cheap CDs, set aside half an hour and make yourself a playlist. It sure beats listening to the Top 40.

Strobe – deadmau5


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