Songs for Wandering,Exploration, and the Imagination

I’m graduating from college in three weeks. I’m supposed to be planning a career that will provide me with the income necessary to put my kids in private school and buy a large screen TV to entertain them inside some swollen suburban McMansion. Honestly, I’m more inclined to do like these guys and this guy, to sell everything and wander the world learning about other people, eating strange food, and witnessing Psalm 19:1-4 in person. That in mind, here are songs to inspire you to wander and explore, whether out in the world, wherever you are right now, or just in your imagination. As always, here’s the playlist.

[Update October 7, 2013: After a year of working and trying to be content with the 9-5 life, I quit my job, sold half my stuff, put the rest in my dad’s attic, and moved to Iceland to get a master’s degree in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies. I’ve been here for two months- the beginning of many adventures to come. You can read about my adventures in the far north on my new blog: An American in Iceland. Takk!]

California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & The Papas

Dreams Where I Am Sleeping by Joel P. West & The Tree Ring

Here’s something a little off the beaten path to get you pumped to get off said path.  These California natives were quite possibly the best part of Bonnaroo ’10. I may even regret leaving their tiny, tiny stage to see Regina Spektor . I have a big thing for curly hair and upright bass, so as you may imagine, I instantly fell deeply in love with their bassist, Doug. Definitely check out their website and The Dust Jacket Project because Joel P. West is one of those true artists who is interested in art, not fame or fortune (unlike yours truly…feel free to share this blog until your fingers bleed *wink, wink*).

Elephant Gun by Beirut

Beirut frontman Zach Condon plays the rotary valve flugelhorn , the ukulele, trumpet, euphonium, mandolin, accordion, various keyboard instruments, and a modified conch shell. I don’t even want to try to describe their sound. You’ll just have to hit play and soak it in.

You Are The Beauty by Gungor 

Gungor is a aestetically diverse musical collective who describe their music as  “the honest musical response of [musicians] that see the world as a beautifully complicated place.”

Early Morning Rain by Peter Paul & Mary

The World Is Alive by Ezra Furman & the Harpoons

Daytrotter describes Ezra Furman as such: “It’s as if he’s been able to allow him self the freedom to just follow his nose or ears or eyes absently as they track a scent, sound or sight like a brainless hound dog, uncontrollably enslaved to how it’s been programmed. It’s as if he’s had close to ten tours of duty over these hills and across these quandaries. It’s as if he’s done the goose chases and now no longer falls for the hooks and bait that these geese through out to catch his eye.” (And if you’re wondering, he is one of the three people that inspired to me to  call myself “Ezra.”)

The Girl by City and Colour

The musical magic making of Dallas Green.

We’re Leaving by DeVotchka

The amazing DeVotchka need no introduction. Interestingly, I first saw them live in a lineup that included other globally inspired bands like Hanggai .

Portable Television by Death Cab for Cutie

They just get better and better with time.

Nantes by Beirut

La Blogothèque is a French group that puts on “Take Away Shows,” taking indie bands to unlikely places to record performances. This particular video always fills me with a powerful longing to go see the world.

Ezra (on the left) Wandering

Ezra (on the right) Wandering

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Is there a song that HAS to be on this list? Want to tell that picture of me backpacking in the Rockies is freakin awesome? Let me know in the comments! Hearing from readers is the best part of blogging!


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