The world is terrifying, unpredictable and constantly changing. It's important to keep this in mind while also trying to keep yourself sane. It helps to remember that the world is beautiful place, and a nice walk is a great reminder of that. If you haven't stepped outside in a while, throw on this playlist after putting on your mask—seriously, wear the goddamn mask—and enjoy an early summer stroll.
The penultimate track on the British producer's Stygian fantasy R.I.P. returns us to the blinding light of the surface world, as if stepping outside after many long months indoors.
Stevie Wonder, “Visions”
As guitars gently scrape together like branches in the wind, Stevie returns to one of his favorite subjects: the possibility of a parallel world, where the beauty in this one isn't sullied by silly man-made problems.
Prince, “Power Fantastic”
Before he became a Jehovah's Witness, Prince's cosmology was much more abstract. He imagined a war between Power Fantastic and Spooky Electric (or something), and we can tell by his keening high notes who's winning.
Bennie Maupin, “Ensenada”
This is about as solid a musical approximation of ghosts rising from a babbling brook as you're likely to find. We're getting further from home.
Charles Mingus, “Myself When I Am Real”
Best known as a bassist and notorious grouch, Mingus brings out his soft side in this placid but emotionally ambiguous piano improvisation.
Alice Coltrane, “Turiya & Ramakrishna”
An island of calm in the middle of the ancient mystery of Alice Coltrane's Ptah, the El Daoud—and a YouTube-algorithm sidebar perennial.
Space Afrika, “Sd/TI”
This Manchester duo makes cold-weather ambient music: all clouds and nebulas and distant interstellar transmissions.
Laraaji, “Ocean Flow Zither”
Alongside Brian Eno and Harold Budd, Laraaji is one of the original Three Musketeers of ambient music. Like those other two, he's still going strong.