When thinking of what to write for this week, I had absolutely no idea what to do. I asked a couple of my friends and one of them told me to review songs because I have a good taste in music (her words, not mine, though I was extremely flattered). So, I decided to use that idea but change it up a little, thus this article was born. Thanks, friend!
Now, when I think of songs for my late nights playlist, it can mean several things: songs that I would play while driving at night with the headlights on; songs I’d listen to in my room with only my LEDs on for light, just chilling; songs that I want playing in my head as I fall asleep. Basically, if I listen to them and get that kind of vibe, they get added to my playlist.
Now, without further ado, here are nine songs from my late nights playlist for your own late nights:
- “Flapper Girl” – The Lumineers
Coming from the same album as “Ho Hey,” “Flapper Girl” is a lovely song which, I daresay, may even be better than the former. It’s just such a calm song, so soothing and bittersweet. As you can probably tell from the title, it has a very oldies feel to it, very simple yet elegant at the same time. The piano right at the start is beautiful and peaceful, making you unable to turn away as it is carried out throughout the song. Wesley Shultz’s voice is perfectly suited for this piece, as gentle as the song itself.
My suggestion? If you like “Ho Hey,” give this song a shot—hell, just listen to the entire album. You won’t regret it.
- “Forever Always” – The Driver Era
Remember Ross Lynch from Disney Channel and R5? Well, this band—The Driver Era—is him and his brother Rocky, and many of their songs fit the late-night vibe, “Forever Always” especially.
Right from the start, the lo-fi beat hooks you in. It leads to a very low-key and subtle first verse, the song slowly beginning to pick up as it goes on, more instruments and sounds being added on as you listen. However, the rhythm elevates after the first chorus, bringing you up high, then goes back down, then picks up again, taking you on a musical rollercoaster ride.
The vocals, the lo-fi sound, the lyrics, everything just makes it the perfect tune to have in the background while staying up late to finish your assignment or just something to bop to while chilling in your room at 2:00 am.
- “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night” – FINNEAS
Shoutout to the same friend I was talking about earlier for recommending this song to me. I adore it—I can’t help but listen whenever it comes on shuffle.
To me, this is the perfect late-night track. It’s the kind of song you want to dive into and have wrap around you like a cloak, muffling everything else in the universe. It has a simple, catchy beat, one that you can just bounce your shoulders to. You’ll clap along when it picks up in the second verse and listen solemnly when it eases at the last chorus. FINNEAS’s voice is like honey and makes his lyrics like “Play me a song that you like / You can bet I’ll know every line” all the sweeter. Honestly, listening to this song while doing nothing or even working on an assignment is just so enjoyable.
- “Going to California” – Led Zeppelin
As far as Led Zeppelin goes, “Going to California” is fairly unique, mainly because of how slow it is—think “Stairway to Heaven” before the electric instruments. In essence, it’s telling a story, one of the difficulties and impossibility of achieving one’s dreams. Lyrics like “Wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today” get to me every time, especially late into the night when the existential crises begin to hit.
More acoustic than rock, I usually just describe this song in one word: pretty. Robert Plant’s vocals, Jimmy Page on guitar, and John Paul Jones on the mandolin work so well together to create a track that makes you feel like you’re running away, strolling on the side of an empty road, small knapsack over your shoulder. For me, that about sums it up.
- “Daddy Issues” – The Neighborhood
This is easily the darkest song on this entire list. Everything about it contributes to the haunting vibe—vocals, rhythm, instrumental, lyrics, and all. Rutherford sings so cooly, so effortlessly that it gives me chills. This feeling was only intensified when I found out that this song is about his relationship with his late father. Suddenly, lyrics like “Go ahead and cry, little boy / You know that your daddy did too” hold a completely new meaning when you see that the singer is talking to himself—the song is deeper than I’d initially thought. Though its doom and gloom separate it from every other song on this list, that is exactly what makes it perfect for late nights in the dark.
- “Red” – Mt. Wolf
This is one of my favourite songs of all time, for many reasons. First off, the song as a whole is just so calm, empty, almost. It makes me feel like I’m sitting alone on a hill, watching the sun come up as the wind plays with my hair. Peace washes over me.
The relatability tugs at my heart every time. The words “I’m going away for a long time” being repeated again and again make me want to reach out my hand like Take me with you. Listening to it, I guess it kind of does.
The singer’s soothing voice and the song, in general, provide me with a lot of comfort, making it an essential addition to my late nights playlist.
- “Alrighty Aphrodite” – Peach Pit
This song—wow. Where to begin…
The beat grabs your attention from the start, the vocalist’s low, unique voice keeping you hooked alongside the amazing bass in the background.
The storytelling lyrics are phenomenal in my opinion, employing Greek mythology into them—the entire song can be seen as Hephaestus sassing his wife Aphrodite for her infidelity. Lyrics like “Well alrighty Aphrodite / Go whip that red for other eyes” deserve their own ohhhh soundtrack.
As weirdly creepy as the music video is, the song itself is just so brazen and alluring, and—let’s be honest—“Alrighty Aphrodite” is a freakin’ awesome title.
- “La vie en rose” – Louis Armstrong
Ever since I first heard this song on How I Met Your Mother, I can’t get enough of it. The tender Édith-Piaf-inspired lyrics (“When you speak angels sing from above / Everyday words seem to turn into love songs”—come on!) meeting Armstrong’s unique gruff voice is utterly reposeful and sweet. The trumpet instrumental at the beginning and end are beautiful and worth listening to even without the vocals.
This is the kind of song that’ll make you want to get up and waltz around the room, even if you’re by yourself. This is la vie en rose, after all.
- “Night Moves” – Bob Seger
Sitting opposite to “Daddy Issues” on the song spectrum, I’d say Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” is probably the most upbeat and cheerful song here. It has a lively beat that eventually slows down for the bridge, then picks up again like the beginning of the song, getting you excited as it does. It’s one of my favourites by Seger, though I’m not so sure why exactly this qualifies as ‘late-nights’ for me—the fact that it’s called “Night Moves” probably has something to do with it.
I really just enjoy Seger’s voice—it’s very old-timey, which is obvious considering this song is from the 70s. It’s also very dance-y, making me wish I was driving along an open road singing to myself, tapping the steering wheel as I cruise along (though, admittedly, I don’t even know how to drive). At its core, this song just makes you glad to be alive.
So those are nine songs from my late nights playlist—I hope they add as much joy and/or relaxation to your late nights as they do mine.