Emily Bills for redOrbit.com – @emilygbills
On the heels of our two recent(ish) articles, Stars you can only see in the Northern Hemisphere and Stars you can only see in the Southern Hemisphere, we are a little constellation crazy right now. Add to the fact that, with it being Memorial Day weekend, peak stargazing season is here. So in the spirit of stars and galaxies and all things great, we have created our Essential Stargazing Playlist.
1. “Cassiopeia” by Sara Bareilles
Spacey synths and Bareilles’s dreamy voice tell the story of the lonely constellation, Cassiopeia, perched “light years away from the hope of being sun-kissed.” Although slightly sad, this is the perfect background song for star-crossed lovers…looking at each other…under the starlight.
2. “Constellations” by Jack Johnson
Mellow guitar riffs open this one up, and because it’s Jack Johnson, you know it’s gonna be good. He describes a classic childhood scene: children sitting under the stars while their grandpa translates the constellations for them. This song is guaranteed to melt the stress away and send you sailing away wistfully as you wait for the next song on the playlist.
3. “Da Dip” by Freak Nasty
Doesn’t this song just make you think of the Big and Little Dippers, dipping along in the Northern night sky? This groovy tune will make you want to sway your hips and maybe even emulate the Dipper constellations. It probably will also bring you back to your high school dance days as you tried to dip lower than all of your friends while wearing your best acid wash jeans.
4. “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash
A classic 80s hit, this song is about a man who navigates around the world after a failed love affair. He uses the Southern Cross constellation to navigate by, something that sailors have done for ages. The folky harmonies will make you think of summer nights, fireflies, and the good old days.
5. “Orion’s Belt” by Riff Raff
How could we not include this gem? It really has nothing to do with Orion’s Belt other than the name, but we’re including it because come on, it’s Riff Raff. Listen to it with the bass all the way up and your shades all the way down.
6.”Etoile Polaire” by Philip Glass
Angelic voices repetitively harmonize over each other, creating the most celestial song on this playlist. The song is named after the North Star, or Polaris, which is located on the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. We will allow you to listen to this song on repeat for a few times because it’s so chill.
7. “HR 8938 Cephei” by Deadmau5
Although this song is lengthy, you won’t get tired of it. Random synth noises emulate sounds you might hear in deep space, making it kind of eerie before the song picks up. HR 8938 Cephei is a star located in the constellation, Cepheus. The particular star is near the north celestial pole and is about 40 times dimmer than Polaris. We dare you not to tap your feet.
8. “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay
Coldplay thinks they see the girl they love in the stars. Catchy and generic, we included this one because it makes us think of a cheesy Nicholas Sparks movie love montage song where the couple splashes water at each other in a lake or something, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
9. “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles
A star in the Cepheus constellation was found to actually be a chunk of diamond that is 10 billion trillion trillion carats, and because of this, the little white dwarf star was nicknamed ‘Lucy.’
10. “New Constellation” by Toad the Wet Sprocket
This song is also pretty poppy and upbeat and about a guy writing a girl’s name in the stars, but we’re more fascinated with the name of the band. Just what is a Toad the Wet Sprocket? The world may never know.
Some others to consider:
- “Rocket Man” by Elton John (duh).
- “Space Oddity” by David Bowie
- “E.T.” by Katy Perry, with or without Kanye
- “Across the Universe” by The Beatles
- “Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller Band
- “Space Cowboy” by N*SYNC
- “Space Cowboy” by Jamiroquai (Why not?)
Feel free to throw out your favorites in the comments below.