Here’s a thread about the joys of listening to music in a car.
I’m keen to hear about the soundtrack of your drives, both past and present. Alone. With your family. With your friends on the way to a gig, festival or Pensioners’ Bingo.
One of the great pleasures of our summer holiday visits here on the island of Öland is hiring a car. We have no need of one in the Stockholm suburbs, but in the countryside, with the nearest shop an hour’s walk from home, it is a must. And we need some chunky playlists for the seven-hour drive to get here.
But when we reach the Öland Bridge (which, as all you pontophiles will know, is one of the longest in Europe), I feel a sense of elation. Farewell for a while to the latte drinking, hipster ebikers of Bagarmossen. Hello to a garden full of butterflies, ants and other creepy crawlies, John Deeres holding up the traffic and a street almost devoid of lampposts. A night sky where you can clearly see the stars. That’s a luxury for a Pinner boy.
No disrespect to the solitary pleasures of earphones, but music in the car is a communal pleasure. Or a communal torture if the in-drive DJ doesn’t choose tunes that will appeal to all the passengers. Our 18 year-old son is keen on grime, hip hop and trap. Not all his favourites are a big hit with the rest of us. The vile, disrespectful attitude towards women of some of these artists really grates after a while.
But then along came Major Lazer..
It started when our young DJ played a track which began with a very distinctive flute riff. My ears pricked up. That’s from Colombia. Yes, indeed! A sample of Totó la Momposina’s cumbia classic, Curura, from her 1993 Real World album La Candela Viva. The band, Major Lazer, had speeded it up a little, brought in Colombian singers, J Balvin and El Alfa, and created an international hit, Que Calor. A floorfiller from Bogota to Bombay, from Bognor to Buenos Aires, from Berlin to Birmingham.
Incredibly we’d found an artist we both enjoy. Major Lazer are an EDM trio from Miami and Jamaica and their raucous, lively blend of electronic dance music and reggaeton is extremely popular. About to become a big favourite on the AW? Don’t answer that!
Music for driving? Music about cars and driving? A gift that keeps on giving.
From Olivia Rodrigo’s driver’s licence all the way back to Chuck Berry’s No particular place to go or Zappa’s Cruising with Ruben and the Jets
Your cruising favourites please. Old, new, borrowed, blue. All countries welcome! All genres welcome.
How about some pre-automobile music in the age of in-car entertainment?
I do like the thought of how Thomas Tallis would react if he was transported to 2021 and could see and hear Spem in Alium blasting out of a modern car stereo. Or Saint Hildegard driving her Volksvagen down to Bingen to do the weekly shop for the monastery and turning the volume up to eleven as she digs some Gregorian chant or checking out the latest ECM releases on her Spotify playlist.