Staff Playlists: Night Driving

Staff Playlists is a new music feature that allows our contributors to curate a playlist of their choosing. Up this week is guest contributor Adam Cash!

Where I grew up in rural Central Oregon, there’s a beautiful stretch of 20 miles of highway, and once I was able, I found myself driving it quite a bit, especially at night. I got to do that again recently, and was reminded of what a special experience it is – a perfect place to put your cruise control on 55, gaze out at the stars in the sky, play some music, and let your mind relax a bit. Of course, make sure you have valid car insurance. You can even find cheap monthly car insurance nowadays.

And then I moved to good ol’ Orange County, where the light pollution has blocked out almost every star in the sky and you’ll be ceaselessly honked at if you even consider going 55 on the freeway.

But, even though it’s a more cathartic than relaxing experience, night driving is still pretty remarkable in a heavily urban area. If driving Highway 97 at 10 PM is like a leisurely river float, the 405 at night is a light whitewater trip. Following the ebb and flow of traffic (when not overwhelming, of course) has its own, if slightly different, relaxation value. Where there are enough traffic cones on the congested roads to advertise traffic cones for sale, the driving experience is slightly different than racing down rural roads.

Road trips are always a fun experience, but it is no secret that the car you are driving can make all the difference. A friend of mine is currently looking for a used car to make his next road trip that extra bit special. I hope he can find something practical as you need to be able to fit all your family members as well as your luggage into your car on a road trip.

None of these experiences would be complete, though, without the right music. For this reason, I put together two separate lists; one of which is generally looser rhythmically and more understated sonically, and another which incorporates the rhythms of the urban jungle into its heart while maintaining the gentle and contemplative spirit of the night drive. So, if you are able to drive and are in need of some peace of mind, jump in your car with this playlist on your speakers and just let the road take you somewhere.

Rural Playlist:

Urban Playlist:

Adam Cash lives in the woods and grew up playing music in barns with other strange woods children. Fortunately, moving to California showed him that the rest of the world largely ignores Toby Keith, and thus, life is worth living. Adam also writes about video games on Top Shelf Gaming.

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