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The first article for one of my writing jobs was a playlist designed especially to hike to. Considering music, travelling and hiking are my true loves, I thought it was a pretty apt one to make my debut on; I don’t think anything could have summed me up more.
After months of neglect, I listened to the playlist whilst hiking around Northern Victoria a few weeks ago. Although I am of course totally biased because I created it, I was reminded how utterly beautiful it is. At that moment I realised I must share it on here too.
Of course being submerged in nature already gives me an adrenaline buzz, but there’s something about the delicate guitars and dreamy folk vocals of the songs within this playlist that heighten my senses and uplift me even more. I find they perfectly compliment hiking and being outdoors, allowing for complete appreciation of my surroundings.
Here’s an extract from the original article about the feel and theme of the music:
“When I’m hiking my favourite soundtrack of all is of course that of nature. But when my legs get weary and motivation dips, music has the power to carry me beyond the fatigue, empowering and inspiring me to just keep on going. […] The playlist encapsulates the sounds of feeling free and unstoppable. It celebrates getting lost and exploring nature’s wonders by the most basic and stripped back mode of transport available, on foot.”
So without further ado, below is the indie folk playlist for hiking for your listening pleasure (you can also follow it on Spotify). However if you want to have a read about two of my current favourite tracks, continue scrolling below.
Bronze Radio Return – ‘Up, On & Over’
‘Up, On & Over’ was the very first track I heard from this American roots-rock band and boy did its catchy lyrics hook me in instantly.
The mountain references and metaphors allows this song to fit the playlist theme perfectly: (“I’m at the base of the mountain running uphill/ You’re either running for the top, coming down / Or you stand still”). Though for me, it’s a song that goes a bit deeper and nearer to the core of what I was looking for when compiling the playlist. I loved how the repetition of the chorus (“way up, way on, way up, on and over”) is a persistent reminder to keep focused and motivated to reach that end goal, even in spite of barriers that may be in the way, such as self-doubt or tiredness.
The vocal harmonies, crashing drum cymbals and electric guitars elevate this sing-along-worthy chorus even further but the plucky strings of the verses seem to strip it back, bringing it back down to earth again. It sort of takes you on a journey, which I think is pretty apt for when you’re embarking on a physical one.
Ellysee Mason – ‘Hunt Me Down’
Hunt Me Down is a really beautiful, vocal forward track, showing off Ellysee’s powerfully soulful yet delicately sweet voice. Her haunting sound reminds me a lot of the lead singer’s from London Grammar and you even draw a few more similarities to this band musically too.
With deft guitars and vocal rawness, the track is wonderfully atmospheric with an ethereal, otherworldly sound. It’s almost the perfect soundtrack to a poignant part of a movie.
Contrary to the title, Ellysee sings a lot about freedom and alludes to her desire for her love interest to travel to follow her. It’s a sort of romantic ballad that you get caught up in as you meander down the trail. Although the track is nearly 5 minutes long, I find I get so lost in it that suddenly it’s over and I’m craving to put it back on repeat.
If you know of a song that would fit this playlist, I’d love to hear about it!