Easy listening: 5 soundtracks for the train ride home

Train journeys have been the bane of my life for as long as I can remember, with delays, cancellations, and questionable station coffee all contributing to what’s usually an...
Train

Train journeys have been the bane of my life for as long as I can remember, with delays, cancellations, and questionable station coffee all contributing to what’s usually an preposterously stressful experience. I mean, come on, how hard is it to make a good latte?

On some sadistic level though, I love them. There’s something incredibly cathartic about knowing that – once your train has actually turned up – you can spend the next couple of hours watching the world roll by, meandering through the depths of your own subconscious.

Of course, you might find you need to fuel those introspective fires, so to help you out we’ve put together a list of soundtracks tailor made for those long train rides home.

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(500) Days of Summer – Robert Simonsen & Mychael Danna

The (500) Days of Summer score will always hold a special place in my heart. When I first saw the movie, back when I was a bright-eyed teen, it struck a chord with me so powerful that I still consider it one of the best films I’ve ever had the privilege of watching.

A love story that isn’t about love, (500) Days of Summer has probably affected me in more ways than I care to admit. I know for a fact it’s fuelled my jumper habit for the past 5 years. That said, I doubt it would’ve had elicited such a profound reaction without Robert Simonsen & Mychael Danna’s emotive score.

I’ve spent hours upon hours drifting off to the duo’s warm, delicate string work and soft piano melodies, and the next time you’re about to grab a train to god-knows-where, I suggest you do the same

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Mirror’s Edge – Solar Fields

Whether you love it or hate it – and come on, why wouldn’t you love it with all your heart? – you can’t deny that Mirror’s Edge had one of the best soundtracks in modern gaming.

The ambient, synthetic beats of Solar Fields’ are equal parts soothing and frenetic, and if there’s anything better than soaking up those window-seat views while listening to Lisa Miskovsky’s Still Alive, we haven’t heard of it.

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Hohokum – Various Artists

Much like the game itself, the Hohokum OST exists outside of what you and I might call the ‘normal world’.

A compilation album featuring the likes of Tycho, Com Truise, Shigeto, Kiln, and Heathered Pearls to name just a few, the Hohokum soundtrack is a mouth-watering buffet of tantric dream-pop beats.

Give it a listen, and your summer train journeys will never be the same again.

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Her – Arcade Fire

This one is for the melancholics. Those of you who love nothing more than jumping on a train and questioning the meaning of everything while the rain lashes against the window.

Written and performed by Canadian indie supergroup Arcade Fire, the Her score is a brutally beautiful slice of introspection: perfect for those days when the world, and everything in it, seems to be conspiring against you.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our review.

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Kiki’s Delivery Service – Joe Hisaishi

Honestly, I nearly didn’t include a Joe Hisaishi soundtrack on this list. Not because I didn’t think the legendary Japanese composer isn’t worthy of inclusion – are you mad? – but purely because I didn’t know how to choose between any of his albums.

For all the praise we, quite rightly, lavish on Studio Ghibli, and in particular Miyazaki’s work, it’s easy to forget that they wouldn’t be the classics they are today without the help of Hisaishi. A master of his craft before I was even born – 1993, for those asking – Hisaishi proved time and time again why he’s arguably the greatest composer alive today.

Hisaishi’s Kiki’s Delivery Service score might not be one of the composer’s most recognised albums, but it’s without a doubt one of his greatest. Lacking the brooding, dark overtones heard in the likes of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, the Kiki’s Delivery Service OST is Hisaishi at his gleeful, exuberant best.

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Did we miss out any obvious inclusions? Of course we did! Let us know what they are in the comments below.

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