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Best Eclectic Music Mixes and Playlists for Long Trips

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Growing up in a family of musicians, Jenny has always had a natural interest in music and enjoys discovering good, new music regularly.

These are just some of many, many playlists out there that will satisfy your music needs for hours on end.

These are just some of many, many playlists out there that will satisfy your music needs for hours on end.

Music Elevates Your Mood

According to a study in the Netherlands, music can positively impact your mood while driving. The fact that music has a type of healing ability is essential, especially behind the wheel when we are prone to accidents. Music, therefore, leads to safer driving.

One Modest Mouse lyric states that “music is to the soul what words are to the mind.” In other words, music is proven to help with verbal intelligence. Not only does music help with verbal intelligence, but also overall intelligence, and it even keeps the brain healthy in old age. Studies have proven the cognitive improvements that music provides. Music makes people less depressed, can help people sleep, and is an awesome workout buddy. Personally, music helps me hone in on my creative abilities. All in all, music is indeed one of those things we can't live without.

What to Listen to While Driving

For many of us, our iTunes or Spotify playlists are all we need as far as music choices go. However, it can be a bit unsafe to skip a song or to go from artist to artist when driving. How about those pesky ads? For me, I prefer to select a mix that plays music continuously without interruption. Music mixes are the perfect solution to drivers who dislike disruptions.

Below, I have curated a list of music playlists that are perfect for long drives or trips. However, these playlists are multi-functional, so feel free to play them in any type of setting.

If there is a mix I forgot to include, please comment it below.

Keeping It Current

For a modern sound, try one of these three mixes.

Wandersound—The Lookout (NSFW)

This playlist is a bit under half an hour, but it is one of those special mixes that is unique because it incorporates hip-hop with instrumental songs that transition surprisingly well together. The music is bassy and lyric heavy, but overall, it is a versatile mix that will make any task more exhilarating.

Something great about this mix is that it mixes a few genres into one, but each song compliments the song preceding it, even if they are from completely different decades. If you enjoy modern rap music, this is a fun playlist to include on your list.

Darius—Mix for LeMouv

Darius is one of my personal favorites as far as music producers go. This mix is a MUST for almost any occasion. The songs on his mix for LeMouv are mostly instrumental, making this a versatile mix that's great for work or studying.

Virtually every song Darius releases incorporates stimulating pop-synths with courageous build-ups, leading into steady tempos with elements both unexpected and predictably satisfying. This unconfined sound is rare to find in music that defines itself to one genre.

Terence N’guyen, aka Darius, is an acclaimed French producer. However, Utopia (released Nov. 24, 2017) is his first full-length album. Darius often releases remixes of songs by artists such as Bondax, Flight Facilities, MØ, and more. Although not surprising, Darius embodies his style in the songs he remixes by recognizing their original value and dynamically complimenting and transforming them into a (Darius Remix).

Odesza—Diplo & Friends Mix

For the most part, Odesza is seemingly well known at this point; “Line Of Sight” (feat. WYNNE & Mansionair) from their album A Moment Apart is a killer top 40 hit for a reason. The Seattle electronic duo brings a raw edge to their music thanks to intuitive decision making and steadfast dedication from Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight. Odesza is music for the ears and heart, both genius and emotive—a center of attention.

This 59:02 mix of sounds is a direct example of how masterful Odesza is at combining music that is both playful and thought-provoking. If you are on a long trip, Odesza is an excellent choice for music, and they have many, many playlists to keep you company throughout your journey.

Long trips on the road can leave you bored. A good music playlist is always necessary.

Long trips on the road can leave you bored. A good music playlist is always necessary.

Hip-Hop at Its Height and Lo-Fi Beats

Early hip-hop, trip-hop, and lo-fi sounds abound in these mixes.

Alaya Radio: 045—Philanthrope (Radio Juicy)

Sometimes, listening to lyrics about selling drugs and getting rich is the best way to pass the time on long drives. In all honesty, it may be quite challenging to find a great mid-stream hip-hop playlist out there without getting lost among the copious amounts of hip-hop and rap of recent. Much of early hip-hop artists were more poetic lyricists than many major hip-hop artists are today (with some exceptions). Early hip-hop had a more jazzy, unique rhythm to its time that is difficult to replicate in this day and age.

This playlist is a smooth mixture of lo-fi beats and melodic hip-hop to satisfy your throwback cravings for a good portion of your trip. The entire mix is just over half an hour, but the smooth transitions will allow you to get lost in the steady beats and hip-hop cuts (from Nas and others) throughout.

Radio Juicy S02E43 by Philanthrope

If you want to continue with the lo-fi/trip-hop theme, this playlist is a fun investigation into that route. It is produced by the same artists as the first playlist but with fewer lyrics. It's good to keep in mind that apparently, this is just one of many playlists in a series. If this genre is your style, they will all make great additions to your listening queue.

Always Proper—Bumps & Bruises

If you need a break from lyrics completely, this mix will satisfy your need for a more calming, introspective atmosphere. Such as the case with most of the producers listed under this genre, Always Proper has a slew of additional mixes to choose from, and the mix I selected is just one of many. If you enjoy this type of sound, don't hesitate to sleuth through the labels' various other mixes.

Rock Steady

These rocks mixes draw from festival lineups, and they're sure to pick you up.

Levitation 2015—Official Mixtape by Al Lover

Levitation is a 3-day music festival held in Austin, Texas annually by The Reverberation Appreciation Society. As a preparation to the festival, a playlist is always arranged to allow attendees a preview of the acts. The playlist created for 2015 is one of my personal favorites. Although it is a bit outdated, this playlist stands as a super impeccable arrangement of songs that are eclectic and energetic. The track list begins with a classic Tame Impala song and leads into songs by artists such as Mac DeMarco, Melody's Echo Chamber, The Flaming Lips, and others (luckily, the track list is included in the description).

If you're on the final stretch of a trip and need a "pick-me-up", this is the perfect playlist to keep you alert.

Levitation 2018—Official Mix Vol 1 by Al Lover

If you enjoyed the first Levitation playlist, feel free to dive into the others compiled by Al Lover. The link provided above is a more recent playlist. I personally find playlists curated from artists on a festival lineup such as this playlist, an effective way to discover new artists. You may introduce yourself to a new artist you enjoy. As for myself, I just like to enjoy the mix.

Allow your thoughts to drift away to the music.

Allow your thoughts to drift away to the music.

For House Lovers

Want to enjoy some house while you're in your car? These mixes offer deep house and tropical house music.

DJ Hanzel—One Deeper Mix for Annie Nightingale on BBC Radio One

Dillon Francis' alter ego, DJ Hanzel is a German deep house producer that fiends for the spotlight. Although Hanzel is a joke character of Francis', this mix is surprisingly very good. With unique, vibrant frequencies, it is brilliantly engaging with no lack of energy (and with quirks and gimmicks of Dillon Francis' character throughout). This mix is not only great to keep you awake and alert, but also fun for a night out.

Thomas Jack Presents: Kygo—Tropical House Vol.6

Thomas Jack is an Australian music producer who coined the genre "tropical house". He releases tropical house mixes every few months or so featuring up and coming artists. In this mix, Thomas Jack features Kygo, a Norwegian artist with a feel-good, familiar sound that is both soothing and energetic. The volume 6 playlist is a great mixture of songs that are reminiscent of the beach and will make the entitled Prius who cut you off seem like an outstanding citizen. The mix incorporates old classics, like the Cops theme song, "Bad Boys" by Inner Circle as well as other songs you may recognize.

If you are on a long trip or heading back home from one, make sure to bring this playlist with you to ensure a quality good time for your eardrums.

Last, but Not Least: Old School

Keep it old school with this synth mix with an '80s vibe.

Seth Troxler—Rhythm Control

Are you secretly into the old school music but still grounded to the here and now? This mix by Seth Troxler has a fun, jumpy combination of soft vocals and engaging electronic synths. Not only does this mix incorporate sounds from the '80s that are recognizable, but also a feeling of strangeness that compliments the given nostalgia. Seth Troxler is normally a house and techno producer, so this genre of music is similar to the idea of Biz Markie singing for the first time in "You Got What I Need".

It is fantastic when an artist known for one genre demonstrates a capability to cross over so elegantly. At first, some artists who show variety in their work can receive questionable feedback, but why not step out of your comfort zone?