In this collection, my criteria for what constitutes a “minimalist” song very much reflects my own music taste. Bells will tinkle, and strings will swell. (Although: this preface makes my list sound like the soundtrack for an indie movie involving fairies in black leotards wielding glowsticks on the dramatic streets of Brooklyn. So perhaps ignore that.) I came up with so many songs that this list will be split into at least 3 parts. Two artists are represented twice, because I think their songs live better as pairs.
And yes, words will be spoken, so if this offends your minimalist tendencies, then please make your own list and send it to me, because I’d love to read it. Silently.
All I Need | Radiohead–I’ll admit, it’s curious to choose a song with lyrics to start an instrumental playlist. And yet. The spare, urgent lyrics and primal message make this body-con minimalism.
Love Like a Sunset Part I | Phoenix–the storm clouds gather.
Love Like a Sunset Part II | Phoenix–and then they lift.
You | Panda Gold–if you didn’t know the song title, would you have known that Panda Gold was saying “you”?
Carrion Suite | Andrew Bird–the most maximal of the minimals. A lush, sexy orchestral, like running through a sonic jungle. Naked.
Ambulance For The Ambience | Broken Social Scene–some might call this cacophonous, but I think it’s lovely.
Sigur 4 (Untitled) | Sigur Ros–an expected choice, but still an amazing song for a wedding processional.
The Outer Banks (Album) | The Album Leaf–jazzy, but not annoyingly so.
Over The Pond (Album) | The Album Leaf–the partner to above. My daughter told me that this was Cinderella singing. Which, for a three-year-old with fantastic musical taste, is the highest compliment.
There’s more where this came from; stay tuned for part two, coming soon.
Here at Bridebird, music is crucial to our very essence. What I would obsess over at my wedding? The playlist. (Seriously; a likeminded friend just assembled 8 hours of music to play at his recent wedding, with different playlists at the ready in case people were bored, or sleepy, or pumped drunk.) In that spirit, we are thrilled to offer weekly playlists, inspired by a particular theme or feeling or pop cultural moment, that you can purchase over at Amazon, through our affiliate links, we hope. Our only request? To please purchase the music legally; stealing, just like a crappy DJ, is poor form. And we know, we know; we left something out/included a dumb song/generally have strange musical taste. Tell us all about it in the comments!