What happened to great jet-set music? Once a prime example of our aspirations to see beyond the horizon has all but vanished from our collections. This was a question a friend and fellow traveler raised in the lounge while we waited for our flight to Chongqing. I suggested it was a specific genre that could only have existed at that specific time. However she thought it was about the transition from propeller aircraft to the streamlined jets. Can you imagine the effect of going from the Boeing (377) Stratocruiser to a (de Havilland DH 106) Comet had on the international traveler’s psyche? “The Comet”, she exclaimed, “popped on the scene, it was only natural that the excitement would manifest itself into music”. The fact is much of music produced during that period had nothing to do with travel but it may seem to us from our vantage point that all the great songs were about hitting the road. That still doesn’t explain what happened to all the jet set music. Which brings me to my point, I don’t think anything happened to it. Travel music itself took a little trip of its own. It went from the sole property of the crooner, to being expressed by others whose musical styles spanned a more diverse following. From around the 1970’s folk artist like Jim Croce’s ‘Bad, Bad Leroy Brown’ and Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit in the sky’ where playing in station wagons as they criss crossed the American landscape heading to national parks and themed attractions. Then in the 1980’s everyone from glam rockers to early hip hop pioneers were remaking Beach Boys songs for a new generation. These new artists made songs or entire albums linking music and travel which heavily sampled from the best of the 50’s and 60’s jet-set vibe. Inspired by that conversation we started rattling off current titles that embody a globe trotting sound. We at Steward have curated a playlist of songs that capture the new era travel music. There seems to be no shortage of beachside sounds and airy tunes, So here are our top 5. I guess the only thing we need now is some time off on a quiet patch of warm sand, but we’ll settle for some desktop inspiration.
1. Dexys - No where is home 2. Small circle of friends -life is bicycle
3. Lupe fiasco - Tokyo to Paris 4. Tsutchie - Fly 5. Anna Ternheim - come fly with me
How you find find your inner jet-set sound, step by step. 1. Respect the past. Knowing the classics will go a long way to making your own sound. 2. Garage band is a powerful tool, you create from scratch or remix an existing tune. 3. Invoke a simpler time and a stress free atmosphere, remember it should sound fun.
4. Share it with us.
Listen to our Sleep on the Q train playlist. It was inspired by Mikole's daily commute.
StewardMag Re-Think Radio