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Written byKerryn Hopkinson

What is the meaning of existence? Feeling existential angst? We got you.

It’s been a long week and you need to get out of the house. Just to be alone with your thoughts for a bit. Or maybe get out of your head and just have the open road in front of you. The lights flashing past, the windows rolled down and the music up high. Hell, maybe you’re just lying in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering if life really is bigger than this? 

Well, in case you are or you want to be, I’ve compiled a list of songs to perfectly match that mood. That existentialism, that need to have the fire of life reignited in you, the type of music that makes you feel bigger than yourself. 

Maggot brain – Funkadelic 

Do you want to have your heart torn out, feel every single emotion humanly possible and then experience the beauty of all existence – all with guitar? Then Maggot Brain is to be at the top of every playlist. Made by the funk-rock band that pioneered funk culture in the 70s, Maggot Brain was made in one take when the guitarist was asked to play as if his mother had died – and man, oh man, can you feel it.

Watermelon in Easter Hay – Frank Zappa 

Frank Zappa, a composer, guitarist and singer who produced music from the 1960s to the 1990s is known for some of his iconic songs however, no song is more powerful than Watermelon in Easter Hay. Don’t be fooled by the manic laugh or the crazy mutterings in the beginning, this song makes you feel like you’re driving on a long, straight, dark road with only your headlights on. No matter where you are when you listen to it. The magic of Frank Zappa on guitar puts you into a trance as you follow the emotional rollercoaster of the song. 

This is a life – son lux, Mitski, David Byrne

From the Oscar winning film Everything Everywhere All at Once, this song captures the feeling you get from watching it. The “sitting-on-the-floor wondering what life is” feeling… enjoy!With the pairing of Mitski and David Byrne (Talking Heads), the vocal combination is insane and the lyrics are so powerful.

The night me and your mama met – Childish Gambino

From Childish Gambino’s iconic, “Awaken, My Love!” album (including other hits like, “Redbone”.) This song is powerful. From the backing vocals to the guitar, this song makes you feel like you’re floating on air and absorbing every single part of life. Donald Glover just never misses! 

Dark side of the moon – Pink Floyd 

I would have suggested just one song but c’mon, one can’t just listen to one single Pink Floyd song. This album is perfect for late night drives. Or late night smokes. Or staring at the ceiling late at night… Pretty much anything late at night. Or in the day. It’s Pink Floyd so listen anytime! (You’ll find some more Pink Floyd on our playlist)

Its called: Freefall – Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Rainbow Kitten Surprise is an alternative indie rock band whose world-wide tour has recently come to Cape Town (which we covered, add link) and solidified their status in my mind as more than just a band, they’re a feeling. It’s Called: Freefall is one that everyone who has been to that low point will relate to. Whilst being an absolute bop to belt in the car. Let yourself be taken away by the lyrics and let it all go.

Gyongyhaju lany – Omega 

Made by Hungarian Rock Band, Omega, in 1969, this song will make you feel alive.I don’t know what the lyrics mean but I know the emotions it will make you feel. Life is extraordinary and you are extraordinary. The fact that you were born is extraordinary. The fact that you’re alive right now is beautiful. Enough said. 

Here to fall – Yo La Tengo

The OG indie-rock band since 1984, I admittedly don’t know much about the rest of their music but Here to Fall is played on repeat in my spotify. Like falling through the layers of the earth whilst on a psychedelic trip. Like life moving in slow motion whilst the universe explodes within you. That doesn’t make sense? Give this song a listen. 

For more of our Visceral Features and Spotlights, click here.