Let our selection of travel-inspired music transport you to the streets of Paris, the jazz bars of New Orleans and the vibrant markets of Marrakech, among many other exciting destinations… Just follow your ears!
Josephine Baker: La Conga Blicoti
We know, we know, Paris has plenty of modern music to offer, but there’s nothing quite like the Paris of the Roaring Twenties. Josephine Baker was one of the superstars of the era, and the sound of her voice has the power to take you to the romantic streets of the City of Love in a heartbeat.
For more tips on visiting Paris, check out 24 Hours In… Paris
Seeed: Dickes B
Berlin is known for for its techno and electronic scene, but when this hip hop/reggae classic comes on in the club, every Berliner goes crazy. Seeed’s members are proud sons of the German capital, and this is their tribute to their home town.
For more tips on visiting Berlin, check out 24 Hours In… Berlin.
Bajofondo: Bajofondo Tango Club
While tango’s sexy reputation is a foregone conclusion, Bajofondo has built on that and brought the genre slap into the 21st century. Their first album, Bajofondo Tango Club (2002), fuses drum ‘n’ bass, trip hop and tango, creating a distinct sound that’s just as fresh 13 years on.
For more tips on visiting Buenos Aires, check out 24 Hours In… Buenos Aires
The Kinks: Waterloo Sunset
The Kinks are arguably the quintessential London band. Brought up in Muswell Hill in north London, so many of the songs penned by lead singer Ray Davies evoke images of the city, whether of suburban life or simply just ‘Terry and Julie’ (Terence Stamp and Julie Christie) meeting outside Waterloo underground station every Friday for eternity in the iconic “Waterloo Sunset”.
For more tips on visiting London, check out 24 Hours In… NY/LON (New York & London)
New York City
Alicia Keys & Jay Z: Empire State of Mind
This one might seem kind of obvious, but if Jay Z isn’t the King of New York then no one is. This song is a modern classic in its own right and should be played right after you step out of the plane and catch your first glimpse of the Big Apple.
For more tips on visiting NYC, check out 24 Hours In… NY/LON (New York & London)
The Cat Empire: Two Shoes
There’s a new guard bringing the Aussie drawl back to the charts. The Triple J Hottest 100 – Australia’s ultimate annual music countdown – increasingly features Melbourne bands like The Cat Empire, The Smith Street Band and Architecture in Helsinki, who sing ’em like they hear ’em.
For more tips on visiting Melbourne, check out 24 Hours In… SYD/MEL
Garbage: Only Happy When It Rains
Let’s be honest: If you’re in Edinburgh for at least 24 hours, chances are it will rain at some stage. Keep in mind this Generation X anthem – voiced by Edinburgh-born Shirley Manson – and look on the bright side.
For more tips on visiting Edinburgh, check out 24 Hours In… Edinburgh
Dan Mangan: Pine For Cedars
Born and raised in British Columbia, 2-time Juno Award-winning artist Dan Mangan’s albums feature songs about Vancouver and the West Coast, but also politics and robots.
For more tips on visiting Vancouver, check out 24 Hours In… Vancouver
Majid Bekkas: African Blues
Majid Bekkas has spent his music career creating a rich fusion of traditional Moroccan Gwana music and jazz. The whirl of jazz rhythms melded with traditional Moroccan instruments is a pleasant sound you most likely haven’t heard before.
For more tips on visiting Marrakech, check out 24 Hours In… Marrakech
Beatenberg: The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
This easy-listening pop album by Cape Town-born band Beatenberg is decidedly poppy, but it does have a distinctly African sound that will get you in the mood. Here’s the single “Southern Suburbs”.
For more tips on visiting Cape Town, check out 24 Hours In… Cape Town
Rio de Janeiro
Novos Baianos: Mistério do Planeta
Tune into Brazilian rock legends Novos Baianos 1972 hit “Acabou Chorare”, a timeless classic that will aurally prepare you for the joyful spirit of this beautiful and beguiling city.
For more tips on visiting Rio, check out 24 Hours in… Rio de Janeiro
Blind Pilot: 3 Rounds and a Sound
Indie music was pretty much invented in the Pacific Northwest, with bands like The Decemberists and The Shins hailing from Portland. Blind Pilot’s debut album, 3 Rounds and a Sound, encapsulates the folk-indie feel of the city that they waited tables and served coffee in before making it big.
For more tips on visiting Portland, check out 24 Hours In… Portland
Coeur de Pirate: Comme des enfants
This Montreal native makes soulful music that captures the essence of Quebec’s largest city. With sweet lyrics that could make anyone want to learn French, “Coeur de Pirate” should be at the top of your travel playlist if Montreal is the destination of your next adventure.
For more tips on visiting Montreal, check out 24 Hours In… Montreal
Black Joe Lewis: Come To My Party
Unlike a lot of musicians who live in Austin, Black Joe Lewis is actually from Austin. Lewis’ gutsy soul music makes it impossible to resist dancing – and if you’re lucky, he might just be playing when you’re in town.
For more tips on visiting Austin, check out 24 Hours In… Austin
You might be familiar with the oompa band music of Oktoberest, but if you want to get a feel for what Munich is like during the rest of the year, listen to this jazzy hip hop song that’ll guide you through the Bavarian capital.
For more tips on visiting Munich, check out 24 Hours In… Munich
Kanye West: Homecoming
“If you don’t know by now, I’m talkin ’bout Chi Town.” Kanye’s ode to his home town is full of nostagia and a tinge of homesickness that any Chicagoan who has left can understand. If you want to get a feel for the Windy City, this is a good place to start.
For more tips on visiting Chicago, check out 24 Hours In… Chicago
Onra: Chinoiseries Pt. 2
French producer Onra loops and slices vintage Chinese and Southeast Asian vinyl samples into a venerable album of hip hop vignettes. For those looking for a unique take on Hong Kong’s cross-cultural identity, Chinoiseries Pt. 2 integrates the stylistic differences between the East and West and distils it into a melodic soundtrack that delivers in spades.
For more tips on visiting Hong Kong, check out 24 Hours In… Hong Kong
Louis Armstrong: When the Saints Go Marching In
It’s a New Orleans classic that you’ll hear often, whether it’s because the Saints Football team is playing at home in the Superdome, or because Mardi Gras festival season has begun.
For more tips on visiting New Orleans, check out 24 Hours In… New Orleans
Nana Mouskouri: Athina
Written by legendary Greek composer Manos Hatzidakis (Academy Award winner for Best Original Song in 1960 for “Never on Sunday”) and performed by Nana Mouskouri, “Athina” is a song dedicated to Athens, a hymn that extols the city’s beauty and history.
For more tips on visiting Athens, check out 24 Hours In… Athens
Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back In Town
No other band captured the city’s transition from conservative island backwater to modern-day European capital more effectively than Thin Lizzy. Get in the mood for your trip to Dublin by listening to Phil Lynott, then pour one out for the late singer at Bruxelles Pub, where he has been immortalised as a bronze statue.
For more tips on visiting Dublin, check out 24 Hours In… Dublin
Music can take you on a journey of the imagination, but what kind of headphones do you wear when you're listening on the move?