As summer comes to a close and sweater season begins, many of us will start to incorporate baths into our routine — or stop taking showers altogether. Whether it’s a simple bath with warm water or additions that include bath bombs, salt, candles, books, or wine, baths are an ideal way to decompress from a long day. And these days most of us need to decompress more than ever. Just ask Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard, who’s made a delightful hobby of it: “Some people meditate, some people go for runs,” she recently told us. “I take a bath.”
From Chet Baker to Jenny Lewis, we’ve compiled a list of soothing songs to accompany your bath time. We weren’t as excessive as Chandler Bing (Enya does not appear on this playlist), but these tracks are guaranteed to be relaxing.
Squirrel Flower, “Seasonal Affective Disorder”
This tender track from Ella Williams’ recent debut is appropriate for bleak winter days, or really just any evening when the bath is full and so is your glass of Montepulciano.
Chet Baker, “I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)”
Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Sammy Davis Jr. have all recorded this 1939 song, but none captured the loneliness quite like the cool jazz trumpeter, whose 1954 album Chet Baker Sings was practically made for long bubble baths.
Radiohead, “Sail to the Moon”
The band hasn’t performed this Hail to the Thief song since 2008. Thom Yorke wrote it as a lullaby for his son, and from the piano chords to the lyrics about Noah’s Ark, it’s a consoling and gorgeous accompaniment.
Passengers, “Miss Sarajevo (feat. Luciano Pavarotti)”
Yep, we went there. This track, from U2 and Brian Eno’s obscure 1995 album Original Soundtracks 1, features a verse by the late Italian tenor, ideal for a candlelit evening.
Bob Dylan, “Pretty Saro”
One of the many treasures off 2013’s Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10, featuring stripped-back instrumentation and Dylan’s wistful croon.
Alex Turner, “Hiding Tonight”
The Arctic Monkeys frontman released his solo EP Submarine almost a decade ago. Proceed with caution, though: The melancholy on this one is enough to burst your bath bomb.
Tom Waits, “Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)”
As with every song on Closing Time, Waits’ 1973 debut, “Little Trip to Heaven” sounds best on a rainy evening, as you’re drawing the bath and humming to Delbert Bennett’s trumpet.
Belle and Sebastian, “Chickfactor”
A twinkling piano-heavy delight, sung by guitarist Stevie Jackson on 1998’s The Boy With the Arab Strap.
Brittany Howard, “Short and Sweet”
The Alabama Shakes frontwoman rates bathtubs in her spare time, so it’s only fitting to include this heartbreaking centerpiece from her solo debut, Jaime.
Phoebe Bridgers, “Moon Song”
This Punisher track is just in time for the fall season. It also works if you’re having a nautical-themed birthday party for one in the bath.
Bright Eyes, “Comet Song”
Pick up the tempo but continue with the celestial vibe by playing the final track from Bright Eyes’ new album, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was. It concludes with soaring instrumentation, just like when you realize the bath is about to overflow.
Jenny Lewis, “Taffy”
This song wasn’t talked about enough when On the Line was released last year. Lewis gets nostalgic (“You said I look pretty by the frozen Mississippi/The future felt fantastic”) over subtle instrumentation. The vibe is perfect for the end credits of a film, or for when you pull the plug and watch the water drain.