Friday playlist: Songs for late night driving

There’s a certain magical “je ne sais quoi” about late night driving. Maybe it’s because the usually hectic world is suddenly calm and quiet or maybe it’s because you are left alone with your thoughts. Why you are out there rolling through the streets never really matters – it’s always a grounding experience. The only thing that can make late night driving better is an awesome soundtrack. So for your playlist this week, Mixtape has five songs we feel are necessary for some late night driving.

You can hear the whole playlist here.

“Just Enough” by Royal Canoe

Hailing from Winnipeg, this six-piece ensemble is mostly known for genre-bending and creating a sound that is inherently unique to them. This particular song is from their latest album, Today We’re Believers and features some intricate drum beats and melodies sung in a higher range than anticipated, creating a latent sense of urgency that is thinly veiled in a dream. It’s a new version of an 80s pop tune and perfect for the start of your late night drive.

“E is For Estranged by Owen Pallet

From the album Heartland this song highlights Pallet’s extraordinary talent for intricate compositions and relies heavily on his piano skills. String and horn arrangements fill out the piano melody with a fluid sound to back up the Toronto native’s simplistic vocals. The song is movement in musical form.

“Turn a Light On” by Kathryn Calder

Not all late night driving is morose, which is why this track by the B.C. songstress fits so nicely. There is an understated happiness to the melody sung by Calder, who is also a member of The New Pornographers. Layering a variety of created sounds, the entire tune leaves the listener feeling uplifted. The song is found on her sophomore album Bright and Vivid.

“Wren” by Paper Beat Scissors

Tim Crabtree, the solo musician of Paper Beat Scissors, is known for his simple guitar songs matched with complex lyrics. This song, from the 2009 album Flicker, captures a moment in time that is both earth shattering and humbling, and takes the listener on a small but mighty emotional journey. It’s perfect for those late night drives when you find yourself missing someone you’re not sure you should be missing in the first place.

“Full Circle” by Half Moon Run

The thing about late night driving is that it’s just you, the wide open roads (especially in Saskatchewan) and your thoughts. And this Montreal band knows how to take the listener through a mental journey that tweaks the memory and helps you find whatever kind of resolve you are looking for. A song like “Full Circle”, with intense crescendos and thick rhythmic layers, also inspires good thinking.

The Friday play list is a regular feature on, aiming to bring you a themed selection of five songs that will help kickstart your weekend while exposing you to some Canadian bands you may not have heard of yet. You can check them all out on our youtube site.

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