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ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER: Noteworthy playlists for the pandemic

Every week, we offer up a musical number or two to help soothe the savage beast in your breast – the one that is currently raging against the pandemic and, no doubt, plenty of other stuff. But don’t leave it to us: tourism types know that music is an indelible part of the travel experience, and to that end, many are offering up playlists designed to inspire memories, or visions of future travel.

Here’s a sampling of just a few of the tourism board-initiated pandemic playlists we’ve come across. Consider them noteworthy:

Jamaica: From new artists to legends like Jimmy Cliff, and, of course, Bob Marley, Visit Jamaica’s Spotify playlist has it all, encompassing dancehall, ska and reggae. The ‘Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright’ program can be found on Spotify.

Barbados: Listeners are invited to celebrate and support Barbadian music with a series of the latest soca playlists on Mixcloud, which can be found HERE.

Nassau-Paradise Island, Bahamas: The ‘Come Sail Away’ playlist was curated on Spotify with songs that channel the nautical lifestyle and transport listeners to the Bahamas’ calm seas.

Ireland: A simple search for ‘Irish Music’ on Spotify will bring up a number of artists, albums, and playlists offering a good choice of trad and folk tunes from Irish bands. More specifically try:

• The ‘Irish Trad Music’ playlist for traditional Irish songs performed by the likes of The Dubliners and Lúnasa.

• ‘The Boondock Saints’ offers an array of songs that have a similarly classic Irish sound, featuring American-Irish and Canadian-Irish Celtic rock bands such as The Mahones, Flogging Molly, and Dropkick Murphys.

• For a more contemporary vibe listen to ‘New Irish Music 2020’ for alternative and rock tracks by up-and-coming bands.

• A playlist simply entitled ‘Ireland’ has excellent music from favourite artists like Van Morrison and bands like the Cranberries.

• Meanwhile, on Apple Music, the ‘Irish Traditional’ playlist opts for classics, while The ‘New Dublin’ playlist gives a taste of Ireland’s hip-hop scene. And every day is a Paddy’s Day celebration on ‘ShamROCK Your Party’ with a collection of favourite pub sing-along classics and hidden gems.

Northern Ireland: Bands and artists like Van Morrison, Snow Patrol, Paul Brady plus many other locally renowned artists populate the “The Ultimate Northern Ireland Playlist” on Spotify.

Wales: There’s no Tom Jones, but 20 Welsh bands with names like Panic Shack and Buzzard Buzzard check in with over two hours worth of new music tunes on Visit Wales’ ‘Forté Project’ on Spotify.

Colombia: To ensure the beat always goes on in the ‘The Land of 1000 Rhythms’ – even during the days of social distancing – ProColombia has created a Spotify playlist (‘The Colombian Soundtracks’) as well as the dedicated ‘Feel the Rhythm’ section on its website with access to playlists, video and more.

Costa Rica: Spotify is home to several playlists featuring Costa Rican artists that will bring a little bit of the country’s culture and nature into listeners’ lives. They include:

• Simbiosis (Piano and Rainforest) by Manuel Obregon – Showcasing the Costa Rican identity, Obregon’s 1999 album Symbiosis unites nature, wildlife sounds and instruments to great effect.

• Costa Rica Soundscapes (Music from the National Parks) by Eloisa Matheu – Recordist Eloisa Matheu captures a series of soundscapes from many of Costa Rica’s National Parks, documenting the thriving nature of animals.

• Uno / Nada Que Olvidar by Malpaís – Malpaís is a group of seven musicians with backgrounds across mixed genres, such as jazz, rock and classical music. Their jazz fusion portrays the sounds of Central American folk, Celtic, Rock and Calypso and Tambito.

• Inspiraciones Costarricense by Carlos Guzmán – A popular figure in Costa Rican music, both as a soloist and a founding member of the group Gaviota, Guzman’s Inspiraciones Costarricense is considered one of his most outstanding works, featuring the typical songs of Costa Rica.

• Gran Ciudad by Debi Nova – The Costa Rican born, US-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has worked with the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, Sergio Mendes and Ricky Martin. Her music is a contemporary blend of pop, dance and Latin.

• Dr Bombodee by Walter Ferguson – Calypso singer Ferguson’s music spans seven decades and is a prime example of the region’s Afro-Caribbean culture.

Peru: For many years, Peruvian hotel group Inkaterra has partnered with top Peruvian musicians to help bring their music to life. An online soundtrack with eight authentic Peruvian songs takes listeners on a trip through Peru, painted in traditional harmonies and rich Andean musical traditions. Each song reflects a deep commitment to preserving Indigenous music. Go to, click the media tab, then music.

Miami: YouTube is the repository for videos of the south Florida’s city’s Parade of Bands. Simply search ‘Miami Carnival Parade of Bands.’ Also, simply search ‘Miami Carnival Charge’ for series of soca mixes, both with and without images.

Chicago: Specially curated playlists from Chicago locals are teased on the Choose Chicago web site and redirected to Spotify.

Myrtle Beach: From James Taylor to Hootie and the Blowfish, Myrtle Beach has put together a Spotify and YouTube playlist to help stay in touch with visitors; so, as Visit MB says, “Grab a beachy refreshment and enjoy these Myrtle Beach vibes.”

Kissimmee: Three Spotify playlists have been curated by Experience Kissimmee – “Whelmed” with pop hits like “Soak Up the Sun” by Cheryl Crow and “Memories” by Maroon 5; “Chill at Home” featuring The Beatles, Otis Redding, Rob Thomas, and others; and “Sounds at Walt Disney” with classic Disney movie hits.

Fort Worth: Music ranging across the musical spectrum from country and rock to pop and hip hop can be streamed on courtesy of the Fort Worth Library’s new service supporting the Texas city’s local musicians.




First published at Travel Industry Today

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