Playlist: Ethereal Songs For Going Beyond Reality

Someone helped me do my Astrocartography chart recently. I just learned such a thing existed a week ago, and while I still don’t completely understand it, it’d be a disservice if I don’t explain what it is. It’s basically a cool thing in Astrology where your birth chart can reveal how certain locations of your life can mold your identity or are backdrops to major life events. I’m not sure if I believe it, but it’s fun to have you and your friends circle around a screen where you try to find the meaning of your existence in the stars.

Anyway, a part of my interpretation said I can be “out of touch with reality”. And, to an extent, that damn online birth chart generator wasn’t wrong. With reality the way it is, is it so wrong to sometimes detach yourself from the real world and venture into fantasy realms? Also, who’s to say what’s reality and what isn’t? (One thing about me is I WILL ramble on how we live in The Matrix.) I’m not advocating doing this all the time — being present and grounded are important, too. But letting your mind and spirit wander, exploring the depths of the subconscious, and tapping into your imagination are sometimes remedies for real-life shit.

One awesome thing I love about queer people is how we make things come into reality. When the world isn’t accepting, or something feels impossible, queer people find a way to build a bridge to our dreams.

Escaping has looked different for me throughout the years. In elementary school, it was writing melodramatic and fantastical stories that had my teachers question my parents at parent-teacher conferences. In college, it was smoking weed as I walked the Saranac River Trail that borders campus. One consistent escapist route is music. The music you’ll find in this piece contains atmospheric rhythms, wistful beats, and genre-transcendent cacophonies. It will aid you in your journey beyond reality.

Artists included in this playlist range from indie to mainstream. Shak SYrn is a spiritual musician who adds light magic to their music to raise our vibrations. Knife Girl is a trans woman from Finland who infuses Gen Z culture with experimental sound. There’s Solange and Erykah Badu, both icons who need no introduction. I threw in SOPHIE, a hyperpop pioneer, who left our world too soon after an accidental fall back in January 2021.

Listen to this playlist while you’re destressing on a weekend, running in a field of flowers, pretending to be a sea creature in the ocean, getting high on the floor of your bedroom, or looking to the stars to tell you what your life means.


1. “Ambiance” by Shak SYrn

2. “Stay (Live)” by Erykah Badu

3. “7up” by Knife Girl

4. “Something About Us” by Daft Punk

5. “I’m Not In Love” by Kelsey Lu

6. “Sound of Rain” by Solange

7. “Reckoner” by Radiohead

8. “QUE NO SALGA LA LUNA (Cap.2: Boda)” by Rosalía

9. “Mirrored Heart” by FKA Twigs

10. “Only In My Dreams” by The Marías

11. “Human Behavior” by björk

12. “Them Changes” by Thundercat

13. “Time” by Arca

14. “Whole New World / Pretend World” by SOPHIE

15. “Same Ol’ Mistakes” by Rihanna


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Lily Alvarado

Lily Alvarado is a queer Boricua whose heart was born and sings in The Bronx, New York. Her titles include grad student, educator, decolonial feminist, breaker of generational cycles, and lover of reptiles.

Lily has written 15 articles for us.

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