Creating the mood – 6 perfect lazy day acoustic chill-out records

At Pooky, we’re not just about lamps and interiors, we’re about creating moods. And what’s the best way to achieve a certain mood? The right light and the right music, of course. We’ve already done after-dinner jazz, and in this post we recommend six perfect albums to put on when you want a bit of achingly beautiful, folksy acoustic music to accompany an afternoon chill-out session...

It’s 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, you’ve done the shopping, you’ve done the laundry... and now you’ve earned some serious me-time. So if it's grey outside switch on a Pooky table lamp for a bit of a warming glow, pour yourself a cup of posh tea, and stick on one of these acoustic musical masterpieces. They’re perfect for solo chilling, but if you have friends round you can astound them with your impeccable music taste (especially if you have the original vinyl - though they’re all readily available in modern formats)...

1) Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left (1969)

Nick Drake made three beautiful acoustic albums without commercial success and, tragically, committed suicide in 1974 at the age of just 26. He remained largely forgotten until people began to rediscover his music in the 1990s - and now his gorgeous, melancholic songs are staples of boutique cafes and BBC 6 Music playlists. It’s almost impossible that Drake’s debut Five Leaves Left was made by a 21-year old, so mature, worldly-wise and bittersweet is its sound.

2) Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle (2013)

Another precocious British singer-songwriter talent - happily still very much with us - is the wonderful Laura Marling. Having released five flawless albums, winning awards and rave reviews galore, and still in her mid-twenties, Laura is well on her way to legendary status. Her fourth album, Once I Was an Eagle, is a must-have: deep, unpredictable, beautiful but just slightly dark and twisted.

3) The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground (1969)

Mind you, if it’s beautiful but dark and twisted that floats your boat, then The Velvet Underground surely represent the motherlode. Not all of Lou Reed & Co’s stuff fits the lazy afternoon acoustic chillin’ vibe, of course, but their third, self-titled record from 1968 does. It’s achingly lovely in parts (‘Pale Blue Eyes’, ‘Jesus’), although if you’re after peace of mind then you might want to skip track 9 ‘The Murder Mystery’, which features bizarre spoken-word poetry and various different tunes song at the same time, and frankly is something of an assault on one’s eardrums and sanity.

4) Belle and Sebastian - The Boy with the Arab Strap (1998)

Your indie pop credentials will be well and truly nailed if you spin a disk by the Scottish six-piece Belle and Sebastian, much loved by critics and their loyal followers, and invariably described as ‘fey’ or ‘whimsical’ in newspapers. They’ve produced nine albums, but their third effort from 1998 sums up their tuneful, jingly-jangly, joyful sound - perfect when you’re feeling generally pleased with the world.

5) Terry Reid - River (1973)

Here’s one you’ve probably never heard of. Terry Reid is the 1970s rock god who never quite was. He turned down opportunities to be the lead singer of both Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and toured with the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac and all the other greats without ever breaking through into the big time. Robert Plant described him as ‘probably the best singer of that period’. He made mostly electric guitar-based rock music, but check out 'River' - it’s one of the loveliest, jazziest, lilting acoustic songs you’ll ever hear. Have a listen.

6) Bob Dylan - Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)

Finally, from the same year, here’s a rock god you most certainly have heard of - but Dylan’s 1973 soundtrack to the western movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (in which he played a minor acting role) is one of his most overlooked gems. It does include the immortal 'Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door' but otherwise is largely instrumental, with some snatches of lyric and verse repeated and rephrased in different songs. But as a whole, it’s the closest thing that the genius sandpaper-voiced poet Bob Dylan ever made to a background chill album, and the mood is one of empty plains, dusty deserts and guitar-pickin’ by the light of the campfire. Heaven.


At Pooky we make beautiful lamps to help you create beautiful moods in your home. Check out our collection here. Nick Drake Image credit