Silence can be deafening. And it especially gets to you during long trips — you might be in a car, a plane, or even just on a very long walk and soon the lack of noise becomes palpable. While some do enjoy the ambient sounds of travelling, if that’s not for you, then rather than listening to all the thoughts rattling around in your head, why not pop in some music?

Of course, the types of music you can listen to while travelling will be dependent on your taste, but why not open yourself up to what else is out there? What you choose can really set the tone for where you’re headed. Here are some examples.

Heading south? Crank up the Mississippi Delta Blues

The history of Mississippi Delta Blues music is full of rich musicianship. Much of modern American music — including rock, jazz, and R&B — are heavily influenced by the blues.

One might recall the 1986 film Crossroads, starring the very young Ralph Macchio and Jami Gertz, about a pair of urban teenagers who go searching for an authentic blues experience deep in the Mississippi Delta. If you’re headed down south, it’s a fantastic opportunity to do the same and delve into some great Delta Blues performers throughout history, and identify the tonal influences that’s shaped much of our music today.

Some modern Mississippi Delta Blues artists to check out include:

  • Luther Dickinson
  • Corey Harris
  • David “Honeyboy” Adams
  • R.L. Burnside

Passing through the cornfields? Try Midwest Indie Rock

America’s flatlands have a penchant for producing some amazing indie rock bands, often painting portraits of suburban malaise, high school sweetheart angst, and blue-collar dysfunction in sparkling guitar and soaring, earnest melodies.

If you’re driving through the Midwest, strap in for some pillow-soaked memories of long-gone relationships, teenage awkwardness, or long drives home. These aren’t the angry, screaming youth of the cities, these are the bored-to-death youth of white picket fences and suburban cul de sacs.

Some notables in the genre include:

  • Midwest Pen Pals
  • American Football
  • Sunny Day Real Estate
  • Violent Femmes

Passing south of the border? Jam out to Nuevo Flamenco

While traditional Spanish flamenco is alive and well in Mexico, many younger bands have taken to a fusion of flamenco melody and rock music.

The intricate guitar scales and percussive rhythm of flamenco guitar is the foundation of this new style of music, but driven by rock power chords and aesthetics, Nuevo Flamenco or Flamenco Fusion is a whole new sound.

Some of the best modern artists churning out Nuevo Flamenco include:

  • Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • Al Di Meola
  • Los Delinqüentes

If you enjoyed this, you may also want to give Chicano Rock a listen. Also known as Rock en Español, this genre was popularised by Mexican artists such as Los Lobos, Café Tacuba, and Los Tigres del Norte.

Trance Out to Eurodance on your European holiday

The European EDM scene, or electronic dance music, has been in existence since the early 1980s. What’s kept it alive is constant experimentation and creativity. From the early synthesiser sounds of Depeche Mode, to the modern sampling of DJs like Afrojack and Swedish House Mafia, the Eurodance genre is the epitome of what dance music is today.

The Eurodance industry has spawned so many subgenres and one-hit wonders over the past two decades, it’s like a Mobius strip of different, catchy dance hits. Some of the most popular Eurodance and trance artists past and present include:

  • Hardwell
  • Aqua
  • David Guetta
  • Zedd

Appreciate some OPM Rock on your Southeast Asia getaway

Move aside, K-Pop! Known for producing some of the best musical talents to come out of Southeast Asia, the Philippines had quite the thriving alt-rock scene in the 90s, and boasted a sound similar to that of American alt-rock. Filipino garage and alt-rock bands were creating songs similar to anything you’d hear from Blink-182 or Green Day’s catalogs, yet adding local Pinoy flavour to create signature sounds.

The Philippines is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches and picturesque nature. However, there’s a vibrant music culture there that is rarely recognised on a global scale. A shame, because the Philippines has a treasure trove of artists worth hearing, like:

  • Siakol
  • Parokya Ni Edgar
  • Kamikazee
  • Eraserheads