Am I the only one who gets terribly sick of massage music? One can only take so much keyboard and pan flute. I am grateful for the clutch of tolerable musicians like George Winston or Will Ackerman who have kept me going so far, but let’s face it: even their music can become tiring after 12 years. Not a lot of cutting edge music in the massage music world, eh?
So, a few years ago, as each high C on the pan flute became increasingly irritating, I began asking my hipper clients whether they were enjoying the massage music. Imagine my delight when many of them said, “Not really. You can listen to whatever you want!” It’s taken some tweaking (not everyone likes Bob Dylan—in fact, some people really hate Bob Dylan), but I’ve nailed down a pretty hearty list of generally acceptable non-massage music for your massage therapy session.
Here is a handy list for you, if you are like me and want to throw your Yanni off the roof of a 20-story building:
Rickie Lee Jones: Naked Songs. This is an album I personally love. It’s live, so there is clapping, which may be annoying to you, but it’s a lovely acoustic album. Also, her voice is a bit of an acquired taste. Give it a listen and decide.
Joni Mitchell: Blue, Ladies of the Canyon, and Clouds. All excellent albums in general. I weep for you if you live without these albums. And they are all wonderful massage music alternatives.
Madeline Peyroux: any album. this is a great alternative to Norah IfIhearcomeawaywithmeonemoretimeI’mgoingtoplotz Jones. All of her music is super appropriate.
Neil Young: Harvest Moon. Alright, so I’m a hippie. Great album!
Neko Case: any album, but my favorites are Fox Confessor Brings the Flood and Blacklisted.
Andrew Bird. Fantastic musician. I love all his albums, and would say that making a mix of his finest would be a great idea.
The Be Good Tanyas: The Blue Horse. Just perfection.
Carol King: Tapestry. Need I say more?
Dar Williams: The Honesty Room and Mortal City
Dead Can Dance. Well, I love this band. They are wild and slightly Celtic, though not really. They are actually described as ethereal neoclassic. Whatever that means. If you are feeling a bit tribal, or like you need some ambient/chanty/groovy music in your life, give them a listen.
Gillian Welch: any album.
Josh Ritter. I love his music, and it is almost all massage-friendly. I would make a mix though, so as to weed out the more upbeat songs.
Iron & Wine. Perhaps my favorite band to listen to while giving or receiving massage.
Lisa Gerrard. The female vocalist of Dead Can Dance and a popular composer of film scores (notably, for Gladiator and The Insider). She has some wonderful solo albums that I highly recommend. They lean toward the dramatic.
Nick Drake. Well, he was fantastic. Any album would work. Give them a listen and then join me in mourning his early demise.
Regina Spektor. Lovelovelove her music. Almost all would work in a massage treatment, but I would make a mix of her, too. In at least one song she sings the word “bitch” a lot.
Tori Amos. A nice mix would work really well!
Yo La Tengo. A nice mix would be best with this band, too.
What are your favorite alternative massage music albums? Let us know in the comment section of our blog, and soon I will create a Massamio playlist on Spotify based on your and my recommendations!
Comments from original Massamio post:
you forgot b-tribe (all albums are fabulous !!) — Posted @ Saturday, September 08, 2012 9:59 AM by Leana
Ah, yes! I love the B-Tribe!!! — Posted @ Friday, September 14, 2012 12:54 PM by Sarah Cafiero
Here are a few I love that are not “massage” music but, I use them all the time. LAGQ – Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Helen Jane Long, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bony James, Michael Hedges, Andy McKey, Mark Mancina, Bela Flek and Leo Kottke. — Posted @ Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:52 AM by Xerlan Deery
thanks so much for this. it’s always great to try new music. i highly recommend Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. -all of his 1st solo album. a blind indigenous australian singer/songwriter with a voice from heaven — Posted @ Friday, December 20, 2013 7:21 PM by tracey
thanks so much for this list. it’s always great to listen to new music. i love to listen to Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu -all of his 1st solo album. a blind indigenous australian singer/songwriter with a voice from heaven — Posted @ Friday, December 20, 2013 7:24 PM by Tracey Langham
Thank you for your great tips! My most favorite massage music albums: Diana Krall – The Look of Love, Eliana Elias – Dreamer, Kings of Convenience – Quiet Is the New Loud, José González – my own mix of him, Sade – my own mix of her, Nina Simone – my own mix of her — Posted @ Saturday, December 21, 2013 6:23 AM by Jana
Great site. Love the way you describe such a tricky issue in light mood. — Posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 3:46 AM by Best and High Quality DVD Replication
Here are a couple of meditation/massage therapy tracks I recorded! https://soundcloud.com/christopher-winsor/mixsham2 https://soundcloud.com/christopher-winsor/mixsh001 Thanks for listening, Christopher — Posted @ Saturday, February 22, 2014 3:30 AM by Christopher Winsor
Dear friends, Thank you for your great tips! Thanks to you and your posts, I could expand my musics library and open it to new possibilities. For my activity … I normally use asian music, zen, meditation music… etc. Regards. Xiao. — Posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 8:35 AM by Masajes Orientales Xiao Ying
Maybe you will consider these songs? On sound cloud https://soundcloud.com/beverlybhawaii — Posted @ Friday, May 09, 2014 2:01 PM by BeverlyB