What can I say? I love trains. I have traveled to Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and a few other cities along the east coast by rail. Someday, perhaps I’ll even have the opportunity to travel the Trans-Siberian Railway …

I was passing through Union Station the other day on my way to an interview, and I had the urge to board a train going anywhere. I’ll tell you where I am when I get there.

I love sipping a strong cup of coffee, gazing out the window, pen and paper in hand, or iPod fully loaded, just taking in the sights. A beautiful mix of fleeting moments, a glimmer of time flickering alongside a pounding steel metronome.

Here is my recommendation of 10 tried and true albums that I have listened to on trains:

Vienna Teng: Dreaming Through the Noise

Personal highlights include ‘Whatever You Want’ and ‘Now Three.’ Tracks are a little dark and gloomy, but are pure and crisp at their melodic core. Perfect for a stormy afternoon.

Patty Larkin: Strangers World

I’m a huge Patty Larkin fan, but this album (and Angels Running) are truly gems of this amazing singer/songwriter. Listen to ‘Open Arms’ and ‘Carolina’ on a sunny afternoon as you approach your final destination.

Charlotte Martin: Stromata

Heading up to NYC for the weekend? This album is one shot girl and piano, and one shot smoky dive bar.  Best tracks include ‘Four Walls’ and ‘Stromata.’

Neil Finn and Friends: 7 Worlds Collide

Great album, great songwriting and lots of great guests artists sure to bring excitement to any train trip. Eddie Vedder, Johnny Marr and Lisa Germano amp this album way up. My favorites include ‘Anytime’ and ‘Angels Heap’

Boards of Canada: Geogaddi

Now, don’t get me wrong, this album is weird. Play this while you read your Vogue or Arrive magazine. Take a nap and enjoy ‘Music is Math’ and ‘Alpha and Omega’

PJ Harvey: Is This Desire?

I have a confession to make. I am a dedicated Tori Amos fan, but I have found her albums don’t make great train music. Enter Ms. PJ Harvey. Let’s go back in time (about 12 years ago) and listen to this raw and poetic album. Another favorite of mine from my trip up to Boston. Beautiful sonic backdrop while daydreaming about sailboats on the coast of Connecticut.

The Sixteen: Renaissance: Music for Inner Peace

Really want to zone out and relax? Listen to these beautiful Renaissance pieces for an hour or so. My favorites include ‘Miserere’ (how I long to have a chance to sing the soprano part in a cathedral somewhere) and Thomas Tallis’ ‘If Ye Love Me,’ a personal favorite that I performed in my high school Madrigal troupe. Top notch.

Rufus Wainwright: Want Two

Very rich, poetic vocals. If you can take Rufus Wainwright’s voice, (some people have a deep aversion to it) you’ll be in musical bliss. I recommend ‘Memphis Skyline’ and ‘The Art Teacher.’

Hem: Rabbit Songs

Perfect album for traveling home. If you dislike country, I’ll have to warn you, there are a few slide guitars. This is one of my favorite albums of all time. Favorite tracks include ‘Half Acre’ and ‘Leave Me Here.’

Kaskade: Strobelite Seduction

Another great album that works nicely if you are headed up north on the train, and are trying to mellow out from the work week. ‘I Remember’ and ‘Step One Two’ are definitely worth a listen.

What are some of your favorite Train Trip Albums? Have any thoughts on my Top 10 picks?

Also … check out this post: Top 10 Reasons to Take the Train

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