5 Otherworldly Albums that Let Your Headphones Transport You

5 Otherworldly Albums that Let Your Headphones Transport You

A few months back, I wrote an article on 5 albums for bringing out your headphones’ full potential. I think there’s often too much talk of the listening device and not enough of the listening material. We all have different tastes in music of course, but the more HiFi audio equipment you amass, the more potential there is for the right music suggestion to blast you into a new realm of the sonic universe. Today, I wanted to focus on albums I feel transport me to strange, otherworldly places. These albums are great for an immersive, sensory experience, and will give your hand-picked headphones and accompanying gadgets the chance to show off their best abilities. 

Lafawndah Ancestor Boy Cover 5 Otherworldly Albums that Let Your Headphones Transport You

Lafawndah – Ancestor Boy

This album’s never gotten the buzz I feel it deserves, and I’m still hoping it does eventually. Written, performed, and self produced with complete mastery by Paris-born artist Lafawndah, Ancestor Boy has a unique sole that pulls from countless musical regions and styles. Complex, cinematic drum patterns combine ambiguous electronic timbres and time-worn mallet hits, all accompanied by Lafawndah’s soaring vocal lines. There’s a feeling of fearlessness about the album. It seems to keep upping the intensity shamelessly, taking us through sweeping soundscapes, sprinkled with bird calls and vocal trills into chest-pounding beats, each section gilded with cascading synth lines. Ancestor Boy feels somewhere between the human and the fantastical, and offers its listeners a completely new flavor of ear candy. 

Resolution Availability: FLAC on Tidal

Eartheater Trinity Cover 5 Otherworldly Albums that Let Your Headphones Transport You

Eartheater – Trinity

Eartheater’s music feels like if a shimmering pearl were to undergo a radioactive transformation. Her album Trinity is a haunting, angelic electronic masterpiece. The album is equal parts ethereal, calming, and sinister. It’s definitely a high-end lovers album, with crisp, bright, reverb drenched vocals throughout. Eartheater specializes in very ambient, spacious compositions that explore strange vocal timbres, scuttling percussion, and hard hitting bass drums. This is a great album to explore tons of small details and intricacies, with each track featuring a new array of unique textural elements. Tracks like “Fontanel” and “Runoff” strike a good balance between head-banging and melt-into-your chair, while other tracks like “Solid Liquid Gas” explore a high-energy pop influence. Trinity is an enchanting album even if you find it a bit out of your comfort zone at first, as it’s quite hard to ignore once you’ve had a taste of it. 

Resolution Availability: FLAC on Tidal

Simian Mobile Disco Mururations Cover 5 Otherworldly Albums that Let Your Headphones Transport You

Simian Mobile Disco – Murmurations 

Calling both techno and church choir lovers to this one. That’s right, this album has both. A collaboration between DJ duo Simian Mobile Disco and vocal group Deep Throat Choir, this enigma of an album is guaranteed to be unlike anything you or your headphones have ever encountered before. Using the massive choir’s sound, Murmurations brings a new level spirituality to dance music. The combination of rumbling techno beats with pitch bending vocal stacks creates a magical sense of space and drama throughout each track. Sonically, the album has beautiful mixes, giving the choir vocals a ton of space to spread out across the spectrum while allowing the techno drums and basslines to fill out the bottom area with hard impact and sub-filled rumbling. The album feels like the score of an apocalyptic movie at many points, combining two highly intense forms of music to create a newfound fire. 

Resolution Availability: FLAC on Tidal

Kadhja Bonet Childqueen Cover 5 Otherworldly Albums that Let Your Headphones Transport You

Kadhja Bonet – Childqueen

Kadhja Bonet’s timeless, eclectic voice brings about a curious nostalgia. The emotional journey Childqueen takes the listener on brings together the sounds of R&B’s past, present, and future through her complex, colorful lens. Lush harmonies, velvety flute sections, and lofty string arrangements help ease us into the wondrous, mysterious world built by Bonet on this self-produced album. The vintage sounds and styles throughout are the perfect complement to meandering melodies and vaguely space-age touches, giving the listener many layers to explore. If you want something equally gripping in production, performance, and meaning, the poignant, poetic lyrics of Childqueen extend its grip far past its play time. It’s an album that may stick a few catchy melodies and life-lessons in your head, all calling you back to curl up while you’re surrounded by the warmth of Bonet’s comforting voice and dreamy writing. 

Resolution Availability: FLAC on Tidal

JIL Emotional Heat 4A Clold Generation Cover 5 Otherworldly Albums that Let Your Headphones Transport You

JIL – Emotional Heat 4A Cold Generation

An analogue synth lovers dream, JIL brings together the best of metallic, synthetic chords and intimate, organic vocals. An orchestra of 808s, sub-basses, and endless modulation, this album pulls from hip-hop, electronica, and pop, with a few dashes of 80s flavor. JIL’s lead singer holds the only voice fit to take on these monstrous, floor-shaking instrumentals, adding a powerful falsetto and huge vocal range that carries each song to new levels. There’s an electrifying balance of the industrial, abrasive, and tranquil throughout the synth-centric collection. If you want to hear music technology used to its nerdiest lengths while still creating a gripping, meaningful creation, Emotional Heat 4A Cold Generation effortlessly pulls nuance and passion from old circuitry, weaving together an album that shows the ability to find soulfulness in an increasingly technological, impersonal landscape. 

Resolution Availability: FLAC on Tidal

I started a thread here for anyone who’d like to share their current favorite listens and discuss music.

Check out my weekly updated playlist of my favorite music for HiFi listening on Tidal.

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Luke is an audio engineer, music producer, and sound designer. He focuses much of his work on ethereal, atmospheric music and soundscapes.