Vibe out with this playlist of immersive songs that pull you in and slow down time, featuring songs exclusively from the 2000s for extra nostalgia.
There are certain songs that pull you in, slow down time and take you to a completely different world. Whether they’re multi-movement epics that keep you on the edge of your seat, powerful ballads that hook you on every word or tracks with really sick production, immersive songs offer truly rewarding listening experiences.
Here’s an hour’s worth of songs that we think offer especially immersive listens. As a bonus, all of these songs are from the bygone 2000s, because the only thing that makes vibing to music even better is a good helping of nostalgia.
The Avalanches - Since I Left You
Picture it: You’re in the middle of a party, with lots of chatter and shouting all around you. A mysterious guitarist approaches you, plays the sweetest melody you’ve ever heard, and you’re transported into a musical wonderland of glitchy samples and nostalgic grooves. This 2001 song is so immersive it feels cinematic, making it a perfect track to send you through the Avalanches’ looking glass.
MF DOOM and Madlib - All Caps
This 2004 track by the late, great MF DOOM and producer Madlib is a crackling, lo-fi hip-hop scorcher that is not meant to relax or study to. It demands your attention like a towering comic book villain declaring one simple rule to ensure your survival: “ALL CAPS when you spell the man’s name.”
Outkast - Ms. Jackson
Not only does this hit from 2000 have one of the best hooks in hip-hop, but it’s perhaps the only hit song about divorce to sample Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus.” From the unique production to Big Boi’s head-spinning bars, you’ll notice and appreciate something new after every listen.
Britney Spears - Toxic
This 2003 pop classic has intricate production by Swedish duo Bloodshy & Avant that really shines with good earbuds. From the iconic string samples to the furiously strummed nylon-stringed acoustic guitars to the use of empty space, this song is a must-listen for Britney stans and audiophiles alike.
Coldplay - Violet Hill
Remember when Brian Eno produced a Coldplay album? 2008’s Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends combined the band’s anthemic melodies with Eno’s textured production to maximum effect. “Violet Hill,” in particular, features a slow-burning ambient intro that builds to an explosive chorus, making for quite the sonic thrill ride.
Bon Iver - Woods
Justin Vernon and autotune is a match made in heaven, as proven by this a cappella ballad from 2010’s Blood Bank EP. With a single verse on loop, Vernon builds from a solitary voice to a massive, cathartic chorus calling out for a love that is regrettably gone forever.
Johnny Cash - God’s Gonna Cut You Down
This 2006 song was one of the many tracks from Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin’s American sessions shortly before the Man in Black’s passing. With stomps and claps keeping a funeral march’s pace behind Cash’s ruminations on faith and mortality, it’s a song that makes you stop and listen until the final beat.
Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Feel the Illinoise!
The thesis statement for Stevens’ 2005 concept album Illinois, this tribute to the Land of Lincoln twists and turns with eclectic instrumentation, odd time signatures, and on-a-dime tempo changes. A whimsical track with hints of existential dread below the surface, this song offers listeners plenty of details to dig into over multiple listens.
Spoon - Don’t You Evah
With good earbuds, Spoon’s 2007 LP Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga feels like you’re at a studio where the band just so happens to be recording an album. The air-tight groove and high-strung riffs on “Don’t You Evah” pair well with the fast-and-loose energy created by the band’s banter and talkback conversations.
Paramore - Misery Business
That muted string intro and super quiet “two, three, four” count-in makes you want to turn up the volume and lean in closer, right? Classic move, and only audible on good earbuds. Paramore shocked a generation of pop-punk kids out of their seats with this 2007 classic’s fakeout intro, but plenty stayed for the catchy melodies and epic guitar riffs.
Thirty Seconds to Mars - Kings and Queens
Ah, stadium-sized, “woah-oh” gang vocals: a staple of 2000s alternative rock, and no one did it better than TSTM on this 2009 banger (honorable mention to “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire). Between the explosive intro of voices and Jared Leto’s singular powerhouse voice, there’s no way not to feel part of the choir on this song.
My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade
The “Bohemian Rhapsody” of Warped Tour veterans and emo mall rats everywhere, this track is a rollercoaster that doesn’t slow down until the final power chord. This mashup of pop-punk, alternative, and glam rock tells a riveting story of The Patient’s moment of passing with unpredictable melodies and infectious chants that will get you headbanging like it’s 2006.
Fleet Foxes - Blue Spotted Tail
A quiet, intimate recording that is best for a quiet, intimate space. Played at almost a whisper, this 2011 track rewards careful listeners with a charming melody and Robin Pecknold’s delicate meditations on life, time and purpose.
From comfortable FITS earbuds to customizable CSX earphones to legendary PRO in-ear monitors, UE has what you need to get immersed in the music. Experience the UE sound for yourself today.