Sun On You is a gorgeous album by Scottish composer Craig Armstrong written for piano and chamber strings with soft electronic layers. It is a beautifully soothing album full of space and gently evolving sounds and melodies. Perfect for helping to dial down anxiety and stress levels.
It's hard for me to pick favourites from this album as in truth all the pieces are lovely listens, there is a piece for almost every mood which means that some days I prefer certain tracks to others. But I find that I often press repeat on In A Remote Place, Marelle and Shifted when I'm listening to the album in its entirety. I also adore the violin solo in If I Should Fall it is so full of longing and emotion. I think this is what draws me to Armstrong's music, it is so evocative and you really feel the music and the emotions as you listen.
This is one of my go to albums for the tube when I have to go to London. The tube makes me quite anxious, being a country girl at heart and someone who loves wide open spaces and fresh air and being of diminutive stature the combination of being confined underground, squeezed into a hot, busy carriage and the noise is enough to put my fight or flight response into 'hair trigger' mode and set my mind racing.
But when I gained a place to Trinity Laban to study music I knew I would have to get used to it. My solution; tune it all out with music. So I bought myself a good pair of ear buds and downloaded some of my favourite soothing albums - of which Sun on You was one - to my phone and off I went.
I was honestly astonished at the difference it made, I felt so much more at ease and almost didn't notice the 45 minute journey go by. Not only did I have something lovely to listen to but it also dialled out the noise of the rails and clatter of the carriage over them. Ever since then I make sure I always have a pair of headphones with me and several lovely albums on my phone when I go to London.
I hope this album has a similarly relaxing effect on you when you listen to it and that you return to it whenever those pesky stress or anxiety levels start to rise.
My introduction to Craig Armstrong's music was through his moving score for the 1996 adaptation of Romeo + Juliet (the Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes one!). The Balcony Scene from said score remains a very firm favourite of mine to this day. It is so full of romance, love and gentle joy, which was why we chose it as the piece of music to walk into our wedding reception - which has only served to heighten the feelings I have for it.
Armstrong's other film credits include Love Actually, Layer Cake, Moulin Rouge, Far From The Madding Crowd, The Great Gatsby and many more. He is the recipient of multiple awards which include a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, an Ivor Novello and a Grammy. He was made an OBE in the 2010 New Year's honours list for his services to music.
Sun on You is one of 9 albums Armstrong has recorded so far, of which 7 can be found on Spotify. So if you enjoy listening to this album I highly recommend checking out his discography.
I'd love to know what you what you think of this album and what your favourite pieces are, let me in the comments below.