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Morgen Wurde, 'Weiht'

As we near the year's end, #NowPlaying is recommending songs that slipped through the cracks, but remain in our headphones.

Like an early holiday gift, every November a bespoke collection of deeply ambient soundscapes arrives via the Cologne, Germany-based label Kompakt. This year's Pop Ambient 2022 offers 15 floating soundscapes spanning over two-and-a-half hours.

Among the standouts is "Weiht" by Morgen Wurde, who is working here with vocalist Maria Estrella. The title could be translated as "Consecrates," and it is a song to get completely lost in. Listen for the subterranean rumblings which anchor the music with a gravitas that feels almost sacred. Estrella's wispy voice swirls around billowing waves of airy electronics and subtle percussive effects; as the music winds down, you can hear what sounds like the gentle plucking of a Japanese shamisen.

So if you're feeling a little anxious these days – and hey, who isn't – mix yourself a holiday cocktail and put this track on repeat.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.