As lovers of music, we’ve all heard a song at some point in our lives that has given us chills. Nothing beats that moment where a certain melody or the climax of a song evokes a sudden jolt of excitement and flourishing emotion. The first time I heard The Ocean‘s “Wille Zum Untergang” (above), it’s almost as if I could feel myself moving with the music; my heart could have been beating in tempo as the song’s climax caused the hair on my arm to stick straight up. That wonderful sensation you feel when listening to powerful and moving music is called frission.

Last night I was on a bit of a ‘frisson binge’ as I called it. I took a break from the “full albums at a time” listening habit and made a playlist of a bunch of songs that have given me chills at some point, and it was a great experience. As it turns out, experiencing music that evokes emotional response causes the brain to release dopamine. We are quite literally getting high from the musical experience! Of course, as the playlist went on, the surges got less intense. You eventually build up a tolerance of the dopamine and it all kind of evens out after a while. Huge bummer, but what can you do?

So while I’m waiting for the feeling to come back, we ask you: What songs give you chills? After the jump, you can check out a few of the songs I put on my ‘Frisson List.’


And now for a surprise or two:


Now it’s your turn. What songs give you chills? Let us know in the comments section!

– JR


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