Quarantine playlists: what the BrooklynVegan staff is listening to in isolation this week
With the coronavirus pandemic keeping many of us home a lot more, music (and TV) is perhaps more important than ever. It provides solace during these crazy times and an escape from the endless scroll of news, and fortunately -- despite no concerts happening -- there is no lack of music to get us through. We've been posting several musicians' livestreamed performances on a daily basis and some of our favorite live concert videos every week day. We've also asked several artists to make playlists of the music they've been listening to in isolation, and several BrooklynVegan staff members/contributors have made our own isolation playlists too. If you're looking for something new to listen to, or old to revisit, maybe one or more of these playlists will do the trick.
We'll be posting new playlists weekly. Here's this week's:
Andrew Sacher (editor)
My last couple playlists were mostly about finding comfort in nostalgia, but lately the excitement of new music has helped offset the mundanity of quarantine, and there’s been an abundance of great new music in the past few weeks, from Lido Pimienta to Earl Sweatshirt to Infant Island, and more. I’m also still on a big Radiohead kick, and I continue to love Ben Gibbard’s livestreams every week so there’s an old Death Cab favorite here too.
Bill Pearis (editor)
Spring is in the air, even if I'm mostly seeing it from my window, so I tried to match that with this generally light and bouncy mix that leans pretty heavy on the 1970s and feels bright green and dotted with blossoms, bossa nova and disco.
Quarantine life has me listening to way less music, because I'm now almost never alone. It's been a hard change to adjust to. Never being alone has also added stress on top of stress on top of stress... which means even more need than usual for calm music, and for good family friendly music if I want to be able to play it out of speakers once in a while. New albums by M. Ward and Matt Elliott both fit this bill (not to mention Nadia Reid, Bill Fay and Bonny Light Horseman who I previously playlisted). There's also nothing more calming than ambient music, especially at bed time, and I've been digging deep into the vast catalog of Steve Roach who I open this week's playlist with (and who has his own playlist of sleeping music). May the calm be with you...
Amanda Hatfield (editor)
I'm still obsessed with Fiona Apple's Fetch the Bolt Cutters and started my playlist this week with "Drumset," which I love to chant (and drum) along with. From there, this playlist includes a few recent favorites, like my favorite track off The Mountain Goats' new cassette which feels very relevant to this weird year, a nod to Earth Day with ANOHNI's "Four Degrees," an excellent live version of my favorite Tori Amos song ever, "Precious Things," and some other songs that felt extra satisfying to me right now.
Jeremy Nifras (contributing writer)
Last night, I watched a live video of Saves The Day performing last summer, and more than anything it made me miss the experience of attending a concert. It hurt to receive countless Facebook notifications for cancelled or postponed shows, and I long for the day we can safely rock out at a show once again. Inspired by that, "At Your Funeral" kicks off this week's mostly theme-less playlist, which also features a great new Sunny Day Real Estate cover by TWIABP, a favorite from the recent Weeknd album, the epic Spiritualized single "Hey Jane" (whose video is a must-watch), and other songs.
Kate Hoos (contributing photographer)
Everything is surreal. Everything is bizarre. Everyone already knows that. And I know I’m far from the only one who got laid off or had all their band’s shows cancelled and has been super depressed as a result. It took me a few weeks to fully process everything and get my head more together which is why I’m late to the playlist party. But I’m here now! I’ve been trying to make the best sense of every day that I can and really what’s kept me moving and clawing through is the music I’ve been listening to. This playlist varies pretty widely in terms of the artists on it but it is probably more on the mellow and contemplative side than anything else, at least for me, though it definitely takes a few sharp turns- I realize it’s a really big stretch to get from Julien Baker to Lightning Bolt back to Laura Veirs then back to Bikini Kill (though admittedly one of their more subdued tracks) but it all makes sense and flows together seamlessly in my mind. This is a lot of the stuff I listen to when I’m just reflecting and really ended up being a lot of favorites from long drives while on tour, particularly DJ Shadow, Pinback, and the instrumental stuff. I guess all those hours in the back of a van not being able to leave or do much else besides sit and think with tunes in my ears prepared me for this in a way. And it does make for a good soundtrack for the long solo walks I’ve been taking through the backstreets of Queens. I wanted to bookend it with two of my all time favorites, The Breeders and Fugazi, because through every era of my life since the mid 90s I’ve marathon listened to those bands to get myself through (this being no exception) but only some of their more abstract offerings seemed fitting as an opener and a closer (with a more accessible track from each in the middle for good measure). I forgot that Spotify automatically names a playlist after the first song and when I saw it was called “MetaGoth” it was amusing and seemed weirdly fitting so I just left it as is.
I also got excited and made a handwritten tracklisting because I miss doing that like when I would make mixtapes for friends and crushes (mostly crushes).