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)
I can’t stop listening to the new Jason Isbell album (or rewatching the album release show), so I knew a song from that was going to start this playlist off, and from there I started picking some other 2020 songs and slightly less recent faves that fit the vibe (and that I tend to break out whenever the weather finally starts warm). Being stuck at home still sucks, but it sucks a little bit less thanks to the nice weather we’ve finally been having in New York, and these songs all sound just a little bit better with some sun and a nice breeze.
Bill Pearis (editor)
I have a put a few reggae and dubby songs on previous playlists but this time I went all-in, at least as far as you can while opening with German disco-synth rock band Supermax. There's also a little trip-hop, Serge Gainsbourg's reggae album, '80s-era rapper Shinehead, two songs featuring Mick Jones (The Clash, BAD), and my favorite song from Something Wild that didn't make the actual soundtrack album (Fabulous Five's "Ooh Aah!"), but the vibe is steady (if not rock-steady) thoughout.
Amanda Hatfield (editor)
Multiple times throughout quarantine I've found myself thinking "this is it, this is the most stressful week of my own corornavirus era so far;" of course, something always comes around to top it so I should learn to stop thinking that. Which is to say, last week was stressful, and I made this playlist to comfort myself, and also to wallow a little bit. I started it with my favorite songs off the great new Perfume Genius and Jason Isbell albums, which have both been getting a ton of spins from me lately.
Jeremy Nifras (contributing writer)
I admittedly haven’t included much hip hop within my quarantine playlists thus far, so this week’s mix entirely includes hip hop and rap-adjacent R&B, with songs from Earl Sweatshirt, A Tribe Called Quest, RTJ, and others. You may notice that some artists’ songs appear after a track they’re featured on (ex: Jay-Z’s “Caught Their Eyes” following his feature on “Shiny Suit Theory”).
Erin Christie (contributing writer)
Dehd came out with an amazing new single this past week (called “Loner”), which got me listening to their discography on shuffle a lot this week. With that in mind, I decided to start a playlist of similar artists—beginning, of course, with one of my favorite Dehd tracks. I attempted to stick to what (to me) sounds as though it belongs on the more post-punk-y spectrum (with Drahla, Sorry, and Dry Cleaning in mind), but it kind of goes all over the place, while still being very sultry and dark. I also finally watched season 2 of the BBC series, Killing Eve, this past week, which took part in the direction of this playlist being that it consists solely of ladies. The show’s soundtrack—which is mostly helmed by the duo Unloved—is powerful as hell and fit into the sort of sound/ theme I was going for so “When a Woman is Around” was an easy inclusion.
Kate Hoos (contributing photographer)
So much new music has been coming out lately and I’ve tuned into some of it sporadically. But with nothing to do but sit and think A LOT, as well as plenty of free time to finally start organizing the plethora of randomness in my house, I’ve also been feeling pretty nostalgic. Some of my earliest memories of hearing music was riding in my parent’s cars as a little kid in the late eighties and the one thing that stands out, even more than the pop and new wave of that era, was that they quite often had the oldies station on instead, so the pop music they listened to as teens in the late sixties is really what forms the basis of my musical foundation before punk, before alt rock, really before anything else that I came to love and be defined by later. One of the coolest things too was that when I was around 10, I came across my mom’s old records from when she was a teen and I would play them on my Fisher Price record player as I did my homework after school. And since history seems to have repeated itself and I just came across those boxes of records again while organizing my very unruly collection of vinyl, I decided to see what of it I could find on Spotify and make a playlist. Turns out a lot was available and I did try to stick to things I actually have the record of, but for a few I went for other tracks by the same artists I just happen to like more. So thanks teenage mom for putting together this playlist at a time when a thing like Spotify (or a blog or a smartphone) would have seemed like a crazy fantasy and I was still just a twinkle in your eye.