The following recommendations come from Em Thampoe, the Lifestyle Section Editor. These are not reflective of the publication as a whole.
During this time in which people in the United States and abroad are practicing social distancing to help alleviate the spread of coronavirus, music can provide some joy and solace. Whether you crave ‘bops,’ comforting words or something to spark inspiration, we got you covered.
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Album: “Tango in the Night”
Released: November 28, 1987
Covered by artists such as Hayley Williams of Paramore, Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere” is the gift that keeps on giving. After the instrumentals beckon her in, Christine McVie begins the song by asking listeners, “Can you hear me calling/ Out your name?” “Everywhere” is a song that seems to portray the beginnings of a romantic relationship, but is also perfect for swaying around your living room to let out some steam.
Album: “Everyday Life”
Released: November 22, 2019
Coming off of Coldplay’s latest album “Everyday Life,” “BrokEN” features a gospel-esque choir that one would not necessarily associate with music that the band has released in the past. The song is carried by snapping, piano and the call and response occurring between Chris Martin and the choir. “BrokEN” is a piece that can simply be listened to without requiring much thought, and is sure to bring smiles to listeners on account of the sheer joy Martin and the choir portray through their singing. Optimal for a casual living room ‘hands in the air’ sort of sway, “BrokEn” can deliver.
Album: “Be the Cowboy”
Released: August 17, 2018
Inspiring memes because of both the lyrics and its ever-changing speed, “Nobody” is a song that you’ll want to dance to — or aggressively head bop to. Mitski sings about wanting “one good movie kiss” before diving into the chorus of endless nobodys and simultaneous key changes that occur. Featuring snare drums, piano and guitar to make up its vibrant instrumental, “Nobody” gives off the good vibes that you may have just been craving. Highly recommended for spontaneous dance parties in your living space.
Title: “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight”
Artist: The Beatles
Album: “Abbey Road”
Released: September 26, 1969
Although two separate tracks on The Beatles’ final album “Abbey Road,” “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” blend perfectly into each other. The calming lyrics of “Golden Slumbers” that might just put you to sleep so that “golden slumbers fill your eyes” contrasted with the vivacious opening of “Carry That Weight,” creating a joyful experience overall. Unlike the band’s song “I Am the Walrus,” there is no need for excruciating lyrical analysis here.
Artist: Vampire Weekend
Released: January 11, 2010
As soon as the guitar and various percussion instruments come in, it is time for dancing and/or head bopping to commence! Punctuated by distorted yells, there is just something that is chaotically thrilling about “Cousins.” Although the song is energetic enough just by listening to the audio, the music video adds an extra level of intense good vibes, with Ezra Koenig illustrating the lyrics at some points and a sequence that features the band members morphing into each other while lip syncing lyrics. “Cousins” can offer a good approximately 2.5-minute break from whatever work is being done remotely, whether that be for school or work.
Title: “Hijo de Su Madre”
Artist: Omar Apollo
Released: May 30, 2018
Although the title is a bit crude, “Hijo de Su Madre” is a definitive ‘bop’ that gets better as it goes on. Starting off the song by rapping, Omar Apollo goes between singing and rapping throughout. Apollo’s music catalog, though it might be short right now, has something for everyone. Whether that be soft acoustic songs, or songs you can casually dance to in your room or car like “Hijo de Su Madre,” Apollo provides!
Artist: Pink Floyd
Album: “Atom Heart Mother”
Released: October 10, 1970
Allegedly based off of the Ruyard Kipling poem of the same name, Pink Floyd’s “If” aims to provide some serenity during even the most trying of times. Like the Kipling poem, each stanza of the song begins with a phrase involving the word “if.” The accompanying instrumental is fairly simple, consisting of a monotonous finger-picking pattern and various additions of sound effects, electric guitar, piano and percussion coming in throughout. If you are looking for a song to spark some introspection during your time indoors, then “If” might just be the one for you.
Title: “Face to Face”
Artist: Rex Orange County
Released: October 23, 2019
From his most recent album, Rex Orange County’s “Face to Face” discusses the difficulties of being away from the people you find comfort in most. Although the song’s subject material is heavy, it is an upbeat listen in terms of the instrumentation. The song starts off quite bare in terms of its instrumentals, but more instruments such as percussion comes in as Rex Orange County’s lyrics go more in depth narratively. The song resolves with the same bare instrumentation and lyrics as the opening in its final lines. If you’re looking for something new to blast through your speakers, “Face to Face” is a great song to start on.
Title: “Sincerity is Scary”
Artist: The 1975
Album: “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships”
Released: September 13, 2018
Opening up with trumpets and vibrant percussion, “Sincerity is Scary” focuses on the struggles of being sincere in this day and age. In the first few lines, Matty Healy sings, “You try and mask your pain in the most postmodern way/ You lack substance when you say something like, ‘Oh, what a shame’/ It’s just a self-referential way that stops you having to be human.” While the song’s subject material is considerably heavy and complex, the upbeat nature of the music itself is strong. The music video is filled with choreographed dancing and joyous lip syncing by the 1975’s lead singer and the various actors. While listening to the song, perhaps you too could join Healy in dancing along.
Title: “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Album: “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”
Released: October 10, 1966
“The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” is a song that discusses the importance of slowing down to take in all of what is around you. A song that Simon and Garfunkel and other artists have sang many times over the years, it is direct and brief in its message. From the get go, the singers say, “Slow down, you move too fast/You got to make the morning last,” so the message is apparent here. If you need a quick pick-me-up in the midst of a time that is otherwise dreary, “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” could do the trick.