Here we are again - Lockdown number 3. In theory, this means we should have grown pretty accustomed to these restrictions by now, but in many ways this feels like the toughest period so far. We don’t know how long lockdown will last, and every day we’re reminded of the terrifying daily hospitalisations and death rates.
Different people will have different ways of coping with this situation. But one thing that a lot of us will be leaning on a little harder is music. So Maxim and I thought we’d share with you the music that has been helping us through this difficult stretch. Whether it’s through catharsis, escapism, or offering a glimmer of hope, we hope you find some songs here that can be helpful.
One thing that 2020 and the lockdowns have taught me is that everyone is very different and one of the ways that I’d say this is most apparent is in the ways that we cope. The point of these lockdown playlists was that Maxim and I both agree that music is one of the crucial ways that we choose to deal with the current climate but even within that common factor the details are contrasting. Having enjoyed Maxim’s playlist yesterday I noticed that some of the songs explicitly draw on COVID 19 in their very subject whilst some may have taken inspiration from it in a more indirect way. Either way it seems that one of Maxim’s uses of music is to tackle the issue head on – enjoying the songs and seeing them as a somewhat positive outcome to a fundamentally negative situation.
This isn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong I see the appeal and I imagine for many people this is the way they deal with it too, but it just isn’t for me. The way I use music to cope has always been about escaping. Putting in your headphones and shutting out the world offers the perfect chance to forget about everything that is going on, letting yourself become lost in the music. Having just about reached my limit of what I can deal with in terms of COVID the last thing I want to do is immerse myself in songs that only serve to remind me of the absolute madness that engulfs my reality beyond the realms of my headphones.
I think you can see this in my playlist. I’m not going to break down exactly why every song is in there because to be honest I couldn’t tell you. There wasn’t much thought behind any of the songs individually other than that they have played a big part in my life recently. I will say that the songs I have assembled are not songs that really make me feel better about the situation or try and tackle it but are simply songs that allow me to distance myself (cries inside at COVID double entendre) from the world.
I was actually quite surprised looking back at my completed collection and what it tells me about the situation. I intended to avoid themes or styles and just wanted to add some of the songs that have been constants for me in the last 12 months but looking back it would be fair to say that the songs do tend to be cut from a similar cloth. I initially thought that a lockdown playlist may result in at least a couple of more fun/upbeat or happy songs but there are none to be found. Even the ‘happier’ songs in my playlist share a melancholic, chilled out and emotive vibe and suggests that this has been the kind of music that speaks to me of late. It probably is because of this desire to escape – choosing songs that I can relax with, get involved in and really feel as opposed to some of the cheery music I would usually find myself drawn to.
I’ve found this in some more of my listening too recently; I’ve always been a lover of rap music but usually would focus my attention on the faster flows and more intense vibes but instead find myself focusing recently on jazz rap. This particular style tends to infuse slower and more laid back beats with emotive flows and makes for the perfect music to shut yourself off and escape with.
For anyone that likes my playlist or does tend to aim for the more chilled out stuff I’ll link to the jazz rap playlist I’ve been listening to as well which features some great stuff from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest and Mobb Deep.