No one, not even Miss Rona can stop the music, because while a larger-than-life scale of gathering is pretty much a thing of the past for now, we can still enjoy a religious-like reverence for music with these made-in-quarantine tracks you should give a spin now.
One of the things I miss most about pre-pandemic life in New York City is going to concerts. A thriving seedbed showcasing indie and up-and-coming artists to a wider audience, it’s unfortunate that these artists are not able to do just that for the time being. While the scale of gatherings in religious-like reverence for the reverie of music is much more virtual as it is IRL now, this hasn’t stopped them from writing (or in some cases, re-writing) tracks while in lockdown. In fact, there has been a lot of creativity going around in quarantine with many songs and tracks being released amid the pandemic. Needless to say, no one, not even Miss Rona can stop the music.
After scouring the internet, here are some offshoot of lockdown songs that are apt to listen to during these times. Kids, consider this an education.
nevermind – Valley
For fans of: Joan, Betty Who
The best way to describe Valley’s music is nostalgic. Their 80s synth-pop sound make me yearn for yesteryear memories that have never existed to begin with. They just released their amazing debut album last year, yet they’re already back in making new music during lockdown. nevermind is their most radio-friendly single so far, which is saying a lot, because almost every song is a big bop. After listening to this, give their debut album a go. There’s Still A Light in the House is a standout.
Going Home – The Aces
For fans of: Haim, Ariana Grande
Severely underrated band, The Aces released their second album in July 2020. The all-female band combines the swag of Haim and the breathy, almost unintelligible pronunciations of pop-princess Ariana Grande. Going Home encapsulates an introspection about our relationships with other people that quarantine forces us to confront. Their other song, Daydream is a sonorous standout, too.
Won’t You Be Happy – Eaves Wilder
For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins
Eaves Wilder wrote this track on the first day of lockdown, and you can tell right away she’s already over it. Even if she’s only sixteen years old, she vents lockdown frustrations every person can relate to: having nothing to do and wanting to go outside to experience life. As of now, her debut single has less than 20,000 plays on Spotify so far, but I have no doubt she’ll continue to win new fans over with her shoegaze, dream pop sensibilities.
Happy For You – Alex Porat ft. Rence
For fans of: LANY, Oh Wonder
With lyrics like, “Faking a smile, falling apart, you’re breaking my heart / It’s hitting me harder than I thought / I say, I’m happy for you / I’m not that happy for you,” can you say hugot? YouTube phenom, Alex Porat re-released this in June as a duet with a favorite artist of mine, Rence. His airy vocals provide an additional dimension to the song as it further emphasizes the hopeless longing of a failed relationship.
My Friends Online – ELIO
For fans of: the 1975, Charli XCX
Canadian ELIO seems she’s crafted the quarantine’s unofficial national anthem. She sings about the irony of being socially exhausted yet having the inability to look away from her phone—you know, basically what we’ve all been doing most days, anyway. Think of The 1975 collaborating with Charli XCX, it’s quality stuff. It’s also a plus she’s been personally endorsed by Charli.
Black and Ready – Jords
For fans of: Macklemore, Stormzy
One month after he released his newest album in May, UK rapper Jords swiftly wrote this song in response to the Black Lives Movement that has dominated the media in the last couple of months. In the mellifluous track, Jords doesn’t come across as angry, but tired as he allows us to step into his shoes and listen to the racism he has experienced and witnessed as a black man. With lyrics like, “If you’re killin’ us with violence, why should we be killin’ you with kindness?”, Black and Ready is both beautiful and powerful.
Stand Ten Feet Away From Me – Sam Tompkins
For fans of: Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth
While stuck in lockdown, Sam Tompkins wrote and produced an entire EP called the isolation diaries in his bedroom. The three-song EP is filled with sad love songs to make you even more depressed during these trying times. But if you’re like me and for some reason, sad songs make you happy, do give this a listen.
Care – Beabadoobee
For fans of: Late 90s, Early 00s pop rock
Fellow Filipino, Beabadoobee was an unwilling participant in one of Gen Z’s biggest hits to date when Canadian rapper, Powfu sampled one of her songs into death bed. That song garnered over half a billion plays on Spotify as of this writing thanks to viral usage in TikTok. Bea’s newest single, Care, strays from death bed as it adopts a more late 90s pop-rock sound reminiscent of those teenage coming-of-age movies and cool anime opening intros. If you feel angry during lockdown and need a cathartic song to release your pent-up emotions, listen to this.
Keep On Hanging On – Morgan Saint
For fans of: Lorde, Billie Eilish’s Ocean Eyes-era
If you’re sick and tired of waiting for Lorde’s new album, give Morgan Saint a try with her newest EP. She shares the same raspy vocals of Lorde with the relatability lyrics of Billie Eilish. Her newest song is reminiscent of the atmospheric and arena-filled anthems that Melodrama blessed us with three years ago. Keep on Hanging On talks about persevering through dark and tough times… because how else are we supposed to survive this pandemic?
Lockdown – Koffee
For fans of: Sean Kingston, Rihanna
While most songs written and released during the quarantine have been introspective and melancholic, Jamaican Grammy-winning artist, Koffee’s Lockdown takes a different turn. The reggae-inspired track talks about where to party post-quarantine. It’s such a perfect upbeat track that takes your mind off the doom and gloom happening around the world at the moment. Also, she name drops Manny Pacquiao in the song, too. Hard to top that.
(Bonus) Ja Ja Ding Dong – Fire Saga
For fans of: the Netflix movie where it came from
Clearly, the Grammy’s Record of the Year.