Songs from a Quarantine

Normally, I do a year-end wrap up of my favorite music released in the last twelve months. This year, however, has been–how shall I say it?–a big, fat downer of a blech. Not a lot of new music was released this year because of the pandemic, and I didn’t have the energy to search for it anyway. On top of that, all the concerts I was going to attend this summer got cancelled or moved to next summer. Bummer.

So, it has not exactly been music Nirvana is any sense of that phrase. However, I’ve gotten to thinking about all the great songs from different eras that I listened to a lot this year, ones which helped me to cope with the ups and downs of pandemic life. And I’ve cobbled together a list of them, in reverse chronological order, videos in tow, for your viewing and listening pleasure. Enjoy!

“Old Wounds” • Pvris • 2019
Every song list (of mine anyway) needs a Pvris song, and this one is a great reminder that no matter what we’ve gone through or what we have yet to face, we can love and be loved.

“Done” • Meg Myers • 2018
Nothing gets angstier than this song, a much needed antidote to such helpless and anxious feelings as we’ve experienced this year. Meg says “Enough!”, and we follow her marching orders.

“To Lose My Life” • White Lies • 2009
This is a song about the weight of death and the nature of living. White Lies provide a lyrical depth few can match, and music that is parts sinister, sweet, sad, and soaring.

“Until I Die” • September • 2008
Petra Marklund aka September gives a beautiful gloss to fear and longing. If Emo had sprung from Disco rather then punk music, September would be its standard-bearer. This song is her anthem and ours too.

“Why Do You Love Me?” • Garbage • 2005
The strain of living under quarantines and shelter-in-place orders can test any relationship. Many experts predict that the divorce rate will go up significantly over the next couple of years. So, when Shirley Manson poses the question “why do you love me?”, you’d better have an answer.

“A Sort of Homecoming” • U2 • 1985
When a sense of normal returns to the world (if it ever does), what will it feel like? I suppose that I will feel much like this song does. How to explain? I don’t really know. Just listen to this track, one of the crowning achievements of U2’s long and storied career.

All videos via YouTube. All rights belong to their respective owners.

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