PLAYLIST: on repeat in self-isolation
A vast majority of my time lately is spent listening to music, even more so now that the world is so weird, and now that I’m isolating/quarantining/social-distancing by myself. I’ve been exploring both old and new music and learning how much it’s impacting my emotions without all of the outside noise that I had before this all started. With that in mind, I created a playlist full of the songs that I’ve been listening to nonstop.
I find myself crawling back to some of my favorite albums for comfort; there are some that I’ll just never stop loving. Included on the playlist I curated are songs from The Wonder Years’ The Greatest Generation, Harry Styles’ Fine Line, and Graham Nash’s Songs for Beginners. The songs I featured will give you a taste, but I really recommend checking out the albums in full if you haven’t yet heard them.
Along with that, I’ve been looking for songs that make me want to dance. It can be hard being so cooped up, and a fun, upbeat track is the best remedy. I made sure to include songs that get me moving, headbanging, and shouting alone in my apartment.
So, without further ado, here are some handpicked tunes that make me want to dance and cry and scream along to them over and over again.
1. Laugh Till I Cry by The Front Bottoms
> makes me want to dance the second I hear the guitar come in. The frustration and confusion in the lyrics set against the upbeat instrumentals is the perfect combination. I especially like to listen to this song in the morning for the burst of energy it gives.
2. community college (high school 2.0) by fredo disco
> might just be the meanest song I have ever heard, but that just makes it that much more of a banger. The acoustic guitar fools you into thinking it’s a fun and lighthearted jam, but the lyrics hit.
3. Too Young to Burn by Sonny & The Sunsets
> makes me feel like I’m in a coming of age movie. Imagine it set to a montage of you and your friends smiling and laughing and adventuring and doing all the coming of age stuff.
4. New Friends by Pinegrove
> makes me want to headbang but in like, an indie way. A lot of Pinegrove’s songs give that effect, if you’re into that kind of thing.
5. Being Around by The Slaps
> is such a sweet little tune with some double-edged lyrics. I actually was able to see The Slaps play this song live a couple of years ago before it had been released, not knowing who they were yet and not knowing it was unreleased. I spent so long searching Spotify and Bandcamp, and when it finally showed up on their EP A last year, it was just as great as I remembered it being.
6. (Baby, Baby) I Can’t Take It No More by Tommy James & The Shondells
> is a dreamy 1967 ballad. It’s soft and longing, but still has a kind of glorious, anthemic feeling chorus. We all need a good forlorn, lovesick ballad sometimes.
7. Madelyn by the Wonder Years
> comes from one of my favorite albums of all time, The Greatest Generation. No matter where I’m at, the songs always feel timely. Madelyn is one of the calmer ones on the album, an acoustic track that’s both cynical and soothing.
8. The Garden by Briston Maroney
> is probably definitely my absolute favorite song at the moment. The lyrics are just so, so good. Fun quarantine activity: see how long it takes you to master all four verses.
9. Wounded Bird by Graham Nash
> is the first of the two songs off of Songs for Beginners I’m including on this playlist. The entire album is comforting, but this song especially does the job. To a soft guitar, Nash sings lyrics about overcoming obstacles and trusting yourself.
10. If U Love Me Now - Acoustic by MUNA
> is the song I turn on when I’m ready to throw a pity party. It’s so smooth and meditative, and the vocals are incredibly dreamy and lulling, the perfect complement to the melancholy lyrics.
11. Lost Angeles by The Aces
> was only just released a week or so ago, but it’s already become one of my go-to’s when I need a girl group bop. Despite the lamenting cries of “Lost Angeles, you’re the loneliest city I’ve ever known,” the chorus is undeniably catchy and vivacious.
12. Growing Season by Love You Later
> is a song I just found on my Discover Weekly playlist. The smooth vocals on this track are so dreamy, and I don’t know how to describe the backing track in any way other than shimmery and magical.
13. Garden Song by Phoebe Bridgers
> is so wonderful. Everything she releases is golden. This one is beautiful and melancholic and everything I want to hear in a Phoebe Bridgers song.
14. Shampoo Bottles by Peach Pit
> is my favorite song off of their new album, You and Your Friends. It’s a sad indie pop breakup tune with some really groovy guitars.
15. Acolyte by Slaughter Beach, Dog
> is one of my favorite songs of all time. Not to keep plugging albums, but add their album Birdie (and all their other ones, too) to your queue. Acolyte gives me the strongest sense of elation and content and I love it. There’s also whistling in it, which is never a bad thing.
16. (Joe Gets Kicked out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem) by Car Seat Headrest
> is a great song off of a great album. Honestly, I could probably put any song off of Teens of Denial on this playlist and be happy with it. Give it a listen if you’ve never heard it before.
17. Simple Twist of Fate by Bob Dylan
> is another one of the more toned-down acoustic tracks on this playlist. It’s Bob Dylan, what can I say?
18. Ram On by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney
> makes me feel like I’m not stuck in an apartment without a balcony or backyard. Whether it’s the ukulele or the flowing vocals, somehow, it manages to transport me outdoors and give me a peaceful facade of nature.
19. Canyon Moon by Harry Styles
> is just plain fun. It’s my go-to off of Fine Line for times when I need a pick me up. This song closes with a chorus of “I’m going home!”s, and feels so very nostalgic for a life we’d all like to live.
20. Better Days by Graham Nash
> is maybe the most comforting, hopeful song there is. Another one off of Songs for Beginners (seriously, listen to it), it leaves me with a conclusive, whole feeling in my chest. I remember better days.