A playlist to navigate through the quarantine blues
I've spent the better part of the last days trying to think of a concept for a playlist which is transversal. I didn’t want to exclusively share what I like and what I listen to, I wanted to offer an experience that we can all go through. No matter who you are, or what your music taste is, I want us to connect through this playlist.
But how? It's awfully complex finding a common layer for all people to relate to, specially in music where taste is so subjective.
Well…in true millennial fashion I dived into the feelings bank. I believe we have all experienced sad times, even more so during the quarantine. We have all faced loneliness, angst, sadness, nostalgia, bitterness, you name it.
This playlist isn’t precisely the cure, it's more a companion for those feelings. Those feelings are good, they make us human. They make us reflect and face ourselves. This playlist is a journey for whomever may listen, down a lane which is different to each person.
The playlist is arranged in a way that begins being sad but ends on a heartfelt high. It encompasses music ranging from the 60’s all the way up to the latest releases of Fiona Apple and Yves Tumor.
It begins with Heaven or Las Vegas by the Cocteau Twins, a song which my first love showed me. It truly is a transfixing song, wrapped in melancholy but with a voice so gentle that at the same time fills the listener with hope. The lyrics are almost incomprehensible but the feeling is crystal clear.
The playlist gradually turns sadder with the passing of the songs. The third song, Isn´t it a pity by George Harrison, particularly depicts the switch. This song also carries personal emotional value. My grandfather showed me all of The Beatles, but I´m especially grateful to him for showing me this masterpiece of an album from George. I remember watching a Dick Cavett interview of him not so long ago in which he describes leaving The Beatles as something that had to happen and not because of Yoko. He said everyone in the band had something to offer, they all had sounds in their heads that they wanted to transmit to the world independently. It's indicative that the name of the album is "All things must pass". It´s also worth noting that George never learned how to write music - he strictly feels what he plays and in this song it speaks volumes.
I only have eyes for you by The Flamingos. What is there to say about this song? Released in 1959, a whopping 61 years ago. It is so timeless that it features in many movies and series to this date. Take Black Mirror or Euphoria as the latest examples. Words do not do it justice, so here is a clip of The Flamingos performing it. Enjoy!
Running by Helado Negro. The playlist here digs deeper into the feeling of loneliness with this song: a beautiful slow song with masterful production that doesn´t disturb the simplicity of the song and the power of the voice of Roberto Carlos Lange. It's an intimate song between the artist and the listener. It engages from the first chord and as the song progresses you´re sucked into the story being told. "Because I feel you, in my mind, all the time. Because I see you, in my hands, everyday". Pure and utter brilliance.
Juana, my dear Juana. What a soul. I first saw her live in 2018 in a small and intimate concert. I was a huge fan of her music, but seeing her live was something else. She takes you into her world, headfirst. It is to this day the best concert I have witnessed. Her presence is unparallel and her humbleness oozes. Here I link a video of a mini concert she did for KEXP, the song included in the playlist, Estalacticas, starts at 7:50. Have a look and enjoy.
Continuing with the realese of emotions that Estalacticas generates, I finish the playlist with one of my favorite songs from what I consider to be the album of the year so far. A critically acclaimed album (just take a look at the 10/10 it got on Pitchfork) with each song being composed of chords, screams, lyrics, the occasional dog barking in the background and sounds recorded organically. This final song, Relay, ends the playlist with a bang. After a rollercoaster of emotions, this song is meant to be the liberating cry.
Hope you enjoyed the playlist and that it made you feel something. Stay home, stay safe.
With much love,