Featured Image: Låpsley by Alex Waespi
Despite all live gigs being cancelled across the globe, many have still managed to find solace through music during this hour of need. With billions in lockdown, music has been one of the few comforts available to help guide people through this unprecedented time. A lockdown playlist is essential for any day dedicated to self-care. Keeping this in mind, we’ve put together our selection of tracks to help you through this uncertain time. From the calming rhythm of Låpsley’s ‘Speaking of the End’, to the dynamic Alabama Shakes, consoling all who listen with their palpable warmth- there’s certainly something for everybody.
Låpsley – ‘Speaking of the end’
During the global pandemic, Låpsley has continued to remain active, by doing an online DJ set with Not Bad For A Girl and releasing thought-provoking album Through Water, which explores themes such as femininity and what it is to lean into your own sadness and heal from it. Låpsley’s much-awaited return in 2020 through this album, came at a time where it was undeniably appreciated as a great distraction by fans. The final track on the album, ‘Speaking of the End’, features the ‘fragility’ of relationships, paralleling the current fragile state the human-race finds itself in. However, the chorus suggests that with an end, comes new beginnings, “I’ve sculpted a new face”. Endings come with silver linings, such as a chance to reflect and reinvent oneself, an essential message to remember right now. The world may be in turmoil but as “happiness grows like ivy walls”, Låpsley perfectly encapsulates that like nature, happiness has an inevitable capability to bloom once more.
JP Saxe & Julia Michaels – ‘If The World Was Ending’
COVID-19 has meant that for almost the entire population, the world feels as though it truly is ending. Released before many had even heard of Coronavirus in October of 2019, the song gained popularity amidst the mass loss and pain that has become increasingly familiar. Produced by Finneas, ‘If The World Was Ending’ presents an ex-couple reuniting in the face of an apocalypse, reflecting the way in which break-ups themselves can feel like the end of the world. The track remains in the UK charts 7 months after its initial release, with romantics and escapists alike flocking to the song. They were in no doubt encouraged further by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels becoming a couple after recording it together. An original demo was also released in April, with the artists seemingly aware of how relevant the song has become. A clear anthem for lovers separated by the pandemic.
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Originally released in 1939, ‘We’ll Meet Again’ by Vera Lynn has experienced a resurgence of fame in 2020. The Queen quoted the notably fitting title during her address to the nation in early April. The country was also encouraged to unanimously sing it at 9 pm after the Queen’s speech on VE day. Dame Vera Lynn initially sang ‘We’ll Meet Again’ for the troops during World War II. It deeply resonated with them, as they did not know how long they would be apart from their families. The song was played on the radio during wartime broadcasts, in an attempt to raise British morale. When so many are presently separated from their friends and family, the song has once again become significant, with the potent sentiment of Vera Lynn’s voice bringing about an emotive response in many, particularly the older generations. ‘We’ll Meet Again’ is once again lifting the spirits of the British, prompting us all to remember that one day this will all be over, and we will be reunited with those we love.
Alabama Shakes – ‘Hold on’
Possibly the most uplifting track on this list, the hit song ‘Hold On’ earned the blues-rock band Alabama Shakes critical acclaim upon its release in 2012, with Rolling Stone naming it the best song of the year. “You got to hold on” is essentially the message and it is repeated numerous times throughout the song. However, frontwoman Brittany Howard’s voice makes the track anything but repetitive. Her powerful vocals are an unpredictable force of nature. At intervals during the track, they make her sound as if she were shouting across a room- while still maintaining rhythm and being anything but harsh on the ears. Having since gone solo, Brittany Howard has one of the most mesmerising voices in modern music and it is put to good use. She consistently spurs on those who listen to hold on and wait, for better things are coming. Alabama Shakes’ entire discography is saturated with raw passion and talent from every member. It is impossible not to feel upbeat while listening to their funky yet intense albums.
Ultimately, each track is suitable for every mood and fits together flawlessly. Låpsley’s ‘Speaking of the End’ is the ideal accompaniment to late-night walks and the sound of rainfall. Similarly, the harmonious JP Saxe and Julia Michaels’ duet in ‘If The World Was Ending’, compliments ‘We’ll Meet Again’ by Dame Vera Lynn perfectly- both are the epitome of romance conquering in the face of death. Finally, Alabama Shakes are a reminder that we shouldn’t forget the feeling of pure joy, both while self-isolating and in years to come. A fitting last thought we’re sure you’ll agree.