This article is part of our ongoing series 'Lockdown Listening' in which our writers share what they've been listening to during the London Coronavirus lockdown(s).
To listen to our writers' songs, follow and listen to our Spotify playlist.
1. Amy Winehouse - Fuck Me Pumps
After having the end of the pandemic falsely dangled in front of our face, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying one of things I’ve missed the most in Lockdown 3: Electric Beegalee is having the motivation to wear anything other than my oversized blanket hoodie, because who do I need to impress? I miss tipsy-ly getting ready to go out with my friends, over complimenting each other to finally realise: yes, my ass does look FANTASTIC in these jeans. From the champagne bottle pop at the beginning of the song to the steady RnB drum beat throughout, “Fuck Me Pumps” exudes the blurry feeling of being in a bar with your closest friends, and feasibly romanticising your life. Not to mention Amy Winehouse’s under-appreciated RnB-esque side of her voice shining throughout the whole album, which is more than worth listening to.
2. Flyte and The Staves - White Roses
In complete contrast to dusting off my fuck me pumps, one of the hardest reality checks of the pandemic was when it was announced that the UK had the most known deaths at over 100,000 deaths. It brought over a looming feeling of loss. Loss of acquaintances and loved ones, loss of a relationship, loss of the person I used to be before the first lockdown. In this time, especially when physical affection is looked down upon, listening to White Roses was the closest thing I could get to a tight, warm hug. Flyte’s contemplative lyrics beautifully supported with their signature harmonies, accompanied by The Staves, makes it the perfect song for reflection. As an avid Flyte fan, as proved by my Spotify rewind, I can confidently say that their entire repertoire is both lyrically and musically stunning (and would make for great tunes to add to your crying playlist).
3. Norma Tanega - Jubilation
To make sure I didn’t get into the lockdown routine rutt of religiously listening to the same three “sadboi” Tom Rosenthal songs, I turned to the blessing that is Spotify’s Discover Weekly. And, just to clarify, this is not a paid ad. As part of my routinely Monday morning skimming, I came across the gem that is Jubilation. Better known for singing the title sequence track to What We Do In The Shadows, Norma Tanega’s Jubilation is an anthem for free love that perfectly fits the song title. Her uplifting lyrics, folksy melodies and comforting voice create a much needed sense of optimism, perfect for lockdown expeditions.
4. Nina Simone - O-o-h Child
To make you feel better in any shit situation, this song just speaks for itself.
5. Fiona Apple - Under the Table and Ladies
The only thing about these tracks that relate to my lockdown experience is that I discovered Fiona Apple’s Fetch The Boltcutters (album) during it! Very quickly making its way to my most influential albums, Apple’s whimsical lyrics and percussive, alternative musical stylings have really stuck with me. But if I had to pick my personal stand outs, it would be Under the Table and Ladies. The candidness of her words enables you to vividly picture the specific interactions she sings about in each track, as if you were experiencing them yourself. The way she describes every situation allows you to easily relate each song to a similar situation you have encountered, especially as a woman.
6. Anderson.Paak ft Rapsody - Without You
Lockdown and writing essays to not go hand in hand, but this tune made it a lot easier. Without You is the perfect combination of “lofi beats to relax and study to” and sampling done correctly. Despite having listened to it 439874327831 times, the sneak peak of Hiatus Kaiyote’s Molasses right at the end never fails to blow my mind. Not only would I recommend this song for a solid head bop, but also the full length of Molasses is definitely one to check out.
7. James Francies ft. Yebba - My Day Will Come
The final song on my lockdown listening is probably one of the most beautiful songs I have had the pleasure of listening to. I love how you can feel the passion in both Yebba’s voice and Francies’ playing. They way Yebba and Francies progress in synergy during the song intricately and effortlessly but without overshadowing the other. When you’re at the point of your life where you’re supposed to be moving forward to the next stage, fulfilling goals and dreams, and having that put on pause is hard. By now I would have expected to be thriving in my career as well as collaborating on musical projects with my friends. This song is a wholesome and hopeful reminder that despite the setbacks, we will be moving forward and that day is yet to come.
Like many others, listening and compiling new music together was the saviour of my sanity. I’d highly recommend making your own lists of lockdown songs. Anything to make staying inside or our state mandated exercise walks a little more interesting.
Ahilya Murkunde, February 2021
Read other articles from the series here. They include:
Go to this Spotify playlist to listen to all the songs mentioned throughout the series!