Dealing with your quarantine grief through albums

Music has always been my haven. From curving school bus anxieties to keeping me company in my University halls – it’s what I turn to when in need of comfort. 

Living through a pandemic is emotionally confusing and has led some unusual listening habits [and my Spotify account being set to private]. 

My lockdown experience explained through albums I’ve been listening to:

1. Denial

“This isn’t happening, this can’t be happening.” I’m not sure why the seriousness of a global pandemic took so long for me to understand the gravity of the situation but it did take me a minute.

It is a normal reaction to rationalise overwhelming emotions, so initially, my music taste remained fairly unaffected.

I’ve had Color Theory by Soccer Mommy on a continuous loop since it came out in February. 

The songs are big and bright mixed with grim and emotional lyrics. The album heavily revolves around themes of growth/ change (and growing pains) – maybe my subconscious was trying to prep me a bit.

2. Anger

As the masking effects of denial and isolation began to wear, reality kicked in. I AM NOT READY.

A few days into lockdown my life descended into that Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode where Mac and Dennis move to the suburbs. And I was throwing a bowl of macaroni down the corridor levels of frustrated. 

Naturally, in anger, I turned to what I listened to when I was an angsty 15-year-old. And oh boy does no one do angst quite like Nirvana.

Nevermind gets you feeling all kinds of misunderstood and brooding. FUCK THIS I yell from my childhood bedroom, I might just go on a second walk.

“Get away. Get away. Get away. Get away. Away, away from your home.”

Yeah, I feel you, Kurt.

3. Bargaining

Ah if only……….. 

If only I went to that gig, that conference, shook that hand, I wish I… *sighhhh*

Every shindig you’ve ever rejected begins to play on your mind. I’m feeling nostalgic yet sad. Can I even remember my friend’s faces anymore?

Personally, this led me to delve deep into some Happy People by Peace.

This album carries a really warm feeling with it for me. I have countless memories of sitting in the sun with my friends with Harry Kossiers voice murmuring in the background. If my friends and I were featured in a late 2000s indie coming of age movie this would be our soundtrack.

As you can tell by its name Happy People is a wonderfully cheerful album. Opener ‘O You’ analogous early Primal Scream. It’s impossible to listen to without grooving around but what if I were dancing in a sweating pub with my friends… *sigh*

4. Depression

And then it hits. I am sad. 

It is important to note that as a healthy 21yr old I am in no way a victim of this situation and I will continue to sit in my room and listen to albums for the foreseeable future. ~Kim there’s people that are dying~

But naturally, first I needed to have a moment. 

And who do you turn to when you’re having a moment? Yes, that’s right – Lorde.

I fluctuated between both of her albums. Submerging myself in Melodrama’s breakup anthems and Pure Heroine’s exploration of growing up in equal parts.

Both helped me to revel in my self-pity. 

5. Acceptance

Coming to terms with that this is happening and there’s nothing I can do but wait it out took a few days but hey we’re here. 

I eventually concluded that A: I am extremely privileged and B: I should take this opportunity to listen to all those albums you ‘will get round to.’ 

Reverse back to last July, sat in a pile of my friends at TRUCK festival. The sun was shining and The Japanese House was playing in front of us. It’s my favourite moment of 2019 and probably the closest I’ve ever felt to zen. 

I left the gig noting that I must listen to more than just her singles when I got home. But obviously, I  forgot. Until lockdown of course!

Good at Falling and Something Has to Changeis a dream-pop masterpiece with floaty melodies that could carry away your darkest worries. The perfect quarantine soundtrack.

By Seónaidh McGuire

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