It sure didn’t take long for our world to be upended, did it? Look, there’s no way to pussyfoot around this: COVID-19 sucks. It will cost countless lives the world over. But as we hunker down in this preemptive shelter in place quarantine, why not fire up the stereo and pass the days away with some tunes? Music is always a good antidote for when there’s not one in sight for the foreseeable future.
Here’s a selection of “quaran-tunes” from local artists that we hope will be a balm for these unprecedented times.
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Local Songs That’ll Make You Dance:
Abracadabra, “Comb Your Hair”: This ’80s-inspired earworm is a fun distraction (also a subtle reminder to practice good hygiene, even if you’re not going anywhere for a while).
Vice Reine, “Sweet Dreams”: Have a one-person dance party with some major synths.
vverevvolf, “Sugar & Spice”: There are a lot of upbeat songs to choose from in vverevvolf’s catalog, but this is by far the most invigorating of their recent releases
Makeunder, “In Between My Dead End Jobs”: There’s literally no way not to bust a move when this is playing.
Local Songs That’ll Make You Think:
Oona Ruin, “Don’t Look Down”: What is this song about if not hope?
Rittybo & Kezia, “Lonely”: I mean…
Ah Mer Ah Su, “On”: We’ll go on.
JD Bray, Playlist Editor
Foxtails Brigade, “We Are Not Ourselves”: A tale of insomnia, anxiety, and a dash of mania to meet the moment.
Boy Scouts, “Get Well Soon”: Although it’s essentially Taylor Vick’s goodbye letter to an ex, it becomes a missive to soldier on, as well as as a soothing kiss-off.
Culture Abuse, “Calm E”: It’s pretty simple. Pick up the damn phone and call your friends.
The Umbrellas, “City Song”: “Is this the city of broken promises and cancelled plans?” Sure feels like it.
Bells Atlas, “Be Brave”: Singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu beckons us to be our better selves. We are not alone.
So Much Light, “Heal”: Sacramento’s Damien Verrett ponders how to “heal the ache that I can’t name” over funky synths that will make you slink across the floors of your apartment.
Ceremony, “In The Spirit World Now”: So much of this initial phase of this pandemic feels surreal. Ceremony captures that off-kilter feeling convincingly well. It’s a tune that wouldn’t feel that far off as a Talking Heads “Burning Down The House” B-Side.
Curls, “Gentle and Kind”: It’s going to be a long few weeks (and maybe months), y’all. Let’s keep that kindness flowing.
Jay Som, “Tenderness”: Though she may have left for Los Angeles, East Bay native Melina Duterte’s smooth, intimate pop music is the perfect soundscape to melt the day away on your couch.
Tanukichan, “Bitter Medicine”: There will be moments during this where we’ll need to escape. “Bitter Medicine” is the calling card to disassociate and daydream of a better world.
Emily Afton, “Back in San Francisco”: A city isn’t a city without its soul. May Emily Afton and others help us find our way again.
Ismay, “In the Hospital Room”: Even in a dark moment, there is light. Ismay beams with soothing clarity and humanity on this song — a true reminder that we can, and will, find peace through the pain.