As the Bay Area slips into the lull of its third week of shelter-in-place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the city settles into an eerie new semblance of normalcy. While the regular ebb and flow of our routines has been widely disrupted, there are a few things we can hold onto to keep us grounded. For me, that’s music.

In attempting to replicate the office environment at home, selecting the appropriate soundtrack is key. The perfect work from home (WFH) landscape for me consists of ambient, downtempo music, typically sans lyrics.

Here is a roundup of some of Indy Cindie’s favorite artists and jams to WFH to:

Geotic

Geotic happened to be my most listened to artist of 2019 (turns out I listened to a whopping nine total hours of him). Perhaps more well known under the moniker of indie electronic artist Baths, Geotic is the softer brainchild of Will Wiesenfeld. Geotic’s style is delicate and relaxed, yet sparkling with an undeniably vibrant energy. Each of Geotic’s tracks, replete with shimmering synths and airy hums, takes you to a magical setting. His most recent album Traversa underscores this notion of the transportive power of music.

Favorite tracks: “Swiss Bicycle,” “Maglev,” “Unwind”

Apricot Rail

It’s been ages since Apricot Rail has produced new music, but their timeless music has carried me through years of late night studying and working.

Favorite tracks: “Pouring Milk Out the Window,” “Halfway House,” “Surry Hills”

Balmorhea

Always a group to craft ensembles that beautifully reflect human nature, Balmorhea recently curated a playlist in response to the global pandemic titled ‘In Solidarity,’ a collection of  “songs from our friends: hope, peace and love for a trying time on our planet.”

Teen Daze

Teen Daze’s most recent EP Pure Water is inspired by The Outlaw Ocean, a book by Ian Urbina. Each track is linked to a chapter in the book and speaks to the darker sides of beauty in our world.

One of my favorite Teen Daze works is the remix of Venezuelan ambient artist Algodón Egipcio’s “Los Asuntos Pendientes (La Prueba B).”

Uppermost

Earlier this week, French electronic producer Uppermost released “When the Birds Start Singing,” an ode to the start of spring. While we’re not able to fully celebrate the warmer weather outdoors yet, the song is an uplifting hope of brighter days ahead.

In case you love Uppermost as much as I do, here's a 24-hour stream:

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky will forever hold a special place in my heart as my first introduction to the beautifully moving genre of post-rock that has shaped so many of my formative years.

The music video for "Postcard From 1952" is a cinematic collection of wistful memories of life's milestones shot in slow motion. The tenderness captured in the short film paired with the gradual crescendo of the song create a truly magnificent piece that ranks among one of my favorite music videos of all time.

Other artists featured on this playlist:

Blackbird Blackbird
El Ten Eleven

Tycho
Sigur Rós
Tourist
ford. (ft. Knapsack)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (ft. Amtrac)
Four Tet
The Echelon Effect
Slow Magic
Rival Consoles
Jon Brion
Kiasmos
Noble Oak
RARI