This is an unprecedented time of geographic separation for Emory students. We are scattered across the globe, and I, for one, have been leaning more on music now than ever before to get me through this stressful time. I have asked my fellow arts and entertainment writers to add a song to this list in addition to why they’re listening to it, hopefully bringing some new music to your ears. Here’s what they had to offer.
Aidan Vick: ‘Reflections in Suspension’ by Steve Roach
In times as mentally taxing as these, there are few things more pleasant than being able to turn your brain off for a while. This 16-minute ambient track offers gorgeous synth passages and a soothing aesthetic that works both as background music for studying and as a stress reliever.
Joel Lerner: ‘quiet motions’ by mxmtoon
When “quiet motions” was released as a single at the beginning of March this year, it was not yet evident how applicable it would be to the day-to-day life of quarantine away from the bustling routine of school. For a chill, positive message about an isolated life, listen to this mxmtoon hit single.
Gaby Blade: ‘Sunflower, Vol. 6’ by Harry Styles
Being cooped up at home in Ohio has made me yearn for that soothing warmth offered by spring in Georgia. With glittery Vampire Weekend vibes, “Sunflower, Vol. 6” perfectly captures the brightness that comes with springtime. If I close my eyes, “Sunflower, Vol. 6” transports me back to memories made in springtime on the quad, with that glowing Georgia sun gently warming my face.
Gaby Blade: ‘Plantasia’ by Mort Garson
“Plantasia” is the first track off of “Mother Earth’s Plantasia,” an album described as “warm earth music for plants … and the people who love them” by Garson himself. I know, it sounds weird, but stick with me. Blending classical and electronic, “Plantasia” is the perfect ambient music. There’s something wonderfully comforting about this charming, earthy tune.
Ayushi Agarwal: ‘Riha’ by Anuv Jain
One of my favorite tasks, in and out of lockdown, is to play YouTube roulette. Starting from one indie Hindi or Urdu song, I let YouTube’s recommended videos lead me astray in a seemingly endless search for new music. That is how I bumped into Anuv Jain’s third studio-recorded single: “Riha.”
Eythen Anthony: ‘Sanctuary’ by Joji
A song that makes me sway my head and tugs at my heartstrings, Joji’s hit “Sanctuary” is a romantic tour de force. It pairs nicely with its music video, a throwback to 1960s space programs like “Star Trek,” as Joji’s stunning vocals and lo-fi beats make me feel weightless while listening.
Stephen Altobelli: ‘Billie Jean’ by The Civil Wars
This is the rare instance of a cover that might be better than the original. I’m not good at writing about music, but this song more than speaks for itself. Go listen to it.
Becca Moszka: ‘Keep Going’ by The Revivalists
One of the hardest aspects of life in quarantine is remaining hopeful and positive amid all the terrible news and shelter-in-place orders. Listening to The Revivalists’ “Keep Going” reminds me to persevere in the face of hardship and find the light in each new day.
Ryan Callahan: ‘Great Big Storm’ by Nate Ruess
Fun. frontman Nate Ruess’s declaration, “Oh no I can’t believe / Everything falling down around me” is a phrase we have all repeated at some point over the last several weeks. The seventh song off his debut album, “Great Big Storm” is a thunderous anthem dedicated to persistence and optimism even during the craziest of times.
Sara Khan: ‘Banana Clip’ by Miguel
The weather for the past few weeks in Virginia has been less than ideal, so I try to listen to selections from Miguel’s “War & Leisure” that remind me of summertime. Quarantine feels like a strange premature summer because we’re not physically in school yet have lots of work to do. To combat this feeling, I listen to this song to help lift my mood while I wait out these last few weeks of the semester.
Aayush Gupta: ‘Everyday Life’ by Coldplay
In times of crisis, it’s easy to fall into the trap of losing hope by staying isolated, resigning yourself to your fate and losing motivation. Chris Martin’s angelic voice is here asking you to keep faith and never stop believing. We have to keep dancing when the lights go out. Because ultimately this adversity, like all others, is a part of everyday life.