Songs for those Pandemic Blues

This pandemic has pushed all of us to find new ways to entertain ourselves. Whether that’s finding a new show to watch on your favorite streaming service or finally reading that book you said you would read one day. Whatever the case, we had to do something to pass the time. 

For me, when I had absolutely nothing to do, I would search for new music to listen to. Well…let’s say music exclusively new to me since half of the songs I discovered are from the 80s and early 90s.

From 2020 to now, I have heard a lot of songs that have been making this experience sound a lot better. 

With that said, I want to share my top five favorite albums I unearthed during this pandemic so far.

5. Titanic Rising (2019) – Weyes Blood 

I decided to give this album a listen after hearing Weyes Blood on Lana Del Rey’s seventh studio album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club (2021). She is featured on the closing track “For Free” (a Joni Mitchell cover) along with Zella Day, and her vocals outshined both Del Rey’s and Day’s. And her musical performance on Titanic Rising is just as brilliant. I love how uplifting each song is and the connection to the RMS Titanic. The album has a folk and soft rock feel, and it’s the perfect album to have queued up for a long summer road trip. At least, that is what I imagine whenever I listened to this album. Because in reality, I was stuck at home. 

Favorites from the album:

I)     Andromeda

II)    Something to Believe

III)     Wild Time

4. Led Zeppelin 1969 – Led Zeppelin 

2020 became the year I finally listened to Led Zeppelin. This was brought on because I was going through this 60s-70s phase. Most likely because I was binge-watching Mad Men for the millionth time (I swear it’s because I love the show, not because I was stuck at home). And after delving into numerous 70s playlists, I stumbled on the song “Kashmir.” Since then, I have only listened to Led Zeppelin’s first three albums in their entirety, and I have to say the first one is still my favorite overall. The bluesy melodies are timeless, from “Good Times Bad Times” to “Communication Breakdown” to the album closer, “How Many More Times.” 

It kind of feels like you’re in a 70s fever dream when Zeppelin comes on, and who wouldn’t love that? 

Favorites from the album:

I)     Good Times Bad Times

II)     Babe I’m Going to Leave you

III)     Dazed and Confused

3. Purple Rain (1984) – Prince  

Because I so badly wanted to go to a concert that wasn’t going to happen any time soon, I decided to watch the 1984 film Purple Rain. I was not anticipating the obsession that came afterward, but I couldn’t stop listening to the soundtrack.

The song “The Beautiful Ones” stood out the most to me during the film (yes, more than Purple Rain). It’s your typical 80s power ballad, but Prince’s vocals really set it apart from others from its time.

The opening track, “Let’s Go Crazy,” begins with Prince giving a sermon type of speech about how we can “get through this thing called life.” It’s a message I’m sure a lot of people needed to hear during the lockdown. 

Purple Rain has honestly become one of those albums I like to turn on to have noise in the background while I work. And a source for me to live out my 80s rock star dreams, of course.

Favorites from the album:

I)     The Beautiful Ones

II)     Take Me with U

III)     Purple Rain

2. Faith (1987) – George Michael 

My first introduction to this album was through the song Father Figure, and while its lyrical content is a bit controversial, the song itself is a musical masterpiece. So, it was inevitable that I would give Faith a try. And this album was probably the only thing I listened to for at least two months. Not only because of Michael’s vocals and the catchy beats but because of the seamless transitions. Like the transition from Father Figure to I Want Your Sex Pts. 1 & 2 is just magnificent. 

I would often queue up this album for the sole purpose of putting on my own concert for my cat and wall of posters. And truthfully, it’s such a vibe.

Favorites from the album:

I)     Father Figure

II)     I Want Your Sex Pts. 1 & 2

III)     One More Try

1. Grace (1994) – Jeff Buckley

I found this unbelievably talented singer on YouTube through a video recommendation. The video was of his 1995 concert in Frankfurt, Germany, and I love Germany, so I said, ‘why not watch this.’ And I absolutely loved every minute of that 45-minute performance. So, there was no way I wasn’t going to listen to his debut album, Grace. Jeff Buckley’s vocal style was completely different from anyone that I’ve ever heard, from the long-drawn-out notes (that can come off yodel-like) to the captivating lyrics and production of each song.  

I find myself listening to Grace whenever I am lacking in motivation. A feeling a lot of people have experienced during this pandemic. I am always brought back to when I first was introduced to Jeff Buckley. Through that 1995 concert video. When I felt like I was witnessing greatness. Because I don’t know about you, but talented people inspire me. And Jeff Buckley was a rare treasure.

Favorites from the album:

I)     Last Goodbye

II)     Mojo Pin

III)     So Real

Here’s a playlist with the rest of my musical discoveries.

Featured Image Credit: Constance Burroughs

Constance Burroughs

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