In our TYF Monthly Mixtape feature, our music writers share Spotify playlists of the songs – new and old – they’ve had on repeat for the last month. This column is back for 2020, and this time we’re sharing some of the songs we’ve loved in March.
Hello TYF Readers! How have you been? Are you well? March 2020 was a month where everything about our daily lives changed completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no matter where on the globe you are reading this. Over the past month, I’ve used music to take my mind off things every now and then, and one song I’ve kept coming back to was “Cars in Space” by Australian jangle pop six-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. That song has everything I could ask from that kind of genre: A wordy chorus, excellent interplay from multiple lead guitars, and an extraordinarily catchy hook. Rolling Blackouts C.F. have put out plenty of great singles in the past, and this one is their best to date. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Enya and Lush because both have been relatively soothing in these strange days. Of course, The Specials’ “Ghost Town” has also been on my mind, because it’s become rather apropos now that everything is closed and the streets are hauntingly empty.
My quarantine brain has felt compelled to replay a pretty peculiar mix of old favorites lately, from tragically underrated Hunger Games song “Meltdown” to Nancy Sinatra classic “Summer Wine.” Yet I’ve also been keeping tabs on new releases from artists like The Garden, Dua Lipa, Irontom, and The Weeknd. “Clench to Stay Awake” has become my go-to catharsis track; “Levitating” will be one of the first songs I dance to with my friends once the era of social distancing is finally over.
My March playlist is made up of songs that reflect the general up-and-down experience this month has been. I’ve been swerving between anxiety, staying positive, feeling hopeless, trying to remain calm and then just desperately trying to distract myself. These songs are also largely made up of songs I listened to in March anyway! “Heaven” and “Purple Rain” are here because they always get me moody in a good way, and I re-watched Stop Making Sense and saw Purple Rain for the first time. The Whitmer Thomas song is from his musical-comedy special, and “Mr. Knightley” is from the new Emma which absolutely delighted me for four blessed hours this month. I included some songs from icons of isolation – Tommy and The Virgin Suicides. “Rainy Days and Mondays” is here because frankly I have had too much of both lately. And finally I had to include the Weeknd because this song is a jam, and I did rewatch “Uncut Gems” this month…wow, that was a long time ago.
March has been an interesting month… Sonically, it’s on the calmer side of things, which I think comes through in the playlist. As always there are some good old tracks on there that, in my opinion, are a must-have. On the discovery side, there are two artists that I’ve been listening to quite a bit: J.S. Ondara and Thundamentals. I think what I like about them is that the sound is rather distinguishable but also doesn’t feel forced.
This should go without saying, but March was a pretty tumultuous month for plenty of people. Many of us had to say goodbye to friends and completely change our environments. Speaking for myself, I felt very emotionally raw. There was this overwhelming wave of feelings that hit me once everything fully settled in. The world is in a fragile state right now, so this month’s playlist reflects the feeling of disillusionment and overall uncertainty of our current situation. Frat Mouse and The World is a Beautiful Place have been my personal go-to’s. My hope is that this music will help you feel less alone. We’re in this together.
What music did you love in March? Let us know in the comments!