Lock down is long for everyone worldwide. So say yes to travel in time with our special at-home corona playlist because there’s nothing like sharing good songs together to keep us close. Everyone at home, but together with music!
Baxter Dury – Miami
Humour and bleakness could define Baxter Dury. There is a certain irony in the fact that Baxter Dury’s fifth album was released on the same day as a 4CD super-deluxe box set version of his father Ian’s 1977 masterpiece. Any child of a beloved rock star who chooses to follow them into the family business is guaranteed a tough time escaping their shadow, but Baxter Dury has had it tougher than most. He confessed to the media: ‘My dad was lovely, bubbly … and annoying’. Everything is said.
The Blaze- Virile
The Blaze, The French Duo is made of Jonathan and Guillaume Alric, 2 cousins living in Paris, well known to make sensitive dance music as good as stunning movies. “Virile” is a tender depiction of friendship between two men. Their collaborations draw on the warm feel of dub music, with glittering percussion and mournful vocals (both cousins sing, but their vocals are distorted to sound more or less the same). The result is a hypnotizing, slowly unfurling sound that straddles house and pop. It’s no wonder that the two have already nabbed a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival and the Best Directors award at the Berlin Music Video Awards in the two first years they released music together.
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
“Reflektor” the fouth and double album of Arcade fires was released in October 2013 with a video clip directed by Anton Corbijn, known for his work with Depeche Mode and U2. The video clip in black and white image recalls the Second World War and invokes Europa (1991) by Lars Von Trier emphasizing the fragility of the human bond. At the time, the leader Win Butler confessed to being obsessed with Kierkegaard’s 1846 Essay talking about society’s maturity and evolution: “thoughtful” and “passionate”. For Reflektor single Win Butler alludes to the comforting and artificial brightness of LCD screens: “Now the signals we send are deflected again / We are so connected but are we even friends?”
Toro y Moi – “Freelance”
Built Like a piece of a disco software stack? Yes, and so what? Sometimes it just takes the right track to get you on your feet and break free from the motions of the daily routine (or, lately, lack thereof). The song is a sum assembled of intricate strata, a swirl of honey keys, and autotune with a heart of funk. It’s a colorful, playful thing meant to feel at once retro and refreshingly avant-garde. For a quick burst of energy at any hour of the day or night, look no further. Work from Home never seemed so sweet.
Jungle – Casio
“Casio” is the sixth track from second studio album “For Ever”, by the British neo soul band “Jungle” (Thomas McFarland and Joshua Lloyd-Watson). The song is a funky ballad about heartbreak and a dysfunctional relationship. The video ends with the text: “JULIA, CALL ME.”. One year later, the video has over 37.1 million views, and 440 thousand likes!
Nicolas Jaar: Mi Mujer
Though it seems hard to imagine now, it’s not so long ago when a night in a crowded club was within the realm of possibility in Saigon. All is not lost, however, when listening to Nicolas Jaar, the Chilean-American artist known as a seminal figure in the electronic music industry from a very young age. Creating chilling, minimal electronic tracks influenced by his own personal experiences and roots, he brings a unique form of deep house.
Portishead Glory Box Live
If Portishead did not invent trip-hop, the group has given it its nobility with Glory Box which has since become a classic. In the nineties the group incarnated the rejection of the injunction to success and the blazing flamboyance of the 80s and became the anthem of a generation, between defeat and sensuality. Beth Gibbons brought the lyrics and the song, Geoff Barrow, Dave Mc Donald and Adrian Utley created the music that becomes then the sound of the time: a slow motion with twists and turns, subtle changes with roundness and sensuality with the edge of defeat and tragedy.
Massive Attack – Teardrop
Fraser, Massive Attack’s singer, was in an appropriately mournful state of mind when she recorded the song. The words, though esoteric almost to the point of incomprehension, are imbued with melancholy, born from its own sadness on learning about the death of her friend Jeff Buckley, who drowned in May 1997. ‘Teardrop’ is kind of about him — that’s how it feels to me anyway,” she said in 2009. The song seems a fitting tribute to Buckley, whose own music can similarly be defined in terms of its sorrowful and otherworldly qualities. “Teardrop” went on to reach the dizzy heights of the UK top 10 in 1998.
Kate Bush – The Sensual World
By the middle of the 1980s, Kate Bush had reached the apex of her career with Hounds of Love. Few years later, she found inspiration in the literary world again, with James Joyce’s landmark 1920s novel Ulysses to find Molly Bloom’s closing monologue, in which the character steps from the pages of the book and revels in the real world. She was delighted to find that the rhythm and sound of the words fitted perfectly with the music she had been working on. But Joyce’s estate repeatedly refused Bush permission to use the words as her lyrics on ‘The Sensual World’. So she had to rebuilt from the ground-up, writing new passages that captured the same breathless energy as Bloom’s soliloquy. The finished product mirrored the inspirational text very closely, anchored around the repeated erotically charged ‘Yes’ which Bush delivered with a quivering intensity.
Glad To Be Unhappy – Billie Holiday
What to say about Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, except that she was one of the most influential jazz singers of all time. Nothing could do justice to the incredible and tragic life she led. She sang as she lived, in a devilishly sensual way.
The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game – The Marvelettes
Written by the great Smokey Robinson and recorded in 1966, this song leads off with lyrics that are just too perfect for our situation, “Everyday things change and the world puts on a new face. Certain things rearrange and this whole world seems like a new place.” I can’t imagine anything more poetic and delivered by some of Motown’s finest to boot.
Computer Love – Kraftwerk
“Computer Love” from Krafwerk’s 1981 is a concept record dealing with the rise of computers in our life and their roles in commerce, transportation, entertainment, and personal relationships. The lyrics, the lead synth melody all evoke loneliness and sadness, which is pretty remarkable coming from a band that has spent the past 40 years trying to sound as robotic and emotionless as possible.
Isolation by Joy Division
Recorded in March 1980 and just two months before Ian Curtis’s suicide, this is perhaps Joy Division’s most depressing song. In it, Ian conveys resignation and contentment at the same time with the lyrics, “But if you could just see the beauty. These things I could never describe. These pleasures a wayward distraction. This is my one lucky prize”.
Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself
Billy Idol has been everywhere in music, from punk to spiky-coiffed pop superstardom. His breakthrough single ‘Dancing with Myself’ released in 1980 with his band Generation X bombed its native U.K and then the USA only to end up becoming Idol’s breakthrough hit. Remade one year later as a solo artist, the video clip became one of the MTVs first mega-hit music videos which bridged punk, post-punk, and New Wave.
The Prodigy – Take me to the hospital
Kieth Flint. Another brilliant artist lost to suicide. While Take Me To The Hospital is almost a funny song to add to this list, there is nothing funny about depression or suicide at all. One bad ass noted about Kieth that most people don’t know – he was a great motorcycle racer and owned a racing team.