Are we still in lockdown? Are we not? Are we allowed to hug our grandmas again or only if we pay £5? Who knows?
All we know is that the lockdown fever dream of summer 2020 has made us sick of our Spotify. Yes, some incredible new releases have been brought out during this time, but for most of us, whether you’re willing to admit it or not, you’ve definitely slipped back to your 16-year-old self angst playlist or fallen for the easy comfort of some ABBA. We know better than any and now more than ever what music can do for the mood, splitting us into two camps of wallowers playing the new Phoebe Bridgers record on repeat, or the people that turn on a track to switch their mood up. Painting an auto-picture of what our lockdown has sounded like, we’re crammed as many of our friends, bands we love, favourite creatives and writers into one big non-socially distanced playlist, take that Boris. From the dizzy high of euphoric indie, to the questionable corners or sad film scores and musical theatre b-sides, stay tuned in; this is the Kiloran & friends sounds of lockdown.
Brigid Harrison-Draper – My Last Order Podcast
When lockdown first started and I was working from home I decided to challenge myself to listen to artists I’d never really took time to listen too. One of those was Leonard Cohen. I bought Songs of Leonard Cohen vinyl on eBay and was taken away by how emotional his music made me feel. ‘So Long, Marianne’ has been the song I think soundtracks my lockdown. It’s such a beautiful song that actually made me cry when I listened to it. I don’t know why I’d never listened to it before and how I’d missed it considering it’s one of Cohen’s ‘hits’. There’s something about the line “and cry and cry and laugh about it all again” that sticks with me, I blame the Literature degree I’ve got, that notion of going round in circles, never forgetting, always reminiscing. Also reminds me of the Normal People era of lockdown which again, made me cry. brb thinkin about Connell’s Chain.
Nancy Dawkins – Creation Poetry
2020 has objectively been a bad year, yet it also produced from its latex-gloved sleeves album releases from my long beloved musicians: Fiona Apple, Ghostpoet, Happyness, Laura Marling, Taylor Swift, TORRES and even Katie-Jane Garside. Lots of my pandemic life has been just listening to these records on repeat. For me, however, no album fully captured my covid-quarantine time than Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers, an album begging to be screamed along to through hysterical tears while you eat dairy-free ice cream from the tub in bed for the seventh day in a row. I know the end, the closing track on the record, encapsulates lockdown in an eerily prescient way, with uncanny lines like “when I get back I’ll lay around and I’ll get up and lay back down”. Dystopian and apocalyptic in both lyrics and instrumentation (what says pandemic more than a scream petering out to a husky whisper?), I Know the End signals the end of far more than just an album. When Bridgers sings “a haunted house with a picket fence, to float around and ghost my friends, no I’m not afraid to disappear” I wonder if she’s read my journal. The build towards the end never fails to send chills down my spine, and fill me with that overwhelming feeling of just feeling with no discernible emotion, that the strangeness of pandemic life often filled me with. I if I wasn’t already the kind of morbid person who knows what song she wants played at her funeral (Carry Me Out by Mitski), I think the pandemic would have pushed me there, and this song would have been my choice (in fact I’ll have it too).
Emmie Lois – Blogger
I remember sitting in my childhood bedroom when I was 15 watching Beyonce’s Glastonbury performance on the family laptop. What a show – I was captivated from start to finish. Nothing necessarily outlandish in design, but my god can that woman hold a note.
Fast forward nine years, in the height of a global pandemic which resulted in lockdown, and I found myself on BBC iPlayer re-watching Glastonbury’s of the past (Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Dolly Parton to name a few) and I watched Beyonce’s set again. Three times, in three days. Then I watched her Coachella performance on Netflix, for the fourth time.
I have a soft spot for old-school Beyonce (who doesn’t) but Lemonade has to be one of my favourite albums. Nothing new here, it’s been out for four years, but the hype lives on. Formation is a song I’ve loved for years, sang at the top of my lungs with friends in taxis, hummed to while cooking dinner, bopped silently to on my commute to work… but then my commute stopped. As I was furloughed the world sat still with me, and as I tackled life, shitty men and a diminishing bank account, this song has undeniably spurred me on, reminding me that I. fucking. slay.
Jamie Thompson – Little Strange
We admire Alexandra Savior’s complete body of work. Both records hold equal importance to me. However, I always seem to revert back to Belladonna of Sadness, in some way or other. Stylistically, it’s everything I resonate with in an album. It’s dark and sleazy. It makes you feel like you’re on the run with Savior as the getaway driver.
During lockdown, we got the idea to cover Girlie, born out of an affinity for a live performance by Savior and Alex Turner. It came at a time, when I was becoming increasingly inspired in the early hours of the morning. I think you can definitely hear the night pouring into our cover.
Katie Owen – DJ & Presenter
Released a few weeks before lockdown, Declan McKenna released indie bop Beautiful Faces. Opening the track is professed: ‘And as the Earth returned to calmly dress itself in white’. Somehow Mckenna’s agenda resonates with social issues like climate change – pollution has been stuck with us in lockdown allowing the earth to heal. Whether his ideas go this far, it is certainly fitting for the pandemic.
The pure ambience of the song mitigates any social issues at its horizons. Music as per, soothing the gap between silence and loudness. I’m loving this new era of Declan McKenna!
Lucy Harbron – Kiloran Founding Editor & Writer
Way back at the start of lockdown I was listening to a lot of Beach Boys for a much needed serotonin boost. I then got really into reading about their lives and Dennis’ interaction with Charles Manson and it all spiralled into a month-long intense obsession that was bordering on unhealthy, but this song remains a banger. On listen one, Never Learn Not To Love sounds like all other Beach Boys hits with the huge euphoric harmonies and catch melody, but when you learn that it was actually written by Charles Manson it gains this whole sinister side of it, feeling like some kind of hypnosis hymn, which was perfect for my lockdown delusions. I feel like the weird trance-like, psychedelic vibes really capture those first months where we were all losing our mind, if I were going to analyse it. And if I wasn’t, I’d simply say it’s wildly catchy and it was a way cooler option than Kokomo.
Natasha Rainey – Kiloran Music Editor
If lockdown has taught me anything, it’s no one cares what you’re doing so your clout chasing efforts are as redundant as white men protesting compulsory face masks. The social aspect of living has been dead since March and it’s strange to realise how much of what you do is based on what others think of you, rather than just doing it for yourself. I know I definitely try to keep up with the latest releases to stay on trend or lie that I like the new Courteeners, when in my heart I know a lot of it is just garbage.
Abandoning the status quo of indie landfill, I have found refuge in musical theatre. Back to my roots. Theatre kids may be the horse girls of music but I doubt Alex Turner could ever muster the entire rap to Satisfied from Hamilton, my new benchmark of talent. Perhaps biased as a child stage school attendee, I think my lockdown song choice is warranted by the social circumstances and revolutionary musical it constitutes. Yipikaye hombres, my lockdown song is Tango Maureen from Rent.
Tom Joshua – Singer/Songwriter
My friend joe introduced this song to me a few months before lockdown, Love Is Overtaking Me by Arthur Russell. Its got a nice jangly way about it. In lockdown I got in the habit of asking alexa to put it on while I’m poaching my eggs. Now she puts it on whenever she smells eggs.
Josh Hart – Cucamaras
Fashun by Willie J Healey is the happiest song I’ve come across during the whole of lockdown, it’s got me through some pretty dull days. I got into a routine of playing it in the morning to make me less miserable. It’s also insanely 70s which is the era I’m digging at the minute.
Hannah Lloyd – Singer/songwriter
Roman Candles by Dizzy is my song of lockdown cause I feel it really captures that feeling of being back home and seeing everyone around you moving forward with their lives and feeling like you’re not a part of that, which I think was a big aspect of lockdown for me, not being able to play live music and losing all my work. It’s also great to have a lil dance too which is the best way to get through any day.
Gracie T – DJ
My song of lockdown is For Aisha by MEMBA, EVAN GIIA and Nooran Sisters. This song was written for The Sky is Pink, produced by & starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas and directed by Shonali Bose. It tells the true story of Aisha Chaudhary, a motivational speaker with pulmonary fibrosis and her father’s determination to publish her book before she passed away. It’s a lovely song in memory of Aisha, full of joy and hope with a beautiful music video.
Emily Millar / Brooks.JPEG – Artist
Mockingbird by Carly Simon and James Taylor has been getting me through these strange times. The song is simply horrendous (in my opinion) but it plays on the radio during every car ride with my boyfriend. Having some time outside, while seeing him innocently sing every word to his Spotify playlist has been a lovely moment during the chaos.
Sophie Rodgers – Designer
This track, Castle Went Dark by the XX is played in The Great Gatsby whilst reflecting on the events between Gatsby and Daisy’s affair, despite the uncertainty of how long they would have together. I felt a similar feeling towards this period of being entirely on my own like never before, excited by this new relationship, yet concerned with how long I’d have it for. The tune is very melancholic and it’s a good reflection on how eerie that period was, but I still found it soothing to listen to whilst working since I wasn’t phased by the eerie atmosphere anyway.
Tom Branfoot – Poet
The single from Jerskin Fendrix’s debut album Winterreise, released this April, Oh God blew me away on the first listen; with its postmodern sincerity and experimental production, blurring the lines between PC Music and post-punk. Lyrically balanced between humour and sadness, the whole song is built upon tension, void of percussion and punctuated by synths which ebb and flow before erupting into an impassioned rage. Oh God is a marvel of modern music, sonically crafted, lyrically entertaining and lurking behind the facade, a deep sorrowfulness.
Nathan Keeble – Children Of The State
I’d pick The Year Of The Cat by Al Stewart, it’s a song I heard only recently but it’s a pretty huge composition with great lyrics. I feel like now the Spotify AI understands who I am and finds and presents me with fantastic songs like this to keep me subscribed.
I think the algorithm now knows me better than the people around me.
Poison – Spectre Burlesque
My song of lockdown has got to be Attention by Charlie Puth. It’s just a pure bright pop banger, it acted as instant serotonin for my isolated brain n a just can’t help but do a wee boogie every time I hear it.
Lola Haze – Spectre Burlesque
My song of lockdown is Oh Man The Future by De Luxe. It’s a really funky boppy tune but the lyrics are all about how the world is fucked up and it’s getting worse (nice positive vibes I know lol). It’s not as depressing as it sounds but I think it really embodies how resilient we can all be.
Holly Parkinson – Physicist & Writer
David Bowie was a big part of the music I was raised on, and has never left my side in times of need, tenderness or celebration. Dancing In The Street was always on when I was on a break from studying, reminding me of times when we /were/ dancing in the street- it was one of the last songs I remember listening to with my housemates at uni before we all parted ways for lockdown and the end of their studies. It’s an absolute bop, 10/10 would recommend.
Mia & Rach – Go Off Sis Podcast
We picked Kano’s Trouble because not only does it sound good but it has a lot of depth to it. It’s the idea that “trouble” could be lurking around any corner, it’s chilling and raw but with an enjoyable beat. During the Black Lives Matter movement when we were protesting this song fit how we were feeling perfectly – it kind of reminded us of an uprising or a revolution and fuelled us in a sense.