The Best Music Produced Out of Quarantine

Catherine Auerbach

Art and music are a direct response and reaction to the events in our lives; they are artists’ way of processing, explaining, illustrating, and synthesizing their livelihood into a universal form of language. Thus, the expansive upheaval catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic global quarantine, as well as social issues that have sparked rebirth of the Black Lives Matter movement, has been brought into the musical sphere. This has given rise to a whole new category of music and lyrics defined by 2020’s collective trauma. In a year of immense darkness, music translates this darkness to light, and asks us to reflect. Music forces us to reconcile with our emotions, fears, our inner self. Music specifically relating to 2020 asks us to do the same: to pause, reflect, meditate for three minutes on our daily venture outside. 

 

Below you’ll find a list of songs written during 2020 that relate to the soul and core sentiments of this year. I encourage you to listen to a few. 

 

  1. Lockdown by Anderson .Paak

“Lockdown” by Anderson .Paak discusses the murder of George Floyd and the revival of the BLM movement, and how this fits into the setting of a global pandemic. 

 

Key Lyrics:

  • Lil’ tear gas cleared the whole place out”
  • “Sicker than the COVID, how they did him on the ground / Speakin’ of the COVID, is it still goin’ around?”
  • “’Cause they throw away black lives like paper towels / Plus unemployment rate, what, forty million now? / Killed a man in broad day, might never see a trial”

 

Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgItkJCm09c 

 

  1. Do What You Can by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles

“Do What You Can” by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles discusses the hardships many of us have faced this year, and encourages us to keep going, stay hopeful and do what we can to help out. 

 

Key Lyrics: 

  • “I got a hundred point one fever / And we still got bills to pay”
  • “Although I’ll keep my social distance / What this world needs is a hug / Until we find the vaccination / There’s no substitute for love”
  • “Small towns are rolling up their sidewalks / One last paycheck coming through”

 

Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBLAamIlxy8 

 

  1. IDK You Yet by Alexander 23 

Up-and-coming artist Alexander 23 sings about the feelings of isolation and loneliness many of us have been feeling whilst in quarantine. 

 

Key Lyrics: 

  • “How can you miss someone you’ve never met? / ‘Cause I need you now but I don’t know you yet” 

 

Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoY6nmmjnHM&feature=youtu.be 

 

  1. Tryin’ To Keep It Together by Norah Jones 

The title of this song exemplifies what a lot of us have been feeling throughout quarantine. Take a break and listen (and explore some of Norah Jones’ other songs! She’s a great artist) 

 

Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcjVoPRbKKY 

 

  1. Level of Concern by Twenty One Pilots 

Twenty One Pilots sings about the craziness of the world in 2020 and the desire to have someone to survive it with you. 

 

Key Lyrics: 

  • “Panic on the brain, world has gone insane / Things are starting to get heavy”
  • “Wonderin’, would you be, my little quarantine?”

 

Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loOWKm8GW6A