Listening to music is sort of a loner sport. Sure, you can experience live music with your friend—whether by going to a live show or by making music together, but at the end of the day, listening to music is an individual exercise. In New York or London or Paris you can listen to that one perfect album on the train and shut your eyes. At home you can put on a playlist and cook yourself dinner. That song that the person you used to love put on a playlist becomes your song which sometimes you can listen to and sometimes you cannot. It becomes ingrained in the hardwiring of your brain.
These are lonely times that we live in. Literally. We’re not supposed to go outside and see our friends. Forced social isolation isn’t something we’re used to, or maybe even particularly good at. Shuffling around the apartment in sweatpants stops feeling novel pretty quickly. Here are three songs to listen to help break up the silence and inevitable loneliness that comes from sitting in your apartment for hours on end.
"Garden Song," Phoebe Bridgers
Grounded by a lo-fi loop of muffled guitars, radio static, and percussion that plods like a distance swimmer’s resting heartbeat, this song is Bridgers in peak form. It moves through impressionistic images: Bridgers sings about planting a garden of roses, hopping fences, and dreams of going to the movies and watching the screen turn into a tidal wave. The song reaches its apotheosis towards the end. “No I’m not afraid of hard work/I get everything I want,” Bridgers sings, stretching out like a toy slingshot in the hands of a middle school bully. You could live inside of this song, with all of its caverns and solitude.
"Sweet," Porridge Radio
Brighton post-punk misfits Porridge Radio make the kind of music you can silently scream to. Their fourth single, “Sweet," is the push and pull of a soured mother-daughter relationship told through a strobing guitar and a heavy wall of noise. “My mum says that I look like a nervous wreck/because I bite my nails right down to the flesh,” sings frontwoman Dana Margolin with a Cheshire cat grin. Her pain is palpable. The song ends and you notice you’ve been biting your nails, too.
"Kinda Dark," Destroyer
The thing about Destroyer songs is that they all sound really good if you’re walking around in a suit and drinking a complicated red wine. Destroyer songs are sexy. But not in that way. They’re sexy in that they don’t make a lot of sense lyrically but still come off as sounding extremely confident. “Kinda Dark,” is a highlight from Dan Bejar’s latest record, Have We Met. The song feels sludgy, like walking home from the subway after a night out. You know, when it’s 3am and you are a little bit drunk and think everything is hilarious. The song starts off talking about “the Boston strangler,” and only gets weirder from there. Bejar’s braggadocio is second to none; he seems at home dancing through layers of swaggering bass and and stutter-stop percussion
"Rock & Roll," Trace Mountains
"Rock & Roll," is the latest from Trace Mountains, the Hudson-Valley based solo project of former LVL member Dave Benton. It finds Benton at his most bucolic: the song is the kind of thing that sounds best while riding your bike or lying on the grass somewhere beautiful, but given the current circumstances you can just lay in your bed and close your eyes and pretend you are riding your bike or lying on the grass somewhere beautiful. Then there's the question of Benton's voice, which sounds equally at ease here. "No one can save us from ourselves," he sings with sky blue clarity as a cosmic guitar solo kicks off in the background. Benton's introspection suits him.
"Circles," Post Malone
This song isn't new, and I'm not even sure it's good. It's fine! I love Post Malone!!!!!!!!