Weekly Playlist 3/20
Every Friday, I share the highlights of what I’ve been listening to over the course of the week, from old favorites to new discoveries. Playlist best enjoyed in order.
What strange, chaotic times. At least we still have music, from new releases to keep us sane to old favorites all available to stream — or, if your financial situation allows, buy, as musicians who often rely on touring are taking a hit right now. More on that later.
For some reason, new pop-punk bands sound all too similar, like they’re just falling short of what made the genre explode in the early 2000s — but new music released by bands active and thriving then is altogether different. “Some Kind of Disaster” by All Time Low, for example, is a great new release, and it doesn’t have the sort of juvenile sound pop punk can sometimes have. It’s a good, fun rock song, as is “Radio Song” by R.E.M. Most people are probably spinning “It’s the End of the World” right now, but the line “the world is collapsing around our ears” feels quite apt. “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads has a similar feel, with lyrics exploring the surreality of life.
Then we have some fun with Lorde and her best track, the super fun “Green Light” with a hint of a ’70s disco vibe, before ending intensely with another immensely talented female artist — Regina Spektor with “Après Moi.” Spektor’s probably more well-known for her sweet, fun pop songs like “Fidelity” and “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” but when you dig into her work, she likes to get a little dark and unconventional. “Après Moi” isn’t the most quintessential example of that, but it does show what she’s capable of as a songwriter, especially if you know her for those aforementioned lighthearted releases.
Now, despite the downfalls of streaming, it is still a way for musicians to get revenue, especially now, as tours are canceled and they’re relying on other sources for their income — actually buying albums or songs, as well as merchandise, is also a great way to support your favorite artists right now if you have the money to spend yourself. Last week, NPR took a look at the impact lost gigs are having on musicians, and this week, they have a list of ways you can support musicians. Musician platform Bandcamp is helping by waiving their share of revenue sales for 24 hours today, ending at midnight Pacific time, so now’s the time to get those albums. Some artists have vowed to pay it forward and donate any money from today’s sales to various nonprofits.
So get out there, support musicians, and most of all, stay inside to help flatten the curve and take care if you or a loved one is ill. We’ll be out of this soon enough.