Sameer Bhattacharya of Belle and the Dragon Gives His ‘Songs You Can Listen to With Clean Hands While Staring at the Ceiling’ Playlist
"I know that we will come out on top as we work together and support each other"
With everyone sequestered and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, we’ve asked our favorite artists to come up with playlists that keep you entertained. Here’s Sameer Bhattacharya of Belle and the Dragon:
I hope all of you are holding up okay. I know that we will come out on top as we work together and support each other.
I’m passing my time in quarantine by writing tunes, figuring out how to best live stream with my recording gear, and working on my left-handed guitar skills (I play right-handed). I’ve reorganized my sock drawer a few times. Once by color, then by size, now by how faded they are. I’ve watched Star Trek: Picard and am now working on Tiger King. I’ve been calling my parents more than usual and I’m sure they are happy about that.
I want to thank the doctors and medical staff on the front lines, the truckers, all the grocery workers making sure we have food and essentials. These people are rock stars.
I know we will beat this and come out stronger and more united than ever.
Sigur Rós – “Untitled #1 (aka Vaka)”
When I hear this song the world becomes that much more beautiful and bearable. It has gotten me through a lot of difficult times. I hum it when I wash my hands.
Flaming Lips – “Do You Realize??”
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that time goes fast. It’s hard to make the good times last.” The Flaming Lips always helps me appreciate the moment. Particularly the moments I’m in front of the sink washing my hands.
Radiohead – “Separator”
I’ve spent countless hours on tour watching foliage, headlights, and freeway speed past while this blasts in my headphones. It feels like an old friend, weighted blanket, or freshly washed hands.
Phoenix – “J-Boy”
Because sometimes it’s okay to feel good while you feel hurt. And it’s always okay to wash your hands.
R.E.M. – “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It”
This song reminds me that even when it feels like the end, it isn’t. We go on. And I feel fine…with clean hands.
Jimmy Eat World – “Congratulations”
Suspiciously, through editing, the facts are disappearing.” Being quarantined in the Age of Alternative Facts with the internet at my fingertips can be maddening. A click-bait industry built on memes and sensationalism, different news outlets constructing polarizing realities, and the flat earth…it’s enough to inspire one to stay in bed because abstract dreams make more sense. Jimmy Eat World says it best: “You’ll take awkward possession of nothing you really wanted. Welcome, congratulations.” Wash your hands.
Sufjan Stevens – “Jupiter”
“I felt the arm’s length while I’ve gone on my way.” Social-distancing. Voluntary and involuntary.
Phantogram – “Run Run Blood”
“Hey wolf, there’s lions in here.” Three is one of the greatest albums of the decade. There was a month where I listened to nothing else. Wolves and lions should keep their distance: 6ft or more.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Red Right Hand”
This song always inspires me not to be a “microscopic cog in his catastrophic plans, designed and directed by his red right hand.” Everybody needs an anthem. I wonder if he had washed his hands if it would have stayed red.
Bosnian Rainbows – “Torn Maps”
“Can we hold hands? I promise you that they are clean.” Great message. Wash your hands.
At The Drive-In – “Quarantined”
“Autonomous machete for hands.” This is an effective PSA addressing the importance of washing our hands. “Sanction this outbreak…virus conspires. Push becomes shoves. Days become months. I seem to have forgotten the warmth of the sun.” Don’t forget the warmth of the sun. Go outside and get some fresh air, but if I see you coming my way I’m crossing the street, for now.
P.O.D. – “Panic Attack”
“All by myself, no one’s around.” Another great lyric addressing social-distancing. It’s also a good reminder that if you’re feeling anxious and panicked you aren’t alone. We’re in this together.
Incubus – “Tomorrow’s Food”
If you are a fan of existential crises like me, this song is for you. I think the message here is don’t hoard groceries and other necessary items. Leave some for your neighbors.
Crash Test Dummies – “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”
A message of compassion. Let’s be compassionate and considerate to one another by staying at home when we can, keeping our distance when we grab the essentials, and wash our hands often.
Waxahatchee – “War”
“If I kept a parasite around, I’ll be lying to myself.” Wise words from one of my favorite new artists. Don’t keep parasites around. Don’t be at war with yourself. Wash your hands.
Nada Surf – “Ride in the Unknown”
“Find some peace, and find some sleep. I’ll be your lookout.” I love this line because I hope you can find some peace and sleep knowing that I am looking out for you by social-distancing, washing my hands, and sneezing/coughing into my elbow (not my hands).