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 Gadhia of Young The Giant:
The last five weeks, I’ve not only become more aware of my most extreme emotions but also of the tiniest degrees that notch the huge spaces between them. Quarantine can confine my body, but I find my mind racing beyond its normal boundaries, leaving me to deal with the dirty laundry. This can be both powerful and painful, and in this time, music has been a true friend, transporting me to places where the mind can’t follow—where only the soul can go. Though Young the Giant has been social distancing, we have continued writing music with a song-a-day Postal Service-esque project resulting in five weekly songs and collaborations. This playlist has been a great source of inspiration. Behold: “Quarinspiration.”
“Last Living Souls” – Gorillaz
Gorillaz are currently killing it with their Song Machine project, but I’ve been jamming hard back into all of Demon Dayz. Not only is this song perfectly apt when I’m looking out onto an empty street, but it is also the complete representation of all of Gorillaz’s artistic qualities. Each verse, pre, chorus, is its own vignette: its own universe.
“On Your Own Again” – Scott Walker
Walker always transports me. His song-writing skates so well between Baroque and dreary, that it can take me all the way from Ancient Rome to a shit-stained subway stop in one song. That is true versatility. “I’ve seen it all the way, as far as anyone can see. At least when it began, I was so happy. I didn’t feel like me.”
“Avril 14th” – Aphex Twin
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some crazy-ass mind-bending Aphex Twin, but this song showcases his beautiful side, powdering the shadowy cheekbone of his creepy smile. An artist should always strive to surprise, no matter the cost, and for Aphex Twin, that is unadulterated emotion.
“Chix” – Jai Paul
Jai Paul, forever elusive, always manages to capture something ephemeral: a gut reflex. This 50-second tune is just that, reminding me to follow intuition down any road, no matter what time of night it is.
“The Rip” – Portishead
Classic Portishead, and a master class in simplicity and patience. When possibilities are endless, these are the hardest thing to master. “The Rip” is more about the spaces in between it than the actual notes, inflating its skeleton with a perfume that makes it heavier and more diabolical than a wrecking ball.
“Gretel” – (Sandy) Alex G
This is one of those songs that I must’ve listened to one hundred times on repeat, pissing off every single person who has to deal with me. “Gretel” is a song of endless theatrical appetite, speckled with trash juice and crusty mud, making those crispy edges that you can really crunch into. This is a lesson in extremes, and how they are often one in the same.
“Dropped” – Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace is a supergroup for the ages. I love the breath track that continues for the whole song. I try and follow its rhythm when I go for runs (socially distanced of course).
“Space Maker”- Air
Air will always have a special place in my heart and will forever be the sound of peace, something that is exponentially more difficult yet equally more rewarding to achieve in these trying times. The space we create is a privilege, and as I continue my quarantine, I think of the distance between loved ones and myself as an extension of my affection. Be safe and be well.