So, the world as we knew it started to fall apart in 2019.
Arguably, the world started to fall apart long before that, but you know what I’m talking about; we’re wearing masks everywhere we go, panicking about possible outbreaks on campus, and trying our best to social distance because of COVID-19 and the pandemic that came with the disease.
That’s the world from the perspective of a college student, anyway. Some people have been having, possibly, a slightly more productive time than us: take the artists who started releasing music when we were just sitting at home, bored and stressed out of our minds. Introducing the artists who started making and releasing music when COVID-19 first peaked, and the people who now make up my ‘Quarantine Playlist’ across all of my music platforms: PinkPantheress, Lovejoy, ericdoa, aldn, and glaive.
Not much is known about the UK artist called PinkPantheress other than her viral TikTok songs. She began posting her music to the popular platform in 2021. She currently has a total of six songs, all released as singles: “Just for me,” “Just a waste,” “Break It Off,” “Pain,” “Passion,” and “Attracted To You.” PinkPantheress has a very soft and soothing voice, and all of her songs are centered around unrequited love or otherwise doomed romance. My personal favorite, and the song that got the most love from TikTok, “Pain,” is about an almost-relationship that just didn’t have enough of a romantic spark on her crush’s end to last. I would recommend starting with “Pain” or “Just for me” if you’re new to PinkPantheress; both these songs really encompass the bittersweet beauty of her work.
I’m not sure what it is about being in isolation that caused Minecraft youtubers and Twitch streamers to make their way into my recommendations across so many platforms. I’m not upset, though; I discovered Lovejoy as a result. A band led and started by singer/influencer Wilbur Soot, Lovejoy currently has one Spotify-released EP, which consists of four songs: “Taunt,” “One Day,” “Sex Sells,” and “Cause for Concern.” At first, the only song I really liked was “Taunt,” but I’ve grown very fond of the entire EP, and my favorite is now “Cause for Concern.” If you’re new to Lovejoy, though, I would recommend starting with “Taunt;” it’s their most 2021-esque song, whereas the other three provide a nostalgic throwback to the early 2000s.
Welcome to the latter half of my ‘Quarantine Playlist,’ which consists of artists and songs that I really needed during my breakup last year, but only discovered this past summer. I’m starting with ericdoa not because I discovered him first, but because he most recently released a song that I’m currently addicted to: “back n forth.” Apart from the Aug. 17 single, ericdoa has two albums, COA and Public Target, in addition to a handful of other singles that date back to 2019. I’m a bigger fan of his more recent singles and collaborations with other artists, like “GossipGirl,” a song released on Public Target that featured Singer/Producer SEBii, and “fantasize,” which is only a few months old. I would recommend starting with ericdoa’s singles if you’re looking to get into his music.
What I like most about aldn’s songs is the sheer amount of storytelling. One of my favorites from him, “2ppl,” feels like a short story that someone wrote on a whim; the lyrics include tiny, random details that keep adding to the story of two people who could have been something special, but never will be. Every one of his songs gives this sort of sentiment, as if, in creating his songs, aldn just lets his train of thought flow naturally and makes it rhyme later on. He has a very soft tone to his voice that adds to the narrative aspect of his music. My favorites, next to “2ppl,” are “glittr” and “i’m alright.” All three of these songs belong to his most recent album, greenhouse, and are perfect for getting familiar with aldn’s music style.
Of my ‘where were you when I was heartbroken’ artists, glaive is both my favorite and the one I discovered first. His singles with ericdoa — “fuck this town” and “cloak n dagger” — and aldn — “what was the last thing you said” — are the reason I started listening to ericdoa and aldn in the first place. All three of them exist under a Spotify playlist called hyperpop, which includes singles from various artists that I’m quite fond of. (Turns out I really like hyperpop — a subgenre that’s classified as an exaggeration of popular music.) However, glaive is not just a feature artist; he currently has two albums to his name — cypress grove and all dogs go to heaven — in addition to a couple of singles, like “clover” and “life is pain,” that were not included on either album. As a pretty big fan of glaive, it’s hard to pinpoint where I think new listeners should start, so I always revert back to “eyesore,” which is the first song I stumbled upon. It’s one of those upbeat songs with a sad meaning, and it makes it a lot easier to sing out your emotions without bursting into tears.
I’m both proud of and inspired by these artists for turning quarantine boredom and anxiety into a passion. Even though I discovered so many of them later into the pandemic, they still helped to distract me from the overall anxiety of a changing world. They also gave me some closure about the up-and-down emotions I’ve had for the past couple of years; I’m not alone in how I feel about the horrendous state of the world, and I’m not selfish for trying to find some happiness in the chaos. I hope, if you indulge in any of these artist’s music, you will find yourself enjoying it and the emotional comfort their art provides.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Spotify