Music is deeply personal, for the producer and the consumer. It’s not just a form of entertainment; music can transport listeners to a different time, place or feeling. As a result, our listening habits are extremely informative. For instance, happy music enables listeners to fulfil escapist desires and focus on a more positive reality. Conversely, songs with heartfelt lyrics can provide listeners with a voice that they otherwise might have been unable to articulate.
Spotify was the first to note a shift in consumer activity during the Covid-19 lockdown, reporting an increase in searches for ‘chill’ and ‘instrumental’ songs. Then it was announced that the most listened to songs of the year have been the fastest they’ve been in over ten years, with an average tempo of 122 bpm. Such trends reveal the – sorry for saying it – unprecedented role that music has played during the pandemic in terms of helping us manage stress and restoring a sense of stability.
Here at The Indiependent, we’ve put together a short selection of songs that have resonated with us during lockdown.
Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) // Baz Luhrmann
More of a motivational speech than a song, ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’ is the perfect antidote for that insufferable ‘meh’ feeling. Written as a pseudo-graduation speech, and carried by the calmest of lo-fi beats, it is impossible to not feel positively affirmed when listening.
Waking up on my 22nd birthday in my childhood bedroom, realising that my future was very much in the dark, hearing the line “The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives” was a moment of profoundness. With titbits of knowledge dotted throughout the entirety of the song, it’s as if Luhrmann is vocalising my inner monologue.
With the news being plagued by an endless stream of negative discourse, turning on the song is a reminder that, no matter how bleak times may seem, to live is a wonderful thing.
Words by Lucy Robinson