Songs I have been playing to stay happy (or at least sane) during each month of 2020
With every month of 2020 has come a fresh crisis. Some, such as the Coronavirus, have been with us from the beginning while others, such as murder hornets and UFOs, have served as a sort of novel distraction from the main crises at hand. In any case, this year has been wild, and here are some songs to accompany the crisis of every month so far.
Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers (1980)
The year opened strong with a potential WW3 from the offset. This song, with Peter Gabriel (ft Kate Bush) likening war to children’s games seems very representative of Trump’s form of diplomacy.
Bonobo – Kiara (2010)
The world suddenly opened its eyes to the massive bushfires raging through Australia, and photos of burning koalas were everywhere I turned. Do bonobos live in Australia? No. Would I be sad if I saw a photo of one burning? Yes. (Also, a really great chill electronic tune.)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Can’t Keep Checking My Phone (2015)
Congratulations. you have been accepted by the University of Whatsapp. Let’s ignore scientists and tell everyone we know that 5G is killing us all.
Kanye West, PARTYNEXTDOOR – Ghost Town (2018)
At the height of lockdown, this song title spoke for itself. Also, it would be a huge oversight not to feature Kanye on a 2020 playlist.
Kweku Collins – Death of a Salesman (2016)
The killing of George Floyd at the end of this month, as one of just many to die due to uncontrolled police brutality, sparked protests against systemic racism and inequality. This beautiful song by Kweku Collins sums up what it means to be a Black man in America.
Rose Laurens – American Love (1986/2011)
All eyes remained on the United States, with the President deciding to meet protests with violence rather than openness. The protests spread worldwide, encouraging those outside of North America to examine their own national failings.
Groove Armada – At the River (2000)
Please can reopening, and the rest of summer, be as relaxed as this song. I think we all deserve a break.
This is Part 2 of a mini series of Pandemic Playlists, curated by Music Editor Katie Bunney, sharing the songs that have been keeping us going through this peculiar time. Get in touch if you would like to contribute.