Music for your every self-isolation emotion

Music for your every self-isolation emotion

We all have different ways of coping, so here’s a playlist for your mind on quarantine.

Art by Neal P. Corpus


While in enhanced community quarantine, with more of a focus on day-to-day coping, we all seem to be experiencing similar scenarios that would, under different circumstances, be considered niche: a new coffee trend that now almost everybody has the time to try out, or addresses to the nation that we have no excuse for ignoring on anymore are just some things that come to mind. We know you’re as fed up as we are with emails and articles that start off with “In these are trying times…” so let’s begin describing our new everyday with the most universal language ever: music. Here are some short playlists you can listen to during the lockdown.

When you’re on your fourth cup of dalgona coffee

Hands shaking. Heart palpitating. Your mind is surely going somewhere, but it’s going nowhere good. I picked some millennium-cusp alt-rock classics that capture the restlessness and angst that might come with your fourth cup of dalgona coffee, the new frothy drink sweeping the nation. Did you try the recipe because you’re curious? Did you need something to make you feel more alive? Or perhaps you just wanna feel useful. There’s a lot of pressure to be churning out personal projects, getting an early start to your summer body, or finally landing that kickflip. A bit much to expect as a silver lining to a global crisis

With our typical daily routines interrupted, and 2020’s hellscape turning out the way it is, it’s natural to feel a little unproductive. You don’t have to write the great Filipino novel. It’s okay to have a hard time just opening that work email. Put on some Green Day, blow off some steam, and say how you really feel: not sick, but not well either. — Andi Osmeña

When the days start blurring together 

These are confusing times, and recently it seems like one blink can take you from Monday to Thursday. There are days though, when the evening can’t come soon enough. Things are either moving too slow or too fast. I’ve gone through at least three different sleep schedules so far, and it’s gotten difficult to consistently keep in touch with friends who are going through the same thing since we’re never awake at the same times. It’s like having your head constantly stuck in a cloud of smoke, but it’s not like you want to see things too clearly, given everything that’s been going on. These songs encapsulate how it feels like to forget what day it is. With singing styles that are a little hard to make out, these artists are masters at creating songs with rollercoaster-like flows. Here’s a mix of tunes that is a literal mix of varying feelings and moods; the perfect soundtrack to go with the indescribable. — Patricia Manarang

When you start missing specific places 

Being locked up sucks. It’s been more than a month since the quarantine started, and I’m beginning to really miss going out. This lockdown has really made me realize the sheer number of different places I used to go to regularly; places where I could have fun with friends, places where I could cool my head, and places where I could (anxiously) try new things. A month of staring at my bedroom wall has me yearning for more variety to stare at — a piece of art, my best friend’s face, hell, maybe even a giant building. 

When it comes to making a playlist to assure myself that this all will eventually come to pass, I usually look to replicate the various emotions that these different places give me, ranging from frenetic energy to somber introspection. While I’m happy I can finally binge my TV backlog, I find myself turning back to music to at least try to replicate the feeling of being outside by myself or with friends. If anything, this lockdown has served as a reminder — to me, at least — that the spaces we occupy every day are definitely not to be taken for granted. — Anton Tablante

When you’re angry at the way things are going 

Our government is dysfunctional, but the extent to which that sentiment has been normalized might be the deeper tragedy. Problems as abstract as class inequality and as concrete as traffic are rooted so deeply in mass consciousness that it becomes radical just to challenge them. The songs on this playlist are about confronting the ways we’ve been deluded into inaction by the people in power, and the anger that comes from realizing we’ve been played. 

In Manlalako, Bullet Dumas appropriates a martial law-era slogan to mock the government’s self-righteous obsession with “discipline.” In Silver Spoon, BTS mounts a startling generational manifesto on economic disparity: “This ain’t normal,” rapper RM says about the frustrations many young people face when forced to work within a system that’s rigged against them. Kendrick Lamar’s FEEL. captures with Pulitzer Prizewinning lucidity the disillusionment felt when “an apocalypse is happening / but nothing is awkward.” Finally, Gil ScottHeron’s spoken word classic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised cuts through the opiates of the media machine to organize people in meaningful protest. These are songs about biting the hand that feeds you, because you know that there is something better to be gained. We may be used to putting up with incompetent politicians, but it doesn’t have to be this way — not if we decide to be dissatisfied. — Enzo Escober

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