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Solace In Sound: 5 Artists On The Songs Getting Them Through Lockdown

Here we are again. As the UK settles reluctantly into its third national lockdown, 5 musicians share the tracks that are keeping them going through the bleakest of winters

By Scott Nelson

For many of us, music is our comfort blanket. It can change our mood, help us process our feelings, and even provide a momentary escape from the realities of life around us. As Dr. Kelly Jakubowski of Durham University explains, “not only can music itself affect our emotions, but certain songs can also change our emotions because of their associations with our memories. Music’s strong connection to memories is largely unique, and research has shown that certain songs are often intimately connected to our memories of the people in our lives specifically.” It’s no surprise then, that using music as a ‘social surrogate’ feels especially pertinent right now. In a time when so many of us are faced with solitude (or, perhaps even worse, no respite from our annoying flatmate…) music can offer vital emotional support and escapism. But what are musicians themselves listening to? We asked five artists for the lockdown songs providing them with a little solace right now.

1. Caitlyn Scarlett

“This is one of my most listened to lockdown songs. The lyrics are so poignant and explosive, which matches perfectly with the mix of frustration and hope that I’ve felt during isolation. It’s one of those songs that you could listen to hundreds of times and still find something new. “Last January, I was lucky enough to see the 1975’s show at the O2, and ‘Love It If We Made It’ was easily one of the most memorable and powerful moments. Reconnecting with the song, particularly during this time when there’s no live music, is helping me deal with the day-to-day reality of the pandemic and look forward to the future again.” Listen to Caitlyn Scarlett on Spotify

2. Moli

“I first discovered this song in the midst of quarantine in April. I was alone in my flat, feeling pretty down and lonely at the time. When I heard ‘Forget Me Nots’, I loved it instantly. It’s a real mood booster, and was exactly what I needed. Ever since then, I’ve been dancing alone in my room to it, singing to it in the shower… it instantly makes me feel so much better whenever I hear it.”

Moli’s latest single ‘Jacuzzi’ is out now

3. Pearl Charles

“The song that has been getting me through quarantine is one I actually discovered amidst the pandemic. ‘Everything Comes In Time’ follows one girls’ journey to womanhood, from the age of three to 25 and how, as the title says, everything in her life – both the good and the bad – ‘comes in time’. In a year of lockdowns, life can feel stagnant. Like Toni, we’re constantly longing for something more, a distant future that promises something different.

“In the song, Toni wants to grow up as fast as she can, but her father gently reminds her to stop, smell the roses and enjoy the present moment – because once it’s gone there is no getting it back. This song resonated with me so much in this time of uncertainty, when we don’t know what the future may hold – though the truth is, we never really did.”

Pearl Charles’ new album Magic Mirror is out now on Kanine Records

4. Sid Stone

“‘Great Day’ is one of my favourite songs of all time, and I’ve been particularly enjoying listening to it on my daily walk. 

“In this project, both talented artists play a vital role. There’s the expressive and intriguing instrumental from Madlib; one that grows and flows with nostalgic jazziness to create a dream-like mood. 

“And then there’s the lyrics by Doom, the old one-eyed wizard of rap. He matches the tone effortlessly with his words, spinning catherine-wheels of whimsy across Madlib’s canvas. His verses are brimming with character, mind-boggling verbal acrobatics and a good number of jokes too! It’s well worth getting the lyrics up on your phone as you listen, as there’s gold you might miss otherwise.

“This is a song that can bear fruit for a thousand seasons. Many times have I fed from its branches and sat humbled in the shade of its majesty.”

Sid Stones latest single ‘Hold On is out now

5. Jon Reynolds & The Aches

“This is a song that I’ve known for a long time, but I returned to it around right the time Nashville (where I’m based) started shutting down in early 2020. 

“I find a lot of beauty in simplicity and ‘Cherry Wine’ has such a clear, steady energy – it has a really calming effect on me. For a while I got into the habit of playing it on repeat, letting it move me into a meditative state. No matter what has happened over the last year, this song has always been there to take me out of the chaos and offer a moment of peace.” 

Jon Reynolds & The Aches latest single ‘Leather Jacket’ is out now