So like, we totally made you this rad mixtape. Heard you were mega bummed about this whole social isolation thing, so we just dubbed some of our favorite bangers onto this cassette for you. Our stereo’s a bit old, so sorry if any of them came out sounding wobbly. Just in case, there’s a Spotify playlist too… immersion ruined!
Side A: Peter’s Picks
“Excavation (Part 1)” by The Haxan Cloak
If you ever want to feel real, creeping dread, look no further than The Haxan Cloak. Most recently he’s responsible for the Midsommar soundtrack. This track captures the unease I felt when jokes about Corona(virus) beer melted away to reveal the true foe humanity was staring down.
“Brought to the Water” by Deafheaven
Ominous pan-delayed guitar, church bells, and sonic dark clouds foretell of the storm to come… and come it does, with crushing guitars, blast beats, and demonic vocals. Deafheaven was my choice for our Black Death episodes, and they’re here for the present pandemic as well. Dread, massive assault on the senses, but always a melodic light at the end of the tunnel.
“Green Machine” by Kyuss
The shellshock is over, and the anger is fading away. Now it’s time to “pretty please, stay the hell away from me”. This is a banger to light the fire deep inside that will keep you motivated through the isolation. Crush that 5K run? Try that new haircut? Green Machine has got your back.
“The Stalker” by Piebald
By the end of all this self-isolation, we’re going to be desperate for human contact… or, are we going to be looking over our shoulder to make sure people are keeping their two meters’ distance? Piebald‘s album We Are The Only Friends We Have is my “desert island” record, and this track is the perfect feel-good but stay away song.
“Jetpack Blues, Sunset Hues” by Anamanaguchi
I’ve always called Anamanaguchi‘s album Dawn Metropolis “victory music for life”. These are trying times, but if you’re keeping score COVID-19 could be going a lot worse (looking at you Black Death and Plague of Athens). When this track comes on, picture the end credits rolling over your high score for beating this pain in the ass pandemic!
Side B: Leigh’s Listens
“Government Flu” by Dead Kennedys
It starts with the vague reports and rumors of the virus. And with that, we get the conspiracy theories. A typical slice of Jello Biafra’s satire, put to an awesome blend of punk and surf music, as were Dead Kennedys‘ signature traits. The insane irony that, as we saw with the initial reports of COVID-19, this level of paranoia was being put forth by mainstream news media (certain outlets, at least… you know who), not to mention the commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation in the world!!! Ah, 2020.
“Chronic Infection” by Pestilence
Speaks for itself, really. Some brutal death/thrash from these Dutch head-bangers. The lyrics are, of course, gruesome. Satisfyingly so.
“The Evil That Never Arrived” by Stars Of The Lid
And so, we isolate. And we wait….and wait….and wait. Many aspects of life grind to a halt. Things get all at once tense and peaceful. It’s a strange time. Waiting for something that, still, doesn’t seem real. Like a movie that never reaches its climax. Stars Of The Lid provide the perfect soundtrack.
“The Inheritance” by SubRosa
Inevitably, we start to dwell on the worst case scenario. It can’t be helped. We’ve seen the movies, read the books….could this be it? The end of civilization as we know it? Well… probably not, but you can’t help but go there. And SubRosa, with their gloomy, pagan-themed slant on doom metal, will get us there in style. The final line of the song says it all – “We’re in the shadow of a dying world”.
“Deflated” by Jesu
Looking ahead now. With a mixture of hope and hopelessness. That’s Jesu in a nutshell, basically. Joyful doom. Beautiful sadness. The lines “The paths that we won’t follow/give us hope/pills that we won’t swallow” contain equal measures of optimism and apprehension. Hoping for the best, always in the shadow of doubt. Endless speculation.