Finlay's lockdown picks

Finlay Holden lays out what he's been listening to during lockdown

Finlay Holden
23rd May 2020
instagram @alfietempleman

The lockdown situation has certainly affected us all in different ways over the last couple of months. In terms of music, now is a great time to delve into all the music you’ve never got round to listening to - or just listen to the same few tracks on repeat, which is pretty much what I’ve done. Here are a few of the ones you’ll hear me singing in my bedroom at the moment.

DMA’S - ‘The Glow’

First up is ‘The Glow’, the title track and third single from DMA’S upcoming third album, which has recently been pushed back to July 10. This song is an absolute anthemic banger that was meant to be blasted live this whole summer over a plethora of live shows, including at Newcastle’s very own Hit The North festival. The video above is a live recording of the song at Brixton Academy in March, just before corona really hit us, and sadly shows just what we are missing right now. Instead, I guess we’ll have to blast it out of our speakers at home.

Though it is a fast, upbeat song with a more pop-oriented production style compared to DMA’S previous records, this song coincidentally captures the confusion we all feel in quarantine very well, with the first verse singing, “Is anybody real? Does anybody feel? Does anybody write the days in motion? They're sinking through the ocean” - too relatable as the days seem to fly by in a meaningless manner at the moment.

This is definitely my favourite tune at the moment and I highly recommend you check out the DMA’S if you haven’t already, especially in the run-up to their new LP.

Alfie Templeman - ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’

This next song was co-written with Justin Young of The Vaccines and Will Bloomfield, previous manager of One Direction. Blending indie and pop effortlessly, this is fronted by the insanely talented young artist Alfie Templeman, who is quickly gaining traction on all platforms due to his tight, genre-fluid songwriting and energetic live shows. This is the title track of Alfie’s 4th EP before his 18th birthday, quite a big claim considering the range of sounds he’s already explored.

The tune itself just radiates positive vibes and is a great distraction from revision and the fact that my graduation is doomed (cry). While not being the most lyrically refined piece of work in my opinion, and I personally attach little meaning to the words, the bubbly production enables escapism in its purest and most joyful form - definitely needed right now. A bit repetitive? Yes. Overly poppy? Probably. Undeniably catchy and uplifting? Definitely.

Easy Life - ‘petty crime’

If you haven’t heard of Easy Life by now, you’re either living under a rock (or have better things to do than listen to basic indie music all day). Between the Leicester band’s #3 charting third mixtape and their upcoming debut album, they dropped the aptly named ‘see you later maybe never’ - that’s @ you, Newcastle Uni. This features two lockdown demos, ‘peanut butter’ and the less streamed ‘petty crime’. Both of these songs discuss relationships, with ‘petty crime’ described the bad influence of the protagonist’s partner. 

The incredibly catchy chorus sings, “So what am I, what am I to do? Petty crimes, breaking rules with you, and all these situations we go through, we come out the other side brand new” - if that’s you disobeying lockdown regulations, please break up immediately. Although the lyrics are pretty smart if you pay attention, I personally just love this group’s general vibe and will play literally anything they release on repeat endlessly.

Oasis - ‘Bonehead’s Bank Holiday’

Taking a break from the more modern music I tend to listen to, this pick is taken from the iconic Oasis record, ‘(What's The Story) Morning Glory?’.

It is definitely not the most well written or well-known song on the album, which is a debate I’ll leave for another time, but it perfectly encapsulates the feeling of a group of friends just messing around and having fun. The lyrics mention a lads holiday to Spain from the point of view of the band’s rhythm guitarist, which is certainly something we are all missing out on this summer. The melody is catchy and upbeat throughout, and the chorus of ‘la la las’ is unusual when compared to Noel Gallagher’s normal songwriting style.

Photo credit: MichaelSpencerJones @msj_photo

I feel like this song was deliberately made to be exactly what it is; nonsense, but fun. The mindless chatter / drunken ranting between Bonehead and Liam at the end was kept on the recording after the instrumentals wrap up, adding more to that vibe of banter between the lads over a few beers. God, I miss that.

Inhaler - 'It Won’t Always Be Like This'

Wow, another modern English indie band!!!1!21!!

Inhaler are an Irish four-piece fronted by Elijah Hewson, the son of Bono himself. While guitar centred, the group’s production style is very indie-pop, with a solid discography of singles already released - this is one of their earliest. They played Newcastle’s Riverside in February, which is one of my last memories of the now relic that is live music; my review of that gig can be found here.

The words are, shock horror, about a relationship; this time, a guy being so hung up on a girl that he gets constantly played “like a record, baby”. Not exactly a new concept, sure, but the pre-chorus and chorus are absolute belters, it’s impossible to not sing along. I also find myself air-guitaring to the verses way too often - listen and you’ll know what I mean.

If you’re depressed and alone in lockdown, there’s no better cure than listening to a much-needed reminder; it won’t always be like this.

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