Muslim's Lockdown Picks

Muslim Taseer lays down what he's been listening to during lockdown

Muslim Taseer
23rd June 2020

Lockdown has been especially interesting for me, being locked down alone in student accommodation, in a deserted student-town, miles away from any family. Despite the rather gloomy conditions, I've been feeling fairly optimistic, and these bangers are in so small part helping me through.

'Helplessness Blues' - Fleet Foxes

The titular track of Fleet Foxes' second album, Helplessness Blues, is a lament against childish individualism, and to me, symbolises a desire to be part of something greater. Robin Pecknold unleashes such perfectly surreal imagery on this track, I can't help but interpret it politically. Learning the importance of "being a functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me" changes your outlook on life. The sentiment about being completely overwhelmed by the outside world and left speechless is relatable, and the whole song is really a great anthem for collectivism.

'Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?' - Waylon Jennings

In this classic country song, Jennings laments the decline of country music, asking himself whether the genre was following the footsteps of country music Hank Williams, and whether that was a good thing. Jennings seems to be of the opinion that glamour and commercialization had taken hold of country music and seemed to prophecize the eventual degradation of the genre as a whole all the way back in 1975. Not that Jennings very strongly supported his own lifestyle either, speaking of the immense toll a life of being on the road and drugged up. Looking at the current drought of any good country, however, one wonders whether the death of country music was worth it.

'Cruel Summer' - Bananarama

This harsh take-down of my least favorite season, summer, hits particularly hard this year. Not much to say about this one really, except that it's funky and disco. The song highlights how oppressive the heat of summer can get, which I can relate to as someone that doesn't take heat well. The lyrics "The city is crowded, my friends are away and I'm on my own" and "It's a cruel, cruel summer, Leaving me here on my own" line up perfectly with my lockdown situation too, which is kinda neat.

'Friday I'm In Love' - The Cure

I have no idea how it took me this long to get into The Cure, but they're pretty nice. Their most popular song, 'Friday I'm In Love' is a great record to forget your problems and get lost in, and sounds undeniably upbeat, even if it is a naive love song. I also think the concept of only being in love with someone one day of the week is pretty funny and nifty and amuses me. The song might be uncharacteristic for The Cure but that's part of why it was so successful, and it just feels like what I'd rather be listening to over some gloomy track.

'Servizio fotografico' - Bruno Nicolai

This piece from the soundtrack of '70s Italian horror film "The Red Queen Kills Seven Times" is just beautiful. I'm yet to see the movie, but this composition is so mysterious and strangely unnerving, I can't imagine what the film is like. The composer, Bruno Nicolai, was the "right-hand man" of legendary composer Ennio Morricone, (who made the absolute greatest scores for westerns ever created), and seems to be just as talented as Morricone, if a bit less dramatic and "epic". This track is a sweet, sweet melody and definitely worth a listen.

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