Seeking Recent Songs About the Specific COVID Pandemic Experience
February 10, 2024 3:15 PM   Subscribe

While many artists released "here’s how to wash your hands" songs in March/April 2020, I’m interested in work that explore specific experiences: what it was like to be an "essential worker" or coping in a nursing home or trying to teach your kids or getting sick (and not healing) or missing your co-workers or never wanting to see another human being again. I did enjoy your answers to DirtyOldTown's Quarantine Blues question back in June 2020. So, what's new?

I've found There must be more.
posted by Jesse the K to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Epiphany by Taylor Swift
posted by notjustthefish at 3:50 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

I have an ongoing collection!

Housefyre - Briggs and Tim Minchin in April 2020, singing amongst the bushfires of that summer and the uncertainty of covid lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand.

The Fleas - Frank Turner and Jon Snodgrass, from early-ish 2020, begins "I never thought the apocalypse would be boring"

Frank Turner also sings about moving out of the city during Covid in "Little Life" and missing playing live shows in "The Gathering"

Likewise, Don McGlashan's song "The Lights Come On" is about missing playing to a live audience.

Amanda Palmer's New Zealand Survival Songs, released this year, singing about how she accidentally ended up living in small-town New Zealand at the start of 2020 while her marriage broke apart.
posted by slightlybewildered at 4:52 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]

This is more maybe 2021 era, but Gabriel Kahane has a wonderful song about his grandmother’s funeral.
posted by eirias at 5:29 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

I love Jensen McRae’s Immune, which is about hooking up with your friend while waiting in the car at a mass vaccination site.
posted by juliapangolin at 6:39 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

All the Colours of You by James has both the title track referencing the isolation of quarantine and Recover, which is about the death of the lead singer's father in law from Covid
posted by jacy at 7:14 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie wrote a song called Life in Quarantine pretty early on after lockdowns started. Definitely captures a time and feeling!
posted by carlypennylane at 7:24 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

NoWhere To Go (QUARANTINE LOVE) by Snow tha Product is an early-in-the-pandemic work about coping with the quarantine and upsetting news with the one you love.
posted by creepygirl at 8:07 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Quasi: “Doomscrollers

Cheekface: “We Need a Bigger Dumpster
posted by baseballpajamas at 8:16 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Love Will Work It Out, Durand Jones & The Indications... if you consider being a musician essential work. Either way, it's a great track.
posted by goblinbox at 8:40 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Everyone should be listening to Tourist Activities - Wrong Side. It’s not at all about what you asked for, but it is awesome and about being trapped with someone.
posted by ixipkcams at 9:57 PM on February 10

The Marsh Family of Faversham, England have an extensive playlist commenting on Coronarama in their jimjams - Have the New Jab etc.
posted by BobTheScientist at 10:02 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Bo Burnam’s Inside was a whole musical comedy show filmed in the heart of the early pandemic, and many songs on the album reflect parts of the experience.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:00 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]

Ondara's Tales of Isolation is a whole album on the theme.
posted by sepviva at 7:14 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]

Buffalo’s own Tyler Westcott has several versions of his wonderful song, “When Lockdown Lifts”, on yt.
posted by Riverine at 7:15 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]

David LaMotte had two clearly COVID songs on his 2022 album Still:
Here For You (stay at home times)
Coming Alive Again (getting vaccinated)
posted by hydropsyche at 7:22 AM on February 11

Sweatpants People by Nick Aives is part of a compilation called Golden Sounds of Covid-19
posted by niicholas at 7:26 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]

My Love - Florence + the Machine
posted by panther of the pyrenees at 11:08 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]

Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing) by Fred Again
posted by shock muppet at 11:49 AM on February 11

I recently saw a show at Union Pool in Williamsburg by Americana artist Queen Esther, who performed songs from an album she recorded called Rona and I was blown away. The song When I See You Again reminded me that there was a time when I wondered if I would ever be in the same room as my friends again.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:16 PM on February 11

Absolutely Bo Burnham’s Inside. I watched it when it came out and found it so upsetting - we were still actively isolating at the time and it was just too close to home. It’s funny and iconic to me now with a little more space and time.
posted by samthemander at 9:39 PM on February 11

Ratboys - The Window is about the singer's grandfather having to say goodbye to his wife through a nursing home window due to pandemic restrictions.
posted by Gortuk at 7:08 AM on February 12

On the lighter side, Pat McCurdy put out a record of nearly all pandemic-related songs: Now is Not the Time for Sad Songs: A Pandemic 2020 Souvenir

A favorite of mine on the record is Six Feet Apart. which he describes as a "cheesy little pandemic waltz."
posted by General Malaise at 10:26 AM on February 12

Canadian electropop duo Chromeo did a whole EP about this: Quarantine Casanova. My fave is "Stay in Bed (And Do Nothing)".
posted by Kitteh at 8:17 AM on February 13

Grant-Lee Phillips — Cannot Trust The Ground (and the whole album it's on, to a certain degree).
posted by edlundart at 3:05 AM on February 14

I think the OP probably meant to link to the thread they mentioned, but got a YT link instead. So here are those.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:48 AM on February 14

It's instrumental, but Kaki King's Can't Touch This or That or You or My Face is, at least in part, about the pandemic experience.
posted by taltalim at 7:40 AM on February 16

For the second time both today and in my life, may I humbly offer one of the songs off my last album, about how Facebook displaced actual friendship interactions even more intensely than before, and how it was not optimal: The Troy Westfield Experience - Soap Box
posted by troywestfield at 8:51 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]

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