For the past year, music provided a distraction from the pandemic. Sometimes though, musicians coped with the COVID-19 pandemic by confronting it directly. The rumination and reflections of these current times can be therapeutic for both the artist and the listener. To showcase some of these pieces of work, here is a playlist of songs about quarantining in times of COVID-19.
“West Coast City” by Tucker Rivera
With warm electric guitars and light drums, Rivera’s croons bring full bedroom pop vibes. He sings “But now I’m 21 / Gettin’ drunk alone in quarantine,” which is a sentiment many people can relate to. Sweet-sounding whistling and a catchy hook make this a top-tier quarantine anthem.
“Six Feet Apart” by Luke Combs
Luke Combs delivers a sobering performance that fully ponders on the new restrictions COVID-19 created and the adjustments that had to be made. It is a hopeful song about one day being free of the pandemic. Combs sings “And there will be light after dark / Some day when we aren’t six feet apart.” He proceeds to talk about what he will do when it is all over, like going to the movies and watching sports games in crowded arenas.
“Level of Concern” by Twenty One Pilots
Twenty One Pilots released this single at the height of the pandemic, emphasizing being there for one another during these difficult times. With thumping bass and underlying synths, the song achieves a sonically perfect pop formula. The song adds layers of electric guitars and piano that keep the pace of the track refreshing. The lyrics are timely, “Wonderin’, would you be, my little quarantine?”
“Bored in the House” by Curtis Roach and Tyga
First made popular on TikTok, this song has a simple message of being cooped up in the house with nothing to do. Tyga raps in a catchy flow about playing video games and ordering from DoorDash during the pandemic. The simple bass-heavy beat plays its role perfectly in this quarantine-themed boredom record.
“IDK You Yet” by Alexander 23
While this heartbreaking track is not explicitly about the pandemic, it echoes the feelings induced by it. Alexander 23 softly sings about needing someone who he has not even met yet. Gorgeous harmonies fill out the verses and the whole song is carried by these pretty acoustic fingerpicking patterns. The lyrics are soulful and very relatable talking about “How can you miss someone you’ve never met?” The song is subtle and beautifully performed.
“Better Days” by OneRepublic
The artist behind the hit song “Counting Stars” starts this song with a catchy guitar riff as Ryan Tedder flexes his singing chops. Uplifting and motivational, OneRepublic delivers a wide-reaching message about overcoming fears and dark times. The song is very basic but very effective.