When we're upset, lonely, or frustrated, music becomes a shining light of solace, and for each person, the soothing beat is different: maybe it's some soft ambient music, a nostalgic rock song, or even the emotional release in metal. It's become even more so now in the heat of the COVID-19 crisis as we all find ourselves in uncertain or frightening situations. One thing we know at Collarts is that music can be a healing power—so we asked our teachers and staff what music they were leaning on in isolation.
ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALISM TEACHER
Pete Townshend's Tommy (1969) is probably the best known "rock opera". By accident or design, it's a profound revelation of the traumatised post-war mindset that birthed the first generation of British rock. This exquisitely packaged 1972 version by The Who with the London Symphony, Chamber Choir and guests (Rod Stewart, Maggie Bell, Sandy Denny...) is bizarre and sumptuous and terrifying and I can't get enough of it.
head of COMEDY
I'm listening to ambient sounds on the Noisili app in an attempt to block out the sound of my neighbour's pool pump which is driving me bonkers!
Download the app here.
DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA teacher
I recently watched Queen and Slim which left me in pieces, but the blues on the soundtrack was beautiful so I’ve been listening to Howlin' Wolf's Heart Like Railroad Steel since. That and lots of Bill Withers (RIP).
student services support officer
I'm listening to FKA Twigs' LP1. It was the soundtrack to a formative year for me so it's quite nostalgic and comforting for me. I am also pretty obsessed with FKA twigs for a couple of reasons: she's also a big player in bringing experimental production into the pop world, she's a female producer and her vulnerability is presented as a strength. My favourite song on this record is 'Closer'!
CONTENT & SOCIAL MEDIA manager
I've been listening to a lot of nostalgia-inducing music: think Japanese city pop from the late '70s and '80s, Yaeji's latest mixtape WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던, and tracks from the Animal Crossing games. The physical record I've been spinning a lot is Losing, Linda by Melbourne artist and producer Sui Zhen, who I've been a big fan of for a long time. The record deals a lot with loss and the unease we feel online and IRL, as we search for places we feel we belong. For me, tracks like 'Matsudo City Life', 'I Could Be There' and 'Perfect Place' have taken on new meaning in 2020.
future student advisor
I have been listening to Phoebe Bridgers' Strangers in the Alps. Iso can sometimes make us feel sad and lonely and I love this album because it's really raw yet soothing at the same time. It challenges us to reexamine our relationships and interactions with people through her amazing songwriting. Sometimes it's totally fine to sit with our sad feelings—we don't have to be productive and happy the whole time during quarantine and it's a really challenging and scary time.
STUDENT EXPERIENCE &
Industry partnerships manager
I am in love with Ainslie Wills' latest album All You Have Is All You Need, mostly because it's the first vinyl she's ever released and I've been enjoying the simple pleasures of listening to vinyl whilst adapting to working at home.
This album is perfect in the morning because it takes you on a bit of a journey; a stand out for me is 'Fear of Missing Out' co-written by Paul Dempsey (Something For Kate). It really gets me in the feels and I feel like I can connect and relate to her music. Also our Music Performance students have the pleasure of being taught songwriting by Ainslie here at Collarts!
It's no surprise that I am listening to film and tv show soundtracks, more specifically the soundtrack for Big Little Lies Season 1 & 2. This playlist has the velvet sounds of Leon Bridges, the deep melancholy tunes of my future husband, Marlon Williams and of course amazing female power tracks from Aretha Franklin and Carole King. Seriously, this album spans across so many decades and the Spotify playlist of this album goes for 7 hours. SEVEN. HOURS. Yes, child.
MARKETING CAMPAIGN MANAGER
The album getting me through isolation is Measurements from Didirri. 'Formaldehyde' and 'Jude' just get me deep in the squishy bits. It’s probably bordering on an obsession, with a matching tattoo of lyrics from 'Jude'. 11/10 would recommend.