My Quarantunes: Music for Self-Isolation

After my recent post, A Record of Life during Pandemic,” I asked myself what I can write next. I thought about asking people around me about the songs they listen to during these trying times of self-isolation. Then another thought came to me: how do you choose your lockdown playlist?

Only these things come to mind: playlist creation needs songs to ease anxiety; to reduce stress; to make you feel good; to comfort you; to accompany you; and to celebrate life while at home for an extended period.

We can make as many playlists as we want; each serving a different purpose. As they say, listening to your favorite music is one of life’s greatest joys.

Imagine yourself pacing around the same enclosed space all day, while you’re in a long queue to do groceries, or while cleaning down the house and doing chores. We instinctively use music to change our emotions and lift our mood, to keep us sound through the day, and to help us endure and carry on.

That’s why I asked some friends; usually, they are the few people whom I have conversed with mostly regarding music—to share with me their favorite lockdown playlists a.k.a. ‘My Quarantunes.’ Also, a special thanks and shout-out to Jellyn for this suitable title.

A Collaborative Playlist

  • Jovelyn Javier (Writer, VJP Blog Editor)

>> Studio Ghibli Emotional Melody: Cello Collection
I like listening to this when I’m doing something that needs concentration—mostly during deadlines and of course because it’s Ghibli. And other than the violin, I have this affinity with the sound of a cello.

>> Weathering With You / Your Name OST
Ever since I got introduced to Radwimps through 2016’s Kimi no Na Wa, the Japanese alternative rock band has never disappointed me. I must say though that I prefer Tenki no Ko’s soundtrack much better.

>> Taichi Mukai
I discovered Taichi Mukai this past February when his song “Reset” was recommended by YouTube, so I went on to listen to his albums on iTunes. I like his songs and his voice a lot that I got hooked instantly. He composes and writes his songs, what’s not to love. His albums can be streamed and downloaded on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and he’s also got an official YouTube page.

>> Hikaru Utada
I’ve been an ardent fan of Hikaru Utada since I first heard her 1999 megahit “First Love.” I don’t quite remember when I first heard the song though, but I do remember that I heard it while I was at a Tokyo Tokyo branch probably sometime during the early part of my college years.

>> Greatest Hits of Aimer

I learned about Aimer when I heard her song “After the Rain” at the end credits of the 2018 anime series of the same title. I got into her so quickly that it led me to discover more of her music through fan-made playlists on YouTube.

  • Mike Yap (Music Photographer)

“Eto pala lockdown playlist ko, wala akong explanation, basta halo-halo yan,” says this good guy from Olongapo when I asked him about his favorites.

From his own curated playlist on Spotify, a mix of international and local artists including Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Parachute, John Mayer, One Republic, Dashboard Confessional, Lifehouse, The Fray, Snow Patrol, Callum Scott, I Belong to the Zoo, Leanne & Naara, Reese Lansangan, Clara Benin, SUD, December Avenue, Ben & Ben, Rico Blanco, and Quest among others.

  • Karen Mabazza (Lifestyle Blogger)

“I’m listening to Korean songs most of the time and I’m recommending Phe Reds and Sanchez. Magugustuhan mo sila,” tells Karen in our messenger conversation. “You can also search for “Dalcom Café and Gray Radio playlist on Spotify.”

  • Caren Gudiaga (Music Photographer)

“Basta lagi sa playlist ko ang mga songs ni Sam Smith. Narerelax ako sa boses niya kapag pinapakinggan ko siya. Sa local si Unique Salonga, pero yung mga mellow songs lang niya like “Sino” and “Huwag Ka Sanang Magagalit.” Konti lang din pinapakinggan ko lately, paulit-ulit lang talaga,” cheerfully says Caren. “Of course I also love IV of Spades,” she adds.

  • Jellyn Alinsod (Senior HR Associate)

“My ‘quarantune’ is Coldplay’s Everything’s Not Lost. Covid19 has taken a lot, but everything’s not lost. Been playing this song as an acceptance of the tough times. Also, it has become a beacon of hope for me. This song lifts me up when I feel depressed,” shares Jellyn.

I also love how this song inspired fans with its lyrics “Cause my head just hates when I think of, the things that I shouldn’t have done, but life is for living, we all know and I don’t wanna live it alone.”

  • Denise Villamar (Writer, Music Photographer)

Denise curated a playlist from Spotify entitled as WFH Playlist which includes songs like “Now I’m In It” by Haim, “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” by The 1975, “Stay With Me” by Ayokay & Jeremy Zucker, “Tokyo” by Joan, “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette, “I’m Like a Bird” by Alessia Carra, “Lover” by Taylor Swift, and “Absolute” by The Fray among others.

“Now I’m in It” is a recent release and until now ay masarap pa ring pakinggan at nakaka-productive. The Haim are smart siblings making strong and powerful music together,” Denise reveals.

  • Patrick Lasanas (Music Photographer)

“I just listen to Sleep All Day by Jason Mraz or in all of its forms and different versions,” says Patrick as he keeps it short and brief. I also like “Freedom” by Pitbull and “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai.

  • Conrad Mananes (Graphic Artist, Host)

“The first week of quarantine, I was just devastated. I listened to mostly sad songs. One particular song I made a video cover on YouTube is No More, a song from the Broadway musical Into the Woods. By the 2nd week, I tried to trick my brain to travel through time by playing Christmas songs. The two albums I played were The Carpenters’ Christmas Portrait and Percy Faith & His Orchestra’s Christmas Is.”

This week, I’m finding myself gravitating to classical music. There’s this classical relaxation channel on that I have started listening to and (I believe) has helped calm my nerves,” narrates this old soul buddy from Marikina.

  • Jezreel Colangoy (Music Photographer)

Jez shared his curated playlist via Spotify comprising old and new songs. With its playlist title, Songs I Wish I Wrote, it has popular songs like “Standing on the Edge of the Earth” by Blessid Union of Souls, “Again” by Lenny Kravitz, “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon, “Crazy for This Girl” by Evan and Jaron, “Wonderwall” by Oasis, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears, “Beautiful Soul” by Jesse McCartney, “Push” by Matchbox Twenty, and “Every Little Thing” by Dishwalla among others.

This is when music reminds me of its power, inspiration, and solace. I’m more than grateful to all these people on my list for participating in this simple concept of empowering people at home to use music therapy. This is also a great way to discover and explore new kinds of music no matter the language, who knows through this special post, you’ll find your next great discovery.

When you type the keywords “lockdown playlist” on Spotify, you’ll find numerous searches. One of the most popular has 845 followers made by Soccer Bible with more than 40 songs. Lockdown Tunes by Redd curated by the six-piece indie-folk group The Ransom Collective was a hit for me too. May all these songs help us to carry on, promote positivity, and keep us strong.

Finally, my recommendation are recent favorites “Bawat Daan” album by Ebe Dancel—for when I want to feel that certain sadness, Rico Blanco’s “Dating Gawi” album—for when I’m missing friends and Up Dharma Down’s UDD—for when I just want to imagine myself out traveling.

Also sharing you my all-time favorite playlists:  

  • Crossover
  • Byahe Feels
  • Indie Love

Don’t mind people judging your taste in music, just think about how happy these songs make you feel. What entertains you is what entertains you.

Special thanks to Spotify for being the best quarantine buddy ever! Please support the global community via Spotify.