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     As I was flying to California this past March for Spring Break 2020, the very last thing I expected upon returning home was a five-month quarantine. Despite the initial optimism I had while watching Tiger King and TikTok galore, those five months proved to be extremely difficult, and took a major toll on the collective mental health of the world. Whenever I became unmotivated, uninspired, or utterly depressed, I could always turn to music as a remedy. So, without further ado, here are ten songs that I listened to on repeat during a seemingly eternal summer. If you’re needing a little pick-me-up during these turbulent times or are currently in quarantine, hopefully they’ll help you as well. 


1. “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John

     This song is an absolute classic and never fails to make you get up and dance. I may be a little biased, as Elton John is one of my favorite artists of all time, but the tune is absolutely infectious. It brings you back to “when rock was young” - the late 50’s and early 60’s, when dance moves like the Twist and the Mashed Potato were all the rage. While listening, feel free to bust out some vintage moves and scream the “la’s” in the chorus at the top of your lungs. 


2. “F2020” by Avenue Beat

     While this isn’t an upbeat song in the slightest, sometimes I just took comfort in crapping on the year 2020. This song originally went viral on TikTok, and it perfectly encapsulates our attitude about this year. Each month has felt like a new level of Jumanji, with more terrible events lurking around the corner, waiting for the flip of the calendar. If you agree that this year has kind of been the worst, this song is for you.  


3. “Let Her Dance” by The Bobby Fuller Four

     Another way I coped with the quarantine blues was by watching movies. Lots and lots of movies. One of them happened to be Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, a delightfully quirky stop-motion film with an awesome soundtrack. “Let Her Dance”, the final song in the movie, is a jaunty and criminally underrated 1965 gem. Caution: you will burst into spontaneous dance. You may not like to dance, but it’ll at least make you tap your foot and put a smile on your face.


4. “Feeling Lonely” by boy pablo

     I love songs with depressing lyrics that are absolute bangers, including this song. The lyrics lament, “I miss you so bad. The thought of you makes me sad.” over an electronic beat. I firmly believe that it’s okay to not be okay. You can acknowledge your negative feelings associated with quarantine and groove to the music at the same time - it’s truly the best of both worlds.  


5. “I Get Around” by The Beach Boys

     Can you tell I love 60’s music? “I Get Around” is yet another bop I listened to during quarantine. Whenever I was feeling low, I would play this song downstairs in the kitchen while doing the dishes and have a solo dance party. If I closed my eyes, I would imagine myself at the beach having fun with my friends. Even though that couldn’t happen for the rest of the year, I would remind myself that I had many fun summers to come. 


6. “Canyon Moon” by Harry Styles

     Harry Styles’ 2019 album Fine Line was truly a gift from God, and you can quote me on that. Although I love this entire album, “Canyon Moon” in particular was a quarantine favorite of mine. It’s an excellent road trip song, and I found myself daydreaming about all of the trips I could take as soon as quarantine was over.    


7. “Rasputin” by Boney M.

     The amount of times I’ve danced to this song in the shower is, frankly, embarrassing. Playing Just Dance 2 on my Xbox 360 over and over when I was younger prepared me well for this quarantine. “Rasputin” embodies all things that are awesome about disco - the hypnotic beat, the funky instrumentals (complete with killer strings), and more. As soon as this pandemic comes to an end, I want to go to the roller rink and skate to this very song in my bell bottom jeans.  


8. “Learn to Fly” by Surfaces (feat. Elton John)

     The work of Surfaces, including this single and their latest album, Horizons, single handedly cured my quarantine depression. Good vibes radiate from every one of their songs. With electronic instrumentals and smooth male voices, this duo never fails to make me smile. And, as a bonus, they collaborated with the one and only Elton John on this track.


9. “august” by Taylor Swift

     I can count on one hand the amount of good things about this entire year, and Taylor Swift’s newest album, folklore, would absolutely make the cut. Her entire album is so nice to listen to, but “august” made me feel especially calm during quarantine. It made me feel like everything was going to be alright. To me, it feels like a catchy, warm hug. 


10. “For Now” from Avenue Q

     Alright, for my last one, I’m going to get a bit niche. Hear me out. I’m a theatre nerd, through and through. The best way I can describe the musical Avenue Q is: it’s Sesame Street for adults. It’s crass, clever, and sweet at the same time, complete with puppets. While listening to the original Broadway cast album, you’d never guess that the person who wrote songs like “The Internet Is for Porn” also helped create the hit songs from Frozen, Frozen II, and Coco. “For Now”, the finale in the show, is a lighthearted yet surprisingly poignant reminder for quarantine, as well as life. “Each time you smile, it’ll only last a while. Life may be scary, but it’s only temporary. Everything in life is only for now.” The only things in life we’re truly certain of are death and taxes. Everything else - the good, the bad, and the ugly - will eventually fade away. This pandemic and its effects on the world have been nothing short of awful. This year hasn’t been the greatest by any means. And it’s perfectly okay to acknowledge that. But, it’s essential to remind yourself that nothing lasts forever.   


     Although this pandemic has caused so many things in our lives to change, music can be a constant source of comfort. If you’re ever feeling down, feel free to scan the code for this playlist and listen to other Spotify playlists of mine (@rachelharsley). I hope you enjoy these songs, and remember, this too shall pass!

Rachel Harsley is a junior at Baylor University double majoring in communication and journalism on the public relations track. She is from Houston, Texas and has a Bichon Frise named Benny (after "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John). When she isn't creating a plethora of Spotify playlists (124 and counting), she enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing the piano, being in nature, reading, dancing, singing and taking photos. Other things that bring her joy include theatre, traveling and chai tea lattes.
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