1. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
This 2019 Album of the Year Grammy winner stole the hearts of country music lovers and flouters alike. Kacey’s vocals make you feel as if you’re watching a sunset with a loved one on a warm evening, and the lyrics are consistently touching and romantic. The dreamy, pop-like production and instrumentals set this album a notch above the stereotypical country music heard on the radio, so even if it’s a genre you never thought you’d like, give it a try! It’s sure to comfort you during this stressful time and make the next golden hour you experience feel a little sweeter.
Most relevant lyric: Even if you got somebody on your mind/It’s alright to be alone sometimes
2. how i’m feeling now by Charli XCX
Charli recorded this hyperpop album entirely in quarantine with some help from fans over Instagram live. Released on May 15th of this year, it’s full of self-isolation anthems that will make you imagine you’re at a club from the comfort of your own home. The tracks have Charli’s signature upbeat, noisy production that will definitely give you the energy boost you need to get through your online classes. The lyrics reflect the complex, overwhelming feelings we’re all experiencing currently: restlessness, lack of motivation, wistfully dreaming of partying with friends… Charli poured her raw emotions into this album and made them ridiculously danceable.
Most relevant lyric: Wake up late and eat some cereal/Try my best to be physical/Lose myself in a TV show/Staring out into oblivion
3. Mother Earth’s Plantasia by Mort Garson
This classic 1976 electronic album was composed specifically for plants, but as the album cover states it’s also perfect for the people who love them. Whether you’re a dedicated plant parent or just interested in cult classic albums, you’ll love the soothing synthesizers of Plantasia. Most of the songs are named after different types of plants, so you can also brush up on your botany knowledge for the next time you go on a nature walk to take a break from your computer screen!
4. Isolation by Kali Uchis
In spite of its painfully timely title, it’s nearly impossible to feel sad while listening to this album. It’s packed with high energy R&B tracks as well as impressive features including Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, Steve Lacy, Tyler, the Creator and legendary funk musician Bootsy Collins. However, some lyrics do reveal Uchis’ melancholy; “In My Dreams” expresses her desire to escape the troubles of the world by sleeping her life away. But even the more soulful, heartbroken songs have an irresistible funk-like production, and Uchis’ lush voice is sure to soothe soothe all your worries. Isolation is able to both empathize with our quarantine loneliness and provide a dreamy escape from it.
Most relevant lyric: The sun’ll come out/But we’ve been struggling endlessly/Someday we’ll find the love/’Cause after the storm is when the flowers bloom
-After The Storm
5. Father of the Bride by Vampire Weekend
In May of 2019, Vampire Weekend returned from their six-year long hiatus with the release of this album. Their signature witty, observational lyrics and ornate production remained, but Father of the Bride shows that they have evolved significantly since 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City. The album is influenced by jam bands and folk music, specifically the Grateful Dead and Paul Simon. Some songs are uncharacteristically simple (Big Blue, 2021, Rich Man), but others serve as biting social commentary hidden within electrifying, summery melodies and bright guitars (Harmony Hall, Sympathy, How Long?). The entire album seems to be a testament to the increasing strangeness of the world and the solace we can find in each other, a message more important now than ever.
Most relevant lyric: I don’t wanna live like this/But I don’t wanna die