Music, Venue

The Viewing Lounge

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Coronavirus has wiped out the majority of the population and all that remains are two lone wanderers with a really awesome Spotify playlist on repeat on their old-school Walkmans. What are they listening to? Well, it just so happens they are listening to a collaborative playlist that me and my friend Alex made: let’s take a look.

We both have different views of the playlist that show when and where it might be listened to. One is that you have just died and are having your life replayed to you in a cinema, with this as your soundtrack. The other is that you are sitting aboard a space station, glass of rosé in hand, watching the Sun release its final yawn. Fitting, don’t you think?

Some names people might be familiar with are Pink Floyd, Wolf Alice, and MGMT, whilst some lesser known artists feature such as Father John Misty, a somewhat humorous apocalyptic chronicler; Weyes Blood, a contemporary-vintage singer who sings melodious and melancholy into the night; and Beach Fossils, an indie band who specialise in dreamy tunes with insightful lyricism.

I find it cathartic to listen to this playlist during this troubled time, to be taken to places I have and have not been before. It seems that the songs that fill me with the most sorrow exorcise that emotion, instead revealing feelings of nostalgia and longing. Songs like ‘Black Chandelier’ by Biffy Clyro, ‘Everything Goes Dark’ by The Hoosiers, and ‘Aqueous Transmission’ by Incubus I attach with my time during Sixth Form, so it takes me back to when things were simpler. Other songs like ‘In Twenty Years or So’ by Father John Misty and ‘Something to Believe’ by Weyes Blood remind me of Second Year, and offer gloomy insight into the state of the world today. All these artists I discovered through close friends at their respective points in time, so I am filled with what the Japanese call ‘Natsukashii’ –  glad that it happened, sad it is no longer. And so it was that those lone wanderers walked into the distance and disappeared completely whilst whistling the tune of Don McLean’s ‘Vincent’.

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James Ward

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June 2022
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