Welcome to our newest series: Anthems of Our Lives! This series focuses on songs that sum up a particular period in your life; the first instalment is, you guessed it, quarantine. Stay tuned for more articles in this series, and in the meantime, read some of our writer’s inputs of music that encapsulates their lockdown experience.
Gala – ‘Freed From Desire’
This may be an unconventional pick, but without the clubs and parties to get me through spring and summer, this song has been a saviour. Throwing me back to my wild nights at Switch, ‘Freed from Desire’ is an absolute banger showing the best of Eurodance. If you have been to a nightclub or listened to a 90s playlist, this song will not be unknown to you – the easy to learn repetitive lyrics will have you dancing in your sleep. This very song has transported my mother and I to our very own club in the heart of our house as we fantasise about being in Ibiza enjoying the sun at the best pool party in town. Since March, ‘Freed from Desire’ has become our mother/daughter song for its quirky lyrics and funky synths. It is a high energy track which suited my party phase, sad phase, workout phase and tanning phase of quarantine – it is my quarantine mood, the anthem that saved my party city soul.
‘Freed From Desire’ is available to listen to now via Do It Yourself Multimedia Group.
Avenue Beat – ‘F2020’
As we hit September, we can officially say that 2020 has been the worst year of our lives (and probably always will be). Although Avenue Beat‘s ‘F2020’ is an obvious choice for this list, the song sums up this year – don’t even deny it. This song sums it up perfectly.
At the start of the year, nobody would have imagined a global pandemic happening and the variety of success in controlling the virus across the globe; it’s straight out of a science fiction film! Whilst the economy dwindles, mass recession and the impending spike of COVID-19, let’s not forget how whack this year has been. From UFOs and aliens earlier this year, to killer bees to… well, you name it and it probably happened. As Avenue Beat’s says – 2020 please ”just like chill for like two minutes”.
At the ripe age of 21, I have no clue on what is even going on in the world of TikTok, but this is a TUNE that is undeniable in expressing just how shit 2020 has been for all. Everyone loves a bit of bedroom pop and ‘F2020’ should be no exception to this rule. Honestly, ‘Fuck 2020’.
‘F2020’ is available to listen to now via Tape Room Records.
Maverick Sabre – ‘I Need’
Over lockdown, I was partaking in weekly online music quizzes to replace my usual weekly pub quiz. With this sudden increase in the amount and range of music I was listening to each week, I was introduced to some new gems but also was able to reminisce in some of the best hits of my childhood. ‘I Need’ is one of these.
When I hear ‘I Need’, I’m instantly transported back to 2011, starting secondary school with this song blaring out on the radio. Despite not being released in 2020, ‘I Need’ became my go-to lockdown hit. With the funkiest rhythms and most gorgeous vocals, and also with a nostalgic feel (anything to get me out of this dreadful year, PLEASE!), what’s not to love?
‘I Need’ is available to listen to now via Mercury Records.
Fontaines D.C. – ‘A Hero’s Death’
When Fontaines D.C. announced their new album just a year after their debut, it felt like quarantine was already getting a little better, before the lead single even started. ‘A Hero’s Death’ was more than just a title track, it was a mantra. Opening with the repetition of “life ain’t always empty”, it at first seemed like a song that had been released at the wrong time. After all, most of the world was in isolation from their friends and family. But 30 repetitions later, you really start to believe it. It’s the quarantine song that wasn’t written in quarantine, and was infinitely more successful than most of the ones that were.
I had barely listened to the song three times when I bought a T-shirt with the phrase printed across the front. Given that it’s one of my most-listened to songs of the last 6 months, it’s impossible to say just how many times I’ve repeated the words “life ain’t always empty” to myself – but what I do know is that it was an antidote to 2020.
‘A Hero’s Death’ is available to listen to now via Partisan Records.
Charli XCX – ‘anthems’
On 6th April 2020, Charlotte Aitchison (AKA Charli XCX) announced on a public Zoom call during lockdown that she would be working on a new record in self isolation, as well as setting an audacious deadline of 15th May 2020. The result was How I’m Feeling Now, an album that continued her signature electronic pop sound from her previous efforts, but also acted as a reflection of the mood and feelings within lockdown. One of the album’s standout tracks is ‘anthems’, a hard-hitting glitchy banger about the urge to party and meet friends again; the first line, ‘I’m so bored’ is something that everyone could relate to during our home confinement. The pounding bass and shrieking synths just make you want to burst from your bedroom and run to the nearest party (don’t do this or you’ll get fined!), whilst Charli’s auto-tuned voice reinforces the album’s DIY aesthetic. ‘anthems’ is a song about quarantine that was made in quarantine, and I’m sure Charli’s project will be remembered when the world looks back on this tumultuous year.
‘anthems’ is available to listen to now via Warner Records UK.