There really isn’t such a thing as quarantine pop. There is, however, new music that is emerging that is directly inspired by the experience of being stuck at home, often away from loved ones, while coping with the new reality of our restricted everyday life.
When the pandemic first hit, the songwriter community was directly impacted. Many writers love to be together in one room, collaborate, bounce ideas back and forth, and create special pop moments. That creative process was put to an immediate halt.
In an open letter published in the Los Angeles Times, hit producer Ricky Reed called upon the writer community to stay put and not ignore the stay-at-home guidelines in Los Angeles. Reed encouraged creatives to find new ways to work together by using FaceTime, Instagram Live, and Twitch.
The pandemic also inspires new music about feeling isolated and keeping your distance. Twenty One Pilots released the song “Level Of Concern” this week that’s directly inspired by the quarantine many of us are living through.
Panic on the brain, world has gone insane.
Things are starting to get heavy.
You could bring down my level of concern.
Just need you to tell me we’re alright.
It’s a comforting message set to a dreamy production that’s perfect for the moment. A portion of the song’s proceeds benefits an organization called Crew Nation that provides funding for people in the live music industry. So stream it often and share it around.
Alec Benjamin (pictured above) also released new music this week, the aptly-titled “Six Feet Apart.” Benjamin explained to fans that the song came together quickly with the help of his iPhone. “The song was inspired by Covid19 (. . .) I recorded the guitars and vocals on my phone. I sent them to Nathan, and he brought to life over FaceTime.” He adds, “I hope you find some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.”
“Six Feet Apart” is signature Benjamin with his wordy prose and clever storytelling that gets right to the point. I’m in awe.
They say distance is relative.
And relative to relatives I have.
I say I’m relatively close to breaking down.
The chorus is pristine and so incredibly moving. It’s instant comfort. One of Benjamin’s best.
Another song that wasn’t written during the pandemic but is taking on a whole new meaning is “If The World Was Ending” by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels. The song was directly inspired by a small earthquake that struck Southern California last summer, but it takes on an eerie new meaning now. The way JP and Julia duet is so sweet and reassuring that it holds its own months later as well.
I applaud artists who find inspiration in this time of uncertainty and gloom. Now more than ever, music and art can help us to feel connected and understood. It really puts the power of music on display. Thank you to them!