thisiswhoiam

United Kingdom

18 (sadly :( I don't want to leeeaavve noooo)
pronouns unspecified
that's for you to decide I guess
physics student with a
tiny dream of being a writer too so
enjoy my words or something :)

Sounds for Solitude

May 18, 2020

PROMPT: Playlist

17
1. Helvegen by Kalandra
With Norwegian lyrics, this cover of Nordic Folk group Wardruna is perhaps a little softer than the original but is no less powerful. Helvegen, which translates to The Way to Hel, is a song about death; the journey to the afterlife and, most importantly, about remembrance. In times like these we are confronted with death every day on the news or, devastatingly, in our own families. Whilst it is sad, this lullaby is also strong, warm and reassuring and might offer a little comfort to those who need it at the moment.

       'You will be free from the bonds that bind you.'

2. The River by AURORA
Can you dance and cry at the same time? I think you can, and in fact I think you should. In this more upbeat song my favourite artist AURORA (who you will notice is a recurring theme throughout) invites you to let your tears run free. While the world is unsettled and difficult, remember that it is natural to be sad and overwhelmed and that it is okay to have a good cry. You will feel better for it later, I promise.

       'Don't forget who you are even though you are hurt. You are caught in a wire and soon it will burst.'

3. Let Go by Frou Frou
This is another song about the importance of experiencing your own emotions. Accompanied by astonishingly rich, uplifting string instrumentals, Imogen Heap encourages you to be brutally honest with yourself about the way that you feel and reminds you that there is nothing wrong with breaking down: in fact, there is beauty to be found within every shade of human emotion. This attitude is a healthy one, and essential to keeping up good mental health during this pandemic.

       'These mishaps, you bubble-wrap when you've no idea what you're like'

4. Where Is My Mind? by The Pixies
With our world turned upside down at the minute I think many of us can relate to the sense of madness and confusion this song manages to portray. Even if it isn't particularly powerful emotionally, I hope it will at least bring you the comfort that you aren't the only one who's lost at least some of their marbles during this period of lockdown and isolation.

       'feet on the air and your head on the ground'

5. Daydreamer by AURORA
I cried the first time I heard this, and I cried again when I got to see AURORA sing it live. Her words speak to a difficult truth about my own life; she touched my soul with this song, telling me not to be afraid to dream. If you are feeling bogged down by the pandemic then heed AURORA's advice and try not to let it consume you completely: remember to have hope, spark deep and meaningful conversations with the people you love, believe in life beyond the ordinary everyday and let your imagination run wild.

       'When feelings are heavy they become all we are.'

6. Við Spilum Endalaust by Sigur Rós
Icelandic for We Play Endlessly, this is less like song and more like a light show made of sound. I don't understand a word of the lyrics but the driving, dreamlike piano, string and guitar chords, trumpet harmonies and lead singer Jónsi's soaring falsetto vocals sound like the boundless imagination, energy and freedom of youth and reminds us that these are traits which we can all still tap into. So while you are stuck inside why not use your free time to be children again, starting with this song.

       'Endless is the brightness'

7. When I Let Go by Fay Wildhagen
This is just such a lovely song. A story about having to leave somebody behind to go your own way in life, this song is perhaps not so relevant to our current situation but Fay's lyrics are still incredibly gentle and supportive and they remind us to have strength. Fundamentally it also relates to our need for freedom, giving us a taste for that feeling again and reassuring us that we will experience that once again one day.

       'I am the dragon, I am the fire and I'll hold the Earth and the stars above.'

8. All is Full of Love by Björk
We all need to be loved, and more so than ever during this global crisis. With varied and colourful instrumentals, this many layered masterpiece tells us to look for love in the places where we least expect it. Love is everywhere, and even if you don't feel loved by the people around you, know that there is a global community whose love extends beyond boundaries all over the world and to people they don't even know. Don't forget that that includes you.

       'Twist your head around, it's all around you, all is full of love.'

9. Warrior by AURORA
As well as punchy, interesting percussion (including vocal percussion in some live versions) and rich, round vocals, this song has self-esteem raising, courage boosting lyrics and chord sequences. While we are stuck in our homes during lockdown it is easy to feel utterly helpless and even afraid, but in this song AURORA reminds us that even the simple act of love can help to fight suffering and adversity in the world as she asks us to become 'warriors of love.'

       'Underneath darkened skies, there's light kept alive. Let love conquer your mind.'

10. Here Before by Fever Ray**
This cover of Vashti Bunyan' original is beautiful in a strange way. It is simple and a little nostalgic; its three verses elude to reincarnation and to the wisdom of children. I have added this to the list because I think it resonates with what will come as we leave this disaster behind us. We will enter the world in a new light but with memories and wisdom from what went before and from the days before Covid-19. And we will have the chance to see the world like children again.

       'She was smiling like sunshine, she could see it all like she'd been here before'

11. Various Storms and Saints by Florence + The Machine
Its easy to lose yourself in Florence's exhilarating high notes without really listening to the lyrics, but her words carry a vitally important message about weathering storms and coping when everything around you seems to be falling apart. In this raw and emotional song she emphasises that as long as you know and have love for yourself you will get through whatever the world throws at you, and promises that difficult times don't last forever.

       'You don't need no edge to cling from. Your heart is there, its in your hands.'

12. Infections of a Different Kind by AURORA
Yes AURORA is reappearing for a fourth time, she really is that great (and if you haven't listened to her already, you should). This aptly named ballad is quiet and soft and is a perfect finish to her second album as well as for this playlist. Accompanied mainly by piano, AURORA questions why there is evil and suffering in the world. Her voice is consoling and gentle, as though to put that suffering to rest even if just for a short while. In her final lyric-less harmonies she wraps listeners in a protective blanket of sound, creating a snug, sleepy place where we can all be safe from harm.

        'And I beg, I beg to be drained from the pain I have soaked myself in.'
**This song is listed on Spotify as being explicit since the rest of Fever Ray's self-titled album contains explicit content, however if you want to avoid that I promise that this song on its own is safe.
When I was making this list I realised that a lot of the music I listen to is quite angry. It was actually quite difficult to make a complete list, so some of these I have had to really think about. Which was nice.

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  • May 18, 2020 - 4:16pm (Now Viewing)

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4 Comments
  • Daisy + Sage

    Hello! I just listened to Helvegen and... I am lost for words. It was utterly beautiful and it took my breathe away! As I was listening to it, I pictured someone on a quest through a forest and mountains, filled with heartbreak and eventual success (I know - a little random) anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you! I have fallen in love with this song


    15 days ago
  • outoftheblue

    These are such meaningful songs. Congrats on the feature!


    about 1 month ago
  • Emi

    I've also never heard of these, but since you recommend theme I guess I might as well go look them up!


    about 2 months ago
  • acrosstheuniverse28

    I had never heard of a lot of these songs but I went through and listened to many of them. So beautiful! It's awesome to hear how important some of these songs are to you. Thanks for sharing!


    about 2 months ago