Five Songs to Social Distance To

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By Pearce O’Neal
Music Journalist

Staying inside all day is no fun.  Although boredom sets in fast, and will probably last for the foreseeable future, it is important to think about the good staying inside does. Practicing social distancing not only makes it safer for you, but also everyone around you. However, being stuck inside all day can definitely dampen the mood.  That means you have to think of things to keep you sharp. While music, in general, can help, here are five specific songs that will make you move and make you feel a little more human through these weird times.  

  1. “Celebration Station” by Lil Uzi Vert

ETERNAL ATAKE is here. After almost three years of waiting, Uzi decided to come back to earth from outer space and release the thought-to-be-myth of an album. It seemed impossible to live up to the hype after this amount of time. However, Uzi shocked us again. While the album is filled with instant hits front to back, one track specifically stands out. “Celebration Station” blends Uzi’s symphonic voice with a pop-infused beat that he flows over effortlessly. We hear the soft crooning voices in the background making the song even more infectious, as you can’t help rolling your shoulders.  You picture yourself dancing in the club as he adds his own flare using ad-libs and rolling his R’s.  

2. “Cuba” by Theophilus London

Just like the aforementioned Uzi, it has been a while since we got a full-length project from Theophilus London. His last studio album was Vibes, released in 2014.  Bebey, his album released this year, was worth the wait. It merges London’s 80’s aesthetic with a Caribbean sound. It’s filled with songs that make you lust for beach getaways, mixed with some electronic club bangers, and also hard-hitting raps. “Cuba,” an ode to a former fling, wraps you in with a beat that you can’t help but clap and nod your head to. The song, matter of fact the whole album, feels as though it should have had a summer release. I guess listening to it and daydreaming about warm island parties and cold drinks will have to do for now.  

3. “Home” by Caribou

Social distancing can also mean that you aren’t seeing that special someone you usually do. The one who makes your apartment or dorm feel less like a living space and more like a home. Caribou’s mellow “Home” has a calming effect that will help you think about the good times you have had together and not that you’re trapped inside apart.  The soft-spoken verses contrasted with the scratchy choruses also uses a blend of electronic, rock, and even some jazz, to soothe our minds and bodies as we think about that person.  

4. “ringtone” (Remix) [ft. Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, Kero Kero Bonito] by 100 Gecs

Two people in cloaks standing next to each other holding up a mirror in between them.
Cover art for 100 Gecs single “ringtone” (Remix). Screenshot by Pearce O’Neal via Apple Music.

If you’re at all familiar with 100 Gecs, you know that they are anything but conventional. Their music is a high energy concoction that involves rock, electronic, and pop which rattles your mind.  Even if you haven’t heard their music, you can assume that a song with worldwide pop star Charli XCX and the punk rapper Rico Nasty isn’t your stereotypical radio hit either. “ringtone” has elementary vibes to it that is almost chaotic at times.  They also tap British indie pop band Kero Kero Bonito adding to the flavor of the song. With high pitched auto-tuned verses and a bouncy and playful baseline, you are forced to move. Whether it makes your playlist or not, it’ll make you get up off of the couch.  

5. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

Let’s face it: we’ve all seen the TikToks dancing to this song. And although if we keep seeing them, we could start to dislike the song altogether, for now, it is a hit. One of the singles off his new album After Hours, “Blinding Lights” seems to stand out from the other tracks. The keys over the baseline mimic a dance track from back in the day. Once the first drop hits, your arms almost magically start waving around, doing a variation of the Carlton. The Weeknd’s amazing voice glides over the beat, matching his lyrics with the sound. Hopefully, we can continue to enjoy this song before TikTok has completely taken it over. 

While no one knows how long things are going to be the way they are, it is important to take it a day at a time and do your part in taking care of yourself and others. And to keep yourself busy, music is a great place to start. All of the artists on this list have dropped music in the last few months and you can check them out on streaming services.

Featured image by Pearce O’Neal.

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