Keeping Calm in Quarantine


In times like these, it’s important to sense the slowed pace of life brought about by this devastating virus and try to enjoy it; or take something positive from it at least – think silver clouds. The ability to relax and stay calm is easier for some than others, but it is important for us all if we are to remain sane during this lockdown and come out the other side with our mental health still intact. Whether you’re one of the few who’s finally managed to open and actually read one of the many books you’ve had lying around; made use of that yoga mat that’s spent so much time curled up it won’t lie flat; or watched anything that’s been thrown at you, even a “series” supposedly about tigers, which in fact is more about an unbelievably bizarre group of people and the incredibly twisted happenings in their lives – one thing is for certain: we need something to help. And the thing that’s helping us is music.

Music is a powerful tool. It can support and accentuate our mood no matter what frame of mind we’re in, no matter the situation. Music can get us excited, have us jumping around like lunatics, make us reminisce, even induce neck pain; but it can also help ease the nerves and relax the mind. And so, in the hope of helping out and continuing to spread good finds and good vibes, we’ve decided to share a couple of records that we have recently listened to to help soothe our psyches in these tough times of social distancing.


My pick has to be Tildafliper’s most recent EP Bombo/Muyo - The A-side more specifically. Muyo is the most calming track I’ve heard all year. Released back in 2018, yet only reaching my ears this week. A soothing set of his-and-her voices gently sing over a soft background buzz of organ and didgeridoo-esque sounds while a seemingly simple guitar riff and a delicate touch of the piano float in and out, leaving me hypnotised in their wake. If I close my eyes, I can almost smell the incense as I envisage the vocalists gracefully gliding round the isles of a South American chapel.


My pick, like Joe’s, was a very recent find and a much-needed dose of sonic healing. Some time last week I’d received an email from Whities about a new release from half Swedish half British producer Leif. Anything Whities-related is always of interest to us both, with the label being a regular topic of conversation between us. I’ll have to admit though, I hadn’t heard anything from Leif before, nor his name, but when I mentioned the news to Joe (who was more familiar with him than I was, having heard his previous release Loom Dream), he told me it would definitely be worth a listen and gave me an idea of what could be expected: really good ambient, to paraphrase.

And so, on Monday afternoon, finding myself sat (yet again) in my living room working, staring away into my white-light laptop screen with a pounding headache and an anxiousness that was making me feel sick, I decided I needed a break; a proper one. I sat on my bed, rolled a cigarette, opened up Whities’ Bandcamp, found Leif’s Music for Screen Tests and clicked play.

For the next 54 minutes I sat still with my back against the wall and legs stretched out, looking out the window at the few clouds that passed by the clear blue sky outside.

I’m unable to go into much detail, I’d have to listen to the release again to do so – which, worth noting, is up as a 54 minute continuous mix – but what I can say is that it did just the job. Whether you’re feeling similar to how I was that day or (hopefully) not, Music for Screen Tests is just what’s needed at a time like this. And, if you’re able to and lucky enough, while you do sit still, look out the window and watch the clouds go by.