Music Monday: Socially Distanced Neighbourhood Strolls

Mellow melodies for your new normal

Monday Music: your weekly themed playlist. Image courtesy of The Peak.

All Monday Music for the Summer 2020 semester is now available on The Peak’s Spotify Playlist, Monday Music Summer 2020. Don’t forget to follow thepeaksfu on Spotify to listen more easily!

By: Alex Masse, SFU Student

I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally spent social distancing getting intimately familiar with every block of my neighbourhood. I’ve taken every nearby path in the park, gotten lost in the suburban labyrinth, and picked lots of flowers along the way. 

With the nature of the whole quarantine deal, these walks can be rather lonely. So, here are four songs to keep you company that I feel really capture the vibe of walking through abandoned parks and suburbs. 

“Run Rings Right Wrongs” by Cosmo Sheldrake 

Courtesy of Tardigrade Records

The name Cosmo Sheldrake might ring a bell, and that would be because one of his songs, “Birthday Suit,” went viral late last year on apps like TikTok for its ominous instrumentals, Sheldrake’s unique voice, and its ambiguous genre which has been described with terminology such as baroque pop and folktronica. “Run Rings Right Wrongs” is the same, packed with atmospheric sounds and samples that bring to mind wandering through an ancient forest. It’s much brighter, and to many brings a sense of youthful amazement. Perfect for picking flowers and watching the clouds go by. 

 

“Sugar Neighbors” by Dane Terry 

Courtesy of 682902 Records DK

I listened to this slow jam on a stroll a couple weeks back. I walked down a hill, looked up to a clear blue sky donning the first tints of sunset, and felt an almost crushing sense that things were going to be okay. That’s actually a line in the song: “And for a moment I / I thought I could see / things get better than we ever thought they could be”. It’s a simplistic enough song, with a basic instrumental and Terry’s voice. But what a voice it is, dreamy and wistful. Also, as I was walking, I ran into a dog, which made a great moment even better. Really, though, this song is just magical. It feels like summer sunsets and sepia. 

 

“Just Fine” by Desirée Dawson

Courtesy of Desiree Dawson Music

Yet another song that reassures me into next week, this one by local gem Desirée Dawson. As the title suggests, it’s a dance-y, pop-y go-to anthem for healing, rising, and being just fine. Walking along abandoned roads and belting this out when the world seems so scary is a powerful experience, one I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone. The way the song builds up, the chorus always hitting just right, makes it the perfect song to sing along to. Each instrument works in harmony, and Dawson’s voice is so strong but also so sweet. As society creeps back to normal, listen to that voice telling you things are going to work out, that things are going to be just fine. 

 

“If I Were” by Vashti Bunyan 

Courtesy of Vashti Bunyan

This folk song is dreamy in the best way. Like Cosmo Sheldrake, Vashti Bunyan’s sound is that of wondering and wandering, though hers is gentler. It’s picking flowers and searching for shapes in clouds. With the world so quiet, you can really enjoy every note of Bunyan’s soft voice and the whimsical track behind it. The story the song tells is one of yearning hypotheticals: “If I were to go away / Would you follow me to the ends of the earth / To show me what your love is worth?” It’s dreamy, it’s flickering, and it almost feels like a lullaby, but those lyrics keep you ruminating, keep you reflective. I wish I could listen to it for the first time again.