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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, October 03, 2023

New music released during quarantine


We’re all well aware of the dramatic changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about since its initial breakout this March. At this point, “unprecedented times” has become a staple phrase in colloquial language, comparable to the ranks of basic greetings. Frankly, all of this change is exhausting. 

Despite these unwarranted changes, one thing that thankfully has remained a sturdy constant is the release of new music.

Our favorite artists have fought their way through the chaos to provide us with their latest tracks and somewhat put our minds at ease. Here is the ultimate quarantine playlist: composed of the top three albums to arise from the “challenging new normal.”

Suga by Megan Thee Stallion: Released March 6, 2020, Megan’s second studio album delivered arguably the most defining tracks of early quarantine, including “Savage” and “Captain Hook”. Employing clever rhymes and hard-hitting beats, Megan asserts her dominance in the rap game while finding power in her femininity. The cadence and swag running through the album is infectious; it’s no wonder why so many of us spent hours perfecting the “Savage” dance.

After Hours by The Weeknd: Shortly following the release of Suga, The Weeknd dropped his fourth studio album on March 20, 2020 that would become a global success. Maintaining his usual themes of love, sex and drugs, The Weeknd takes us on a journey through his own self-discovery. 

He experiments with all kinds of sounds, some reminiscent of synthetic 80s pop - as seen in “In Your Eyes” — and some utilizing the slow and sensual sounds of R&B. This album reassures The Weeknd as a versatile artist whose songs may differ in sound, but remain consistent in quality.

Folklore by Taylor Swift: Written and produced entirely throughout quarantine, Taylor Swift graced our ears July 24, 2020 with her surprise eighth studio album. Ditching her usual upbeat, pop-radio sound, Taylor turns to folk music — a clever title is always appreciated — to share stories about growth through love and heartbreak. 

Woven within the album is a three part trilogy that Taylor refers to as “The Teenage Love Triangle”. It is composed of the songs “Cardigan”, “August” and “Betty” and navigates the difficulty of adolescent love. This miniseries is just another example of Taylor’s storytelling abilities that Folklore brings to life with her descriptive lyricism and whimsical melodies. 

While these albums are some of the brightest shining moments of quarantine, surely they are not the only ones. The future ahead is unknown and can sometimes look bleak, but music will always remind us that even in the worst of times, we can find something worth valuing.

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