Doja Cat, ABBA and the Inception soundtrack: Sheff students’ top isolation tunes

‘It’s the perfect track for a few beers whilst you watch the world end’

As Sheffield coronavirus cases rise and the city enters a tier-two lockdown, more and more students are facing isolation.

It can be stressful at the best of times. For Sheffield students with small university bedrooms, a lack of garden space, and flatmates that they have known for less than a month, it’s tough.

When speaking to quarantining students, music was the common saviour getting them through their two week isolation period.

The Sheffield Tab interviewed seven students and asked them what their go-to tracks and artists were in lockdown.

Adam, Sheffield Hallam

Lockdown song: Colores, J Balvin

How did you discover it?

“I came across the album early on in lockdown when I was writing my dissertation. I got tired of listening to the same music quite quickly so I decided to try something completely different and get into latin music and with J Balvin being one of the biggest latin artists, his latest album was one of the first things I came across.”

How did it help you through lockdown?

“The album has such an upbeat vibe and it really helped me stay in a positive mindset, despite everything that was going on.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t speak Spanish so I can’t understand the lyrics but the production and the sound of the music is so incredible that I was still able to lose myself without paying too much attention to the meaning. The album also encapsulates the feeling of summer perfectly which really made me feel like I was on holiday somewhere exotic, despite not getting any further than my garden!”

Rating out of 10: “9/10. I have to knock one-off for the lyrics.”

Ben, Sheffield Hallam

Lockdown song: Punisher, Phoebe Bridgers

When did you first hear it?

“It came out a bit later in lockdown, and I’d been listening to her first album most nights when everything was at its peak, one walk a day all that stuff.

“I was actively looking forward to it coming out for the whole of lockdown. I’m a massive fan of hers, and the months leading up to the album drop it really gave me something to look forward to.”

How did it help you through lockdown? 

“Her songwriting just really captures how isolating and apocalyptic everything felt, but in a comforting way. She also had some of the best and most interesting quarantine live shows, on tiny desk or Jimmy Fallon, so that gave me something to watch in the evenings.”

Rating out of 10: Definite 10/10 for me. I’m probably biased because I love everything she does, but it felt like a perfect follow up to her debut. It really captured the exact mood I felt most days. I’m a wallower when it comes to what I listen to when I’m down, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for a few beers whilst you watch the world end. “

Tammie, Uni of Sheffield

Lockdown artists: A love for R&B including Drake and Rihanna

Which album or artist helped you get through isolation? 

 “Throughout lockdown I actually paid more attention to creating my own album on Spotify with all of my favourite songs on it which consists of a lot of Drake, Rihanna, Cardi B, Dave, Jay1 and other R&B artists mainly.

“I get bored of music very quick and I have to be in a certain mood to listen to specific songs. As I had lots of time on my hands, I thought I would make the most of it.”

 When did you discover it? 

 “The songs range from the old school Drake era up to current music, so I have constantly been discovering the music I suppose!”

 How did it help you through lockdown? 

 “It helped me pass a lot of time on during the lockdown. It specifically helped when I was redecorating my bedroom during lockdown as it was my first time EVER decorating a room and found it very tedious!

“Music during lockdown helped me lift my spirits when I was having lonely, down days, especially the old school music as it reminded me of happier times before Covid.” 

 Rating out of 10: “Seeing as I made my own playlist/album on Spotify, I have to rate it a 10/10.” 

Katie, Uni of Sheffield

Lockdown song: Hot Pink, Dojo Cat

Which album helped you get through isolation? 

“The album that’s helped me get through lockdown the most is Hot Pink by Doja Cat.”

When did you discover it? 

“I discovered the album last year as I already liked Doja Cat, but started listening to it daily when the song ‘Say So’ off the album went viral on TikTok.”

 How did it help you through lockdown? 

“I loved the positive vibes the songs in the album gave off, and I always wanted to sing and dance to them! I don’t think there’s anything better than music that puts you in that kind of mood during times when you’re feeling down, especially during lockdown!”

Rating out of 10: “A solid 9/10 – There are a couple of songs on the album I’d skip but, other than that I absolutely love it.”

Sophie, Sheffield Hallam

Lockdown song: Cherry, Harry Styles

Which artist helped you through lockdown?

“I’d have to say Harry Styles, Fine Line Album, in particular the song ‘Cherry’. I don’t normally listen to chart music but, after the success of Watermelon Sugar, I became a little bit obsessed with the album (and Harry Styles).”

When did you discover it?

“I think I discovered it one day when I was sunbathing/reading in the garden. It just came up on one of my Spotify radio loops and I became obsessed with the album very quickly.”

How did it help you through lockdown?

“I rarely find an album that I can listen to all the way through – this was one of them. The songs on Fine Lines fit so many of my lockdown moods. From Sunbathing, to reading and sunset walks, Harry Styles really had a song for every activity and it always put me in a good mood.”

Rating out of 10: “Definitely a solid 10/10. A brilliant album and gave me the chance to fangirl over Harry Styles even more!”

Emma, Uni of Sheffield

Lockdown song: Angleleyes, ABBA

When did you discover it? 

“I originally heard the song in the release of the second Mamma Mia Film. During my year abroad, I could hear my neighbours (who I was good friends with) play it out loud every day without fail from their room. After returning to the UK early because of Covid, I would often listen to it and think about being back on my year abroad.”

 How did it help you through lockdown? 

“It helped me get through lockdown because although the lyrics of the song tell a sad story but, the beat of the song is so lively; it’s hard to sit around an overthink the situation we are in when the song is playing.”

 Rating out of 10: 7/10. It’s very upbeat, but I get that ABBA and the whole 70s vibe is not everybody’s cup of tea.”

Robin, Sheffield Hallam

Lockdown song: The Inception Soundtrack

Which album or song helped you get through isolation? 

“I was listening to a fair amount to soundtracks and stuff through lockdown. I’d say the soundtrack to Inception is one of my favourites. I mean the movie is amazing – one of my all-time favourites. The score for it is brilliant too, it goes with the whole flow of the movie and I just personally like it a lot.”

 When did you discover it? 

 “I first saw Inception on a flight to Dubai in 2014 and it’s been one of my favourite movies ever since.” 

 How did it help you through lockdown? 

 “I was working from home a lot and it just helped me concentrate and focus while I was working and you know, remain calm even when things got hectic or stressful at work.”

Rating out of 10: “Easy 9/10.”

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