With this being the case and the state of affairs being what they are, I wanted to share some of the artists, songs, and albums that I have been turning to for peace and relief (listed in no particular order).
"Something in the Way" by Nirvana:
This song is one that I tend to turn to when I just need to pause and take a step back. On many different occasions, I have turned it on, closed my eyes, cried, and been completely transported. It is a stunningly beautiful song that has such a meditative quality about it; which I believe stems from not only the way Kurt Cobain sings it (very controlled and deliberate), but from the repetition and the songs all around pace and tempo.
"Indecision" by Sampha:
Similar to "Something in the Way," Sampha's "Indecision" is extremely meditative due to the songs lyrical repetition. Sampha's delivery and the songs upbeat tempo gives me a sense of hope and possibility. During finals week for example, I had it on repeat and it helped me make it to the finish line with my confidence intact. There is something so magnificent about his voice and when he repeats, "let it all work out," my soul believes him.
Solange's A Seat at the Table:
The entire album is a magnificent work of art. I have listened to it way too many times to count (thank you Amazon Prime). In fact, I listened to it the other night as I relaxed in a nice warm bubble bath; it's fantastic.
The three songs that I tend to reach for include, "Mad" (I really dig Lil Wayne's contribution and presence on the track), "Weary," and of course, "Cranes in the Sky." Solange created an unapologetically black, heart shatteringly beautiful album. The way in which she addresses things such as mental illness, racism, and systematic oppression makes it almost impossible to see the beauty without acknowledging the concrete that it had to fight to grow from. The album has done extremely well since its release and it is safe to say that it will definitely go down in herstory.
So to be completely honest, I think I would be extremely suspicious of anyone who has a hard time appreciating or acknowledging Ray Lamontagne's musical talent. I fell in love with him shortly after hearing him sing the first couple of notes of his song "Trouble." The raspy quality of his voice has the power to speak to every ounce of pain you may harbor and caress wounds you never even knew you had. I often listen to Gossip in the Grain when I am anxious about the future. Some of my favorite tracks off of the album include, "You Are the Best Thing," "Let It Be Me," and "A Falling Through." When it comes to the album Trouble, I often listen to it when I'm having a hard time believing that love truly exists in the world ("Jolene" is probably my favorite song off of the album). I am absolutely grateful for however it is that I came across his music.
I recently stumbled upon this really dope artist who goes by the name ODIE on soundcloud. It happened when I was watching a makeup tutorial on youtube (the beauty guru featured one of his songs in her video). I literally stopped the video and went to find out who he was. From there, I commenced to listening to all of the songs listed on his page. The song that got me hooked was "My Own," but I literally love all of his songs, granted there aren't that many listed on his page. However, he does collabs with other people, specifically someone named Ya'qob; I believe together they make up a group called UNITE.
Link to his soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/odiexyz
Lastly, there is this really awesome indie folk playlist on youtube that I found sometime last year that I absolutely love. It's a very chill lineup that is good for relaxing or even getting a bit of work done (I'm listening to it right now actually). I honestly think that it is dope from start to finish.
If you have any song or artist suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. I really do love learning about and listening to new music. Also, if you happen to check out any of the music I listed above, let me know; whether good or bad, I'd love to hear about your experiences.
Onward and Upward