MUSIC FOR THE TIMES: Local artists share their playlists to help comfort you during COVID

Phase two is extended in North Carolina and that’s a pretty big bummer for a community like ours. We like our local eateries, bars and dives—most of which are still either closed or limited to opening at half capacity or only doing takeout. We love our local artists, galleries and myriad exhibitions that in normal times we get to attend in person; today we’re limited to virtual exhibits. We have drive-ins popping up now to host movies and live music at a socially distanced safe capacity. But, oh, how we miss the nightly lineups of live music across ILM stages, filled with people dancing and singing to a variety of sounds and genres.

Since we can’t see our favorite local musicians play live as much these days—unless we’re tuning into their livestreams, naturally—we asked them to share with us what they’ve been listening to help get through these precarious times. In fact, encore’s been collecting playlists from local artists over the last couple of months. Below they’ve shared their favored songs, albums and bands in hopes of providing some comfort.

Hang in there, Wilmingtonians!

*thepaperstars* Tres Altman’s Comfort Music

Two from Two: Michaela and Annabelle Sanchez

“We actually have a playlist that we created called ‘Alone Together Music’ specifically for this time,” says Michaela Sanchez. “We included many local Wilmington artists, as well as regional and national musicians we’ve performed with or admire.”

Also from the Sanchezes…

Bounce Around w/ Jason Andre’s List

“Depending on my mood and what house project I’m working on, I often bounce between Bad Religion, Iron & Wine, Lord Huron, Alt-J and the black keys. But, oftentimes, in the evening when my wife and I are cooking dinner togetherm we will put on the Glenn Miller or the French cooking music station on Pandora.

“It’s pretty much the same rotation I go through on a normal basis, but I’ve got a good mix of Punk Rock that helps me work through my emotions instead of getting on Facebook and saying something stupid, or regurgitating whatever feelings I have about latest news update on politics or the novel coronavirus. If I get burned out on music, then I often listen to “Song Exploder,” “Joe Pug’s The Working Songwriter” podcast or “Ain’t That Swell,” which is an Australian surfing podcast that is freaking hilarious! #UTFS”


Mark Jackson’s Songs to Sooth

“I have been listening to a lot of Eddie Money, which isn’t something you would normally find me playing. I’ve always enjoyed his music, but it’s been really fun dancing around my house to his tunes during this quarantine. They’re all so high energy and easy to listen to.

“Courtney Barnett has also received quite a few hours of listening over the past month or so. A number of friends have suggested I dig a little deeper in the past and I am so glad that I now have. She writes incredible lyrics that pair well with her rich melodies and rock ‘n’  roll style. Songs like ‘Nobody Really Cares if You Don’t Go to the Party’ and ‘Depreston’ really get me grooving.

“One of my all-time favorites is Jim Croce. His storytelling songwriting style is fantastic and it’s pretty difficult to listen to his music without smiling. I would recommend ‘A Good Time Man Like Me Ain’t Got No Business Singin’ the Blues.'”

Heather Jensen’s (Pinky Verde) Top Tunes

“‘Mess’ by SASAMI is a song that seems to be very relatable at the moment: ‘I’m just trying to get paid.’ The song sounds very self-contained and dry, especially with dry cymbals smashes that don’t lead the song into too much size. I love the ’90s vocal melodies as well.

“‘Leave It’ by Bombay Bicycle Club is about moving on and accepting the situation but still letting yourself feel hurt. ‘Top Notch’ by Manchester Orchestra is just good to listen to. It is heavy and scratches the aggression itch your ears need sometimes. The lyrics in the chorus are pretty relatable to the current moment, too: ‘I know there’s no way to fix it.'”



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Randy McQuay’s Artists to Play

L Shape Lot’s Rick Williams’ Social Distance Ride

“I have been enjoying Dangermuffin’s ‘Olly Oxen Free’ album on my socially-distanced bike rides. It was a 2012 release, but you would swear it was written last week, considering its focus on getting out of the rat race and reconnecting with the natural world.

“I also gravitate to instrumental music when I’m reading or working at home. Jon Stickley Trio’s new album, ‘Scripting the Flip,’ just dropped [in April 2020], so the timing couldn’t have been better for me. It is pure guitar and fiddle virtuosity, guaranteed to keep your spirits lifted.”


Clay Whittington’s Quarantine Faves

“These are artists I have always listened to, but—with the exception of Ben Folds—have only really listened to their hits. During this quarantine, I’ve made a push for listening to their complete albums. The list of music to add to my performance repertoire has grown exponentially because of this.”

Jeremy Mathews’ Quarantine Playlist

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