How COVID-19 Changed Popular Music – The Vermont Cynic



The coronavirus has forced music to evolve within quarantine walls into an anomaly exclusive to 2020.

Artists have had to find new ways to produce their music in our socially remote world. Even some of the most popular artists you’ve heard must have met on online calls, as many of us do every day.

This struggle diluted the meaning of highly produced projects and forced artists to think in new and innovative ways. Like these artists, we had to find new ways to entertain ourselves and challenge our perception of everyday life.

Life changes, music too. Music is a reflection of our daily life and the pandemic has changed almost every aspect of it. So with our new lives there has to be new music too.

However, that doesn’t mean that everything that came out of the music during the coronavirus was good. The song “Imagine” with a bevy of celebrities was cringe-worthy at best and missed the point of the song.

Izzy Pipa

There have been other less than desirable attempts to make music exciting during the forties, mostly by other celebrities or bands trying to keep their relevance. Examples include Bon Jovi and the Foo Fighters who have put on zoom gigs that fail to engage their audiences, but that may just be a fruitful hand.

While some artists are struggling during the pandemic, others are thriving. 100 guys, for example, gave concerts to Minecraft. They are not just concerts either, they are entire festivals including artists like Charli XCX, Dorian Electra and Kero Kero Bonito.

These artists will go into minecraft and build entire concert halls for their fans. Not only does this require considerable effort, but they also have to support servers that can handle massive amounts of fans.

Speaking of Dorian Electra, they took part in virtual clubs in the popular MMO Second Life, a massively multiplayer online game with its own economy and a customizable world. This allows players like Dorian Electra to build their own clubs that are dependent on the global economy and avatars who wear clothes that are priced on real money.

Artists like Charli XCX have also released new albums during the pandemic. His album “How I feel now” is just another part of his incredible musical streak over the past few years. The album stands out as unique to the experience of the quarantined world.

Songs like “forever” are about the struggle of our relationships and how we maintain them even with constant separation. She describes how even though she and her partner would never see each other again, she will still love them.

The lyrics also use the analogy of driving together in a car at the thought of a relationship and without her partner by her side, she flies off the road. Driving is a constant theme throughout the album and the idea that humanity is locked in a car strapped to the seats without controls.

Movement and travel are also a theme of Jeff Rosenstock’s latest album, “NO DREAM”. Released in May 2020, Rosenstock said without the pandemic: “I feel like this record probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”

The song “State Line” captures the feeling of not even being able to cross state borders to see the people we love. Throughout the song, Rosenstock retains memories of adventures with his loved ones, but keeping memories can’t do much.

Traveling by car with someone you love and being on a trip to a new place is what is really missing. Instead, we’re stuck in a never-ending race, traveling nowhere and without those we love.

Movement is such an important part of the way we go about our daily lives, even though it’s as easy as going to our local supermarket. Songs like “State Line” and “forever” remind us of this importance and speak of our modern suffering where we seem to drift further and further away every day, even without being stuck in quarantine.

In a time of seemingly constant disconnection, we think about connections with each other more than ever in recent memory. Songs like “State Line” and “forever” remind us of the connections we had and how, in an age of digital isolation, we need to be closer than ever, regardless of the pandemic.

Today’s coronavirus culture is forcing us and musicians to find new ways to connect people across the world and remind ourselves of our shared humanity.



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