In the unprecedented times we are all going through, music is the way that many of us are getting through it. Whether you’re diving into back catalogs of your favorite tunes or you’re exploring new artists, I am noticing that music seems to be one of the threads that is truly binding us together right now. With that in mind, Zee Machine is one of the best, brightest and most buzzed about artists in the game today. While he spoke with me about his EP Brainchemistry recently, he has also whipped up a specialized Quarantine Jamz playlist, exclusively for Instinct. Like the artist himself, it’s both eclectic and classic, and one of the perfect remedies for what we’re all enduring today.
“Cool” – Dua Lipa
Come on. A Tove Lo co-write? A Stuart Price (of Madonna and Kylie fame) production? There’s no way that this cut from the pop album of quarantine was going to be anything other than glossy perfection.
“Supalonely” – BENEE, Gus Dapperton
I stumbled across this irresistible little gem in the fray of the quarantine TikTok dance challenge movement sweeping the world and I think the title speaks for us all right now.
“Blinding Lights” – The Weeknd
Maybe a bit of an obvious, on-the-nose choice, but the pulsating tempo and cathartic synth crescendo to the chorus breakdown are a great way to help you break through the malaise when you’ve slept in till noon.
“Lovely Day” – Bill Withers
We may have lost Bill Withers last month, but this classic lives on to remind us that a.) we can still make this day a lovely one, and b.) his breath support in the last chorus is better than yours will ever be.
“Crush On You” – HARLOE
One of my favorite new artist finds of 2020. This bubbly and forlorn electro/soul jam makes for a tasty shower karaoke number. I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not I know this from experience.
“Caribbean Queen” – Billy Ocean
For the sole purpose that you can sing the chorus as “QUARANTINE QUEEEEEN.” Also, I would sell my soul for a saxophone solo.
“Hands Off” – MUNA
Anyone who knows me knows at least one MUNA song is inevitable on any playlist of mine. However in the era of social distance and ardent hand-washing, this one feels particularly relevant.
“Enter Sandman” – Metallica Okay,
HEAR ME OUT. I was going through something of a thrash metal phase in the weeks leading up to quarantine. I discovered the relentless guitar crunch and the gale force wind vocal delivery of this Metallica classic proved to be an excellent outlet to channel the frustration and anger I was feeling.
“Ruby Is Red Hot” – RuPaul
We may not be getting a second season of AJ and the Queen, but this cut from Ru’s Netflix show is one of her most irresistibly infectious tracks since “Sissy That Walk.” And again… I’m a slut for a sax solo.
“Ordinary World” – Duran Duran
“What has happened to it all? / Crazy, some’d say / Where is the life that I recognize? / Gone away… / …And as I try to make my way / To the ordinary world / I will learn to survive?” That’s all.
“Simmer (Caroline Polachek Remix)” – Hayley Williams
I’m including this for the sole reason that it seemed like a gift from the universe to see one of my favorite artists remix one of my favorite songs of the year and have it go off just as hard as I hoped it might.
“Frail State Of Mind” – The 1975
Even The 1975’s most understated songs are still so transcendent and luscious. And this one – alluding to how we’re probably all feeling these days – is no exception.
“Stupid Love” – Lady Gaga
A balls-to-the-wall J A M. No excuses needed. It’s full throttle dance floor euphoria that doesn’t wear thin. And since we don’t know what the future holds for the release of Chromatica just yet, let’s just be grateful for what we have so far.
“Stealing Candy” – ZEE MACHINE
Bias? Me? Why I never… No, but honestly. I’m really proud of this one. It’s hard for me to write love songs, but this is as close as I’ve ever gotten. Releasing music in quarantine has been a strange experience. But I promise I’ll have you humming this chorus in two listens tops.
For Zee Machine’s Quarantine Jamz playlist click here