Looking for the perfect soundtrack to keep you on task while you’re working from home? Or perhaps you’re keen for a low-key lunchtime dance in the kitchen? Lockdown has inspired a whole lot of moods – with a whole lot of playlists to match.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites, and we’ve asked the excellent Edd Fisher (one half of Melbourne DJ collective Wax’o Paradiso) for his professional opinion. Whether you’re feeling pensive, pent-up or in the mood for a party, we’ve got a playlist for you.
Wax’o Dystopio by Wax’o Paradiso
For when you’re: ready to party
This moody, energetic mix is one of three recent playlists by Fisher and fellow Wax’o member Simon Tarrant Kuang, aka Simon TK.
“Heading into winter we’d normally be heading down to Dark Mofo and putting on our Dystopio hats,” says Fisher. “This playlist has favourites on the synth-ier [and] darker side of disco and Italo-disco.”
At just over six hours this playlist is pure escapism, bringing the outside in.
Permanent Vacation by Paramount House Hotel
For when you’re: bored at home
Kicking off with hip-hop quarantine anthem Bored in the House by Tyga and Curtis Roach, this playlist by Sydney’s stylish Paramount House Hotel playfully acknowledges how you might be feeling, then sets the stage for a chilled night in.
With songs by Childish Gambino, 2Pac, Mos Def and even John Lennon, this playlist is low-key but never low energy – clearly designed with isolation in mind. It’s also around an hour long, making it the perfect length for virtual knock-off drinks.
Music Will Keep Us Together – Recommendations for Lockdown Days by Rosa CH
For when you’re: looking for a new favourite artist
This playlist is curated by music-industry professional and occasional radio host Rosa Coyle-Hayward. It’s a mixed bag of mostly Australian artists, and every day she adds five new tracks to fit the mood of that day.
The full playlist so far runs at more than 21 hours. If you play it from beginning to end, you’ll hear bangers, classics and plenty of soon-to-be favourites. It serves as an interesting musical diary of one person’s experience in lockdown.
For when you’re: feeling adventurous, meditative or like having a lazy afternoon
Skylab Radio is a digital radio station that streams out of East Brunswick, Melbourne, with shows for all tastes and occasions.
“In a very short period of time, Skylab Radio has become an integral part of Melbourne’s dance-music community,” says Fisher. “[It’s] a beautifully curated, broad and diverse snapshot of Melbourne’s scene, as well as regular interstate and international guest appearances.”
You can tune in anytime to see what’s on live, but Fisher has some suggestions for shows he’s enjoyed recently:
“Bandcamp has been waiving its fees one day a month for the last two months, creating a surge in interest and sales through the platform. This Buy Music Club link is a list of Australian favourites that I’ve been loving, and you can support [them] by purchasing their music [directly].”
There’s a mix of solo artists, bands and producers, plus links to their Bandcamp pages.
Quarantini Time by Edd Fisher
For when you’re: feeling creative and chill
Quarantini Time is exactly what its name promises – a relaxed playlist to pop on for a quiet drink or when you’re winding down after work.
This is another one that Fisher put together himself. “I made this a week or two into isolation to have a tipple to and get creative in the kitchen,” he says.
With tracks by Van Morrison, Prince and some dreamy remixes of classics, it’s a playlist for slowing down.
Stay In and Chill by Test Pressing
For when you’re: in the mood for something new
Test Pressing is a music and culture website slash record label, and Fisher’s go-to for new music and rediscovered gems. “During the isolation period it’s introduced a great ‘Stay at Home’ series of Spotify playlists,” he says.
There are contributions from electronic artists such as Apiento (aka Paul Byrne, the founder of Test Pressing) and Melbourne’s own Efficient Space label.
So Frenchy So Chic
For when you’re: feeling a mix of nostalgia and cabin fever
Australia’s French-inspired festival, So Frenchy So Chic, was one of the few that ran as planned in 2020. If you’re feeling nostalgic (or simply missing festivals), So Frenchy’s managing director, Jean-François Ponthieux, has put together a playlist of some of his favourite French tunes.
There are seven different playlists to choose from, including a “best of” and one with a focus on jazz, but So Frenchy So Yéyé (a selection of French hits from the ’60s) is a particular highlight.