Staff Picks: Top Quarantine Albums

Feeling the quarantine blues? Check out the WMUA staff picks for their top albums!

Nina (Programmer) - Sawayama (Rina Sawayama, 2020)

I was counting down the days to this album from the moment it was announced. Rina’s sound is texturally rich, and here she offers a multitude of genres, from heavy metal to synthpop. The high notes in some of these songs are really impressive, and the timbre of her voice is lovely. Sawayama is proof of her excellent craftsmanship and willingness to take risks.

Top tracks: “Dynasty”, “Who’s Gonna Save U Now?”, “Tokyo Love Hotel”

John (Finance Director) - Whole Lotta Red (Playboi Carti, 2020)

Despite coming out in the last week of 2020, this was still my second most listened to album of the entire year, so I had to pick it. People love to hate this for some reason but I think Carti delivered a great follow up to the instant classic that was Die Lit.

Top tracks: “Rockstar Made”, “ILoveUIhateU”, “Slay3r”

Andy (News Operator) - This Is Happening (LCD Soundsystem, 2010)

One of the things I miss most right now is dancing: the rush of euphoria and that feeling of being caught up in the moment. This album has helped me fill that void. The song writing is top notch, the melodies are addictive, and frontman James Murphy’s lyrics are often just as catchy as they are relatable.

Top tracks: “Dance Yrself Clean”, “I Can Change”, “Home”

Judge (Technical Director) - Mena (Javiera Mena, 2010)

Coming from a similar place as Andy, without a doubt my most listened to record since COVID began is Javiera Mena’s second record, Mena. It’s pop sugar injected straight into the bloodstream. It’s jumping into a dark river with your lover. In more literal terms, Mena is nine tracks of emotional dance pop perfection with peaks and valleys of energy, hooks to fill your storage unit with, and a loving, freeing spirit.

Top tracks: “Primera estrella”, “El amanecer”, “Luz de piedra de luna”

Zoe (Communications Music Director) - Stillness In Wonderland (Little Simz, 2017)

Little Simz has a sound that many have tried to conquer but very few have mastered. This jazz-rap album takes you through the inner workings of the artist’s fantasy world, and she paints a stunning picture. Between the high quality production and the well-articulated verses, one can’t help but to get sucked in and appreciate her artistry. Not to mention, this album has insane collaborators (BADBADNOTGOOD, Syd and Chronixx just to name a few).

Top tracks: “Picture Perfect”, “Shotgun”, “One In Rotation + Wide Awake”

Bonnie (News Editor) - Hypersonic Missiles (Sam Fender, 2019)

I first listened to the single with the same name as the album and loved it. I was immediately drawn to the lyrics and his voice. The lyrics can resonate with so much of our generation, those who feel disconnected from the rest of the world and realize the horrors out there. The songs on this album can be felt by all of us as we go about our lives.

Top Tracks: “Hypersonic Missiles,” “Saturday,” “Leave Fast”

Melissa (Public Relations Director) - Who Am I? (Pale Waves, 2021)

Harkening back to the early 2000s goth-pop, this album may remind you of Avril Lavigne’s Let Go, so I obviously had to choose it. This album dives into personal awakenings and being your true self. Since their first album, lead singer Heather Barron-Tracy came out publicly and their drummer Ciara Doran announced they are non-binary, providing inspiration for their new album. Who Am I? has been called “a candid portrayal of queer love”.

Top Tracks: “Change”