The Corona Pandemic brings many challenges for all of us. One of these challenges is that we all of a sudden have to adjust to having to work from home to a large extent.
We suddenly have to deal with the issues of how to stay in touch with our team, how to structure our day at home and how to make remote meetings productive.
Music has helped me a lot in overcoming these challenges. After talking with others, I quickly realized that this is a great topic for a blog article. Many thanks to Annie, Sebastian and Gero for their contribution to this post!
Sergej Zimpel, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager at Scout24 AG, Co-Founder of Purple Squirrel Society
Reconstruction Site by The Weakerthans
Usually I find the worship of persons not only highly problematic but also quite annoying. But I have to make a big exception with John K. Samson, the singer of the Weakerthans.
John writes lyrics that are not only insanely poetic but also tell wonderful stories that make you smile and burst into tears at the same time. “Reconstruction Site” is a good start to discover his music. Give “Plea from a cat named virtute” a listen, in which a cat tries to motivate its owner to do something with his life.
You Must Believe in Spring by Bill Evans
A few years ago I started learning to play the piano. I am still a dramatically bad pianist but playing the piano has given me a whole new approach to jazz and classical music.
My absolute favorite jazz pianist is Bill Evans. And the album “You Must Believe in Spring” is probably my favorite album of his.
The album has a pretty depressing background, because Bill Evans wrote the album after the suicide of his wife and his brother. Nevertheless, the title of the album always gives me some hope, especially in times of Corona crises.
Violence, Violence by Ceremony
“Violence, Violence” is the perfect album for those moments that every recruiter probably knows only too well: The perfect candidate has cancelled shortly before signing the contract or the interviewer wants to postpone the interview for the hundredth time. I mean those moments when you just want to scream out for a moment.
Well, this album is the perfect background music to do this.
20 songs in a little more than 20 minutes, which can be summarized with the line “Pack your fists full of hate, take a swing at the world”. After these 20 minutes of catharsis you feel at ease again and can continue your work.
The English Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach/Glenn Gould
Do you also know those moments when everything just seems too complex and overwhelming?When neither the world nor the Excel spreadsheet in front of your eyes seem to have any logic?
I have found the perfect treatment for these moments: Sebastian Bach.
Bach’s music has such a wonderful logic and structure, that a few minutes of this music will magically order your thoughts and everything will suddenly seem completely logical again.
The pianist on this recording, Glenn Gould, is quite a strange character, and anyone interested in extraordinary people should definitely watch the documentary “Genius within” about him.
“The English Suites” is one of my favorite pieces of Bach but actually everyone should lock themselves in their apartment for a few days (or weeks) to listen to the whole catalog of his music.
Talking Songs for Walking by Lungfish
Lungfish is one of those bands that manages to write insanely brilliant songs with relatively simple riffs that have an almost hypnotic character.
Even if you would count Lungfish as well as Ceremony (see above) to the genre of Hardcore Punk, their music is completely different. If you like punk music, but Ceremony is a bit too fast and aggressive for you, Lungfish is the perfect band for you.
Gero Hesse, Managing Director Territory Embrace, Blogger and Podcaster, saatkorn
This is a fun, but very difficult task: to suggest 5 albums that help me personally during the corona crisis. Actually, it’s way difficult to focus on just 5 albums. But here we go:
Donovan Frankenreiter by Donovan Frankenreiter
The first album by ex surf pro gone singer/songwriter Donovan Frankenreiter is (at least in my ears) a master piece with 13 mellow varied songs that immediately bring me back to sea, sun, sand and surfing. Helps in these times. Especially, when every day in home office is very similar to the day before or after. And if you need some salt water in your hair but can’t travel this is the second best option. Sometimes I just need to catch some surf/sea memories. And Donovan brings it all – just check out „It don’t matter“, „Butterfly“ or „Heading home“ and you know what I mean.
Seaside Highlife by The Beautiful Girls
To me, this is Donovan Frankenreiter on dope. Not so mellow, but still and very clearly surf music. Actually it’s the first Greatest Hits by The Beautiful Girls from Australia. TBG mastermind Matt McHugh delivers a very diversified set of indie/pop/ska/punk/rock songs inspired by the beach life. Stuff to dream, relax, rock and party to. I just dig it. Perfect soundtrack for a Friday evening gin on the terrace after a week full of webinars, zoom meetings and teamscalls…
Eat em and Smile by David Lee Roth
By far the best Van Halen record Van Halen never recorded. Good time Rock and Roll the best way it can be delivered. After a very successful career with…Van Halen, frontman David Lee Roth started his solo career with this classic album in 1985. And since then, this is my absolute summer heavy rock album. But it is (of course) far more than just your typical hair metal stuff: the band is top notch, with guitar wizard Steve Vai, bass monster Billy Sheehan and super drummer Gregg Bissonette. And the songs vary between Van Halen-esque stuff such as „Big Trouble“, Frank Sinatra style „That’s life“ and pure Rock’n Roll „I’m easy“ or pure metal like „Shyboy“. And on top of this you have the crazy personality and witty sense of humour of the man himself, David Lee Roth…honestly: when I feel this Corona-depression (I guess everyone feels from time to time) I listen to this album and I feel energized, positive and easy again. Don’t take life too seriously – that’s the message here!
Kill em all by Metallica
Well, but if the above does not work and I feel aggressive and need something to get over this fucking pandemic feeling, the debut of Bay Area’s Finest (or their second album„Ride the Lightning“ or their third „Master of Puppets“) helps out and delivers the goods. Relentless riffs, aggressive drums and lyrics, a very young band clearly on its way to make no prisoners and write history (and rightfully, become the #1 Heavy Metal superstars with + 110 million album sales worldwide as of today). „Seek & Destroy“ is the motto here. And Metallica doesn’t disappoint if you wanna get rid of your daily dose of Covid19 aggression. 😉
Ordinary Man by Ozzy Osbourne
What can I say…I am a big, BIG Black Sabbath and Ozzy fan. The music of my youth (and – funny enough, the music to my grown up life as well). To my very big surprise, the latest album „Ordinary Man“, is a return to form for the madman. Great songs, superb musicianship and the typical melody lines you only find on Ozzy albums. Way better than everything he did since 1991’s „Ozzmosis“. Since „Ordinary Man“ came out late February 2020, this was my home office soundtrack during the beginning of the Corona situation. If you wanna check it out, listen to the beautiful title ballad (with Elton John) and to my album highlight „Scary little green men“. Rock on!
Sebastian Ristic, Independent HR Consultant
Music plays a major role to me in actively manipulating my mood since my teenage years. I was one of the millions of teenagers that found an anchor in music and a medium to express, reflect and understand my emotions especially alongside personal crisis. Music helped me to grow and still helps me through this current situation. Here are my personal top 5.
A Beautiful Lie 30 Seconds to Mars
It was love at first sight when I casually was exploring new songs and bands. I was in my early to mid twenties, a geeky student and I just got my first guitar. This alternative rock sound marked a whole period of my early grown up days. Also their next album “This Is War” nearly made it to my list here, but it started with this album. Powerful and sometimes melancholic alternative rock. I particularly love to listen to it when I am driving alone and sing (or scream…) as loud as possible with Jared.
Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
Because… Hell yeah! A close friend of mine whom I was used to jam with every Wednesday introduced me to this band and their unmistakable sound when this album came out. To me this album perfectly combined this typical Irish Pub spirit with powerful rock music. We were laughing, singing and didn’t deny one or two cool pints 😉 Love these memories and I feel closer to my dear friends listening to this album.
Shatter Me by Lindsey Sterling
I try to regularly work out and I was searching for pure and honest instrumental music that carries positive energy and has the right rhythm for endurance sports a couple of years ago. I prefer classical over modern electronic music which seemed to be a narrow niche. Lindsey filled this gap to me and still serves me for a full hour on the treadmill or crosstrainer. On top, it’s a bit geeky like I am 😉
The Metal Opera I + II by Avantasia
Did I already mention that I am a geek? Those who know me know about my passion for medieval fantasy. From the Lord of the Rings over Dungeons and Dragons to World Of Warcraft… I simply spend a lot of time with fantasy. It helped me to escape the harsh reality and pause my constantly spinning thoughts. So it’s not surprising that I felt in love with symphonic Power Metal. It’s packed with epic hymnes, instrumental compositions and the right amount of medieval feeling. A perfect escape still in today’s circumstances.
In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith
This is surely the most sensitive album within my list. Sam’s music is emotional pop that reflects his very personal journey. To me this is pure and honest Pop at it’s finest. Aren’t we all struggling with anxieties from time to time and don’t feel like we are being heard? I have loved his voice and the art behind his music since the very first time I heard him on the radio. I was blessed to see him on his world tour in Berlin in 2018. I was amazed by the warmth and love he spread! His music reminds me of how important it is to take care about your inner emotions and not to put on a mask just because the world wants you to be something different.
Annie Li, Associate Talent Partner at ACELR8
Lianne La Havas by Lianne La Havas
On top of being a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Lianne La Havas has one of the most beautiful and soothing voices. Her other album Blood is also incredible. I’m usually not one for slow songs but Lianne La Havas changed my mind.
Djesse Vol. 3 by Jacob Collier
Jacob Collier is a musical genius and his songs are always unique and playful. His music sounds like talent having fun. The Djesse albums are currently a trilogy with Volume 1 one that came out in 2018 and Volume 2 in 2019.
SuperGood by Duckwrth
Duckwrth is one of my favorite rappers and this album feels like summer. I really like that he sings about his own identity and embracing the diverse identities of others as well. This album has a few songs that are full of power and energy, and also some on the quieter side.
FORTHEWORLD by Rae Khalil
Neo soul rapper with an amazing flow, Rae’s new to the game. Her first single came out in 2018 and became recognized from Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, a reality competition series with guest judge Snoop Dogg. This album sounds like a ray of sunshine.
Broke with Expensive Taste by Azealia Banks
Honestly my favorite music of hers are all EPs from 2018 onwards but this album is also super fun; great for when you are stuck at home and want to have a spontaneous dance session all by yourself! An absolute mood-booster!