April has, by far, been one of the most challenging months that the U.S. has gone through in recent history. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing most states to implement shelter-in-place orders, many people find themselves spending their days at home. On a more personal note, it’s been difficult finding ways to not let this get to me. Having no choice but to stay home with limited resources has been an adjustment to get through. Luckily there have been certain music releases that made this entire situation a lot less stressful.
Although a lot of films, shows, games, and comic books have either stopped production or been delayed, I find comfort that artists are still releasing their music for people to enjoy. With all the music releases this month, I chose a select few, and without further ado, here’s What to Listen to in April 2020.
First up on the What to Listen to in April list is from Twenty One Pilots. If someone years from now wanted to see some of the best things to come out of the world’s current situation, the band’s “Level of Concern” should be on that list. I may just be saying this because I’ve been a fan of this band since 2012, but the song talks about the growing concerns of society because of the coronavirus.
The song plays like a plea from Tyler Joseph, the lead singer, for things to be okay. Even if it’s just a lie, he wants the comfort of knowing that life will somehow be okay. Listening to the song for the first time, that plea that he makes really resonated with me, just like I’m sure it did with a lot of other people. ‘Level of Concern’ came out at such an appropriate time, not just because of the message but because it acted as a distraction from the funk people may be in. I was also very impressed by the creativity in the way the music video was made.
Petals for Armor II marks the second solo release from the Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams. This second EP is meant to tease her first full-length album that will be out on May 8th. Both this EP and the one released two months ago were supposed to be released back in March but complications due to COVID-19 got in the way. Having followed Williams’ career since Riot was released, I’m glad that both EP’s were released.
It plays as a continuation of her journey through her divorce and the circumstances that caused it. The opening lines of the first song, ‘Dead Horse,’ is Williams confessing that the reason it took a long time to send these songs to her producer was that she was in a depression. It sets the mood for the entire album, It’s something much more personal, rather than the traditional albums that Paramore has released. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the album turns out.
Much like ‘Level of Concern’ by Twenty One Pilots, Wake Up, Sunshine by All Time Low came out during the most opportune time. Which lands it on this “What to Listen to in April” list. With this being their eighth studio album, the American pop-punk band, in my opinion, put out one of the best albums since Don’t Panic back in 2012. I might get some flack for making that statement, but having been a fan of them since 2008, I can’t help but want more of their original sound.
Fortunately, they went back to their pop-punk roots in songs like ‘Some Kind of Disaster,’ ‘Getaway Green,’ and ‘Wake Up Sunshine,’ while also moving to a more modern sound in songs like ‘Trouble Is’ and ‘Basement Noise.’ I was immediately captivated by the album and had it on repeat for an entire week. ‘Monsters,’ which features blackbear, is by far my favorite song from the album.
I’ll be honest to admit that other than The New Abnormal, I’m not too familiar with The Stroke’s discography. I, like many other people that I know, heard about The Strokes after watching the ‘Under the Cover of Darkness’ music video when it was released. One of my closest friends has been a fan of them for a long time but I just never got into them. After listening to The New Abnormal, I’ve come to regret not giving them a chance earlier.
Not even 30 seconds into the first track, ‘The Adults Are Talking,’ I found myself bopping my head and dancing. From the various choices that were made on the album to the homages to other musicians, it was such an incredible experience to listen to The New Abnormal for the first time. It’s been more than two weeks since the album was released and I’m still listening to it. ‘Why Are Sunday’s So Depressing’ and ‘Ode to the Mets’ are my favorite songs from the album. There was no way that I wouldn’t include this album on this list.
Though I wish I could have included more things on this “What to Listen to in April 2020” list, I’m content with the few things that I included on here. All of these releases came at such opportune times and provided the distractions that I needed from everything that’s been happening around the world. I’m glad that new songs and albums are being released throughout these trying times.