MOST OF US WERE locked in, all of us had lost the chance to socialise, to meet and drink and talk and eat and see music and work out and enjoy things outside the house. But music didn’t have to stop and The Great Confinement had opened up a chance to explore at home, to dig up old favourites and find new pleasures.
In this series we ask: what music made your life better? Today, for the last visit in the series, scholar and essayist. Eda Gunyadin.
WHAT ALBUMS OR ARTISTS HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING SINCE BEING CONFINED TO HOME?
I’ve been listening to the Turkish rock greats, namely Cem Karaca, Ersen ve Dadaşlar and Erkut Taçkın. Baba by Taçkın is possibly one of my favourite songs, after seeing it appear on the soundtrack to the 2018 movie Kelebekler. Right now I am obsessed with Oh Be by Karaca – but he has a lot of bangers. I seem to always listen to Ersen ve Dadaşlar when I have a big deadline. In 2018 I listened to Kirpiklerin Ok Ok Eyler, and this month it has been Yedin Beni.
In poppier news, I have been loving Mitski – in particular her new song, Working For The Knife, which I listened to for seven hours straight, without breaks, for literally the entire day the day after I submitted my manuscript for my debut. Doing so somehow managed to stabilise my brain chemistry. Meanwhile, Caroline Polachek was a big part of my early lockdown.
In other new (for me) music, I have been loving Sleaford Mods. I have walked an unholy number of laps of Petersham Park, trying to keep myself entertained, miming the lyrics to their song Tweet Tweet Tweet. And I have been rediscovering the joy of Pixies, Violent Femmes, Peaches, The Smiths, and Talking Heads – all musicians I listened to when I was newly eighteen, so I think some kind of mental regression is taking place.
WHICH HAVE BEEN GETTING MULTIPLE SPINS?
My “loop” songs are Working For The Knife, The National’s Anyone’s Ghost, The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog, Sleaford Mods’ Tweet Tweet Tweet, Ersen ve Dadaşlar’s Yedin Beni, Amyl and The Sniffers’ Some Mutts (Can’t be Muzzled) and Got You, Radiohead’s Up On The Ladder, and a sad one, given that I went through a divorce recently (under lockdown, no less), called Gülebilmez by Grup Yorum, who are probably my all-time favourite musical group.
HOW HAS LOCKDOWN CHANGED THE WAY YOU CONSUME MUSIC?
It has become totally relentless. I probably listen to music for at least seven hours a day – when I run, when I take long walks, when I hang out in my yard, when I do chores, when I work at my desk. But it has made the way I consume it so much more potent, in a way: I really, really love and appreciate the songs I listen to and can take the time to savour them, rather than using it to block out everyday noise in a shared office or get through a commute. It’s like spending quality time with a friend. These songs have become very dear to me and I will always associate them with this period.
WHAT ALBUM FROM YOUR PAST HAVE YOU REDISCOVERED? WHAT DO YOU STILL LOVE ABOUT IT?
Violent Femmes’ eponymous album. As I mentioned, I listened to it a lot when I was freshly eighteen – something about it captured the yearning and frustration of being that age. Couldn’t tell you why I have been listening to it so much now – possibly that same feeling of being in a holding pattern waiting for your real life to begin (in this to begin again, once lockdown concludes).
HAVE YOU FOUND NEW MUSIC – OR AN ARTIST OR GENRE - THAT WAS UNEXPECTED? WHAT’S EXCITED YOU ABOUT IT?
I’ve always had more of a predilection for rock than rap. But my colleague and I were meeting weekly on Zoom to stay in touch during lockdown, and we found ourselves listening to and debriefing about Kanye’s new album (Donda) and Drake’s new album (Certified Lover Boy). I don’t necessarily think they are both successful albums overall, but hearing him speak about the songs and lyrics he liked, I think I learned to appreciate them through his eyes.
We discussed them for hours. We have a little running joke about the Drake song Girls Want Girls, so I like it for that reason, because it reminds me of my friend and the time we spent together in this odd way.
WHAT’S THE BEST MUSIC TO FLATTEN YOUR (ANXIETY) CURVE?
Fleetwood Mac. I had a court date in August (not a big deal – licence suspension appeal), but it went somewhat badly, and I just remember streaming out of the courtroom and putting on Landslide to soothe myself. It was very dramatic. Lately I have been listening to Everywhere – much happier, as am I.
Eda Gunaydin, who you can explore further at edagunaydin.com, will have her first collection of essays, Root And Branch, published in May 2022, by NewSouth Publishing.