Five Albums To Listen, Sing & Dance To

by Auriel Simmonds

Time. Some of us have a lot more time to ourselves right now. And yet we can’t really think of what to do. Or at least what to choose to do: there are so many options. It almost feels like you should do the most productive thing you can think of. But in a world that is always on the go, now is the time we can try to embrace slowing down and doing something just because we want to. Music, like it is for so many of us, is so important to me. I’m either listening to something or planning to listen to something or trying to figure out which of my favourite albums to listen to. I press shuffle on my playlist when I’m not sure what I want to hear. Or I scroll for that one song or album that I always want to hear (Golden Hour (album) & High Horse (song) by Kacey Musgraves at the moment).

The thing about music is that there is a song for every feeling and every kind of day – lonely, bored, happy, sad. If you’ve got some earphones and music, you can never be lonely. Here’s a list of five albums that will make you feel less lonely and want to dance and sing… loudly (sorry, neighbours!).

Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You

I knew I had to start off this list with an album that absolutely no-one can resist dancing to! Cuz I Love You may be Lizzo’s debut album but she knows what she wants to say and she wants you to sing it with her, “‘Cause I’m my own soulmate”. It’s an incredibly upbeat and fun album – this can’t be denied. But Lizzo doesn’t want you to just hear the beats and get moving. The thing that sets Cuz I Love You apart is the underpinning notion of self-love. The track-list bursts with confidence and self-acceptance. And there’s no better time than now to remind ourselves that we’re the best company we can have while having a solo dance party, listening to great albums.  

My Individual Song Recommendation:

Heaven Help Me 

Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour

Moving into a more mellow than Lizzo, but still incredible, album is Golden Hour. Kacey Musgraves’ vocals: that’s one reason you should give this album a listen. Comforting and yet magical. I think Sam Sodomsky describes Golden Hour perfectly, ‘Kacey Musgraves sings simply about the world as if she’s the first person to notice, and you’re the first one she’s telling.’ True. True. True. The simplicity in her songs, in which she talks about  getting through tough times and love as well as just waiting through the week for the weekend, is what makes this album one to listen to from start to finish. 

Individual Song Recommendation:

Lonely Weekend 

Izzy Bizu’s A Moment of Madness

The first time I ever heard this album was when I went to see Izzy Bizu live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in 2017. My sister wanted to go and see her and I happily tagged along after hearing her popular single White Tiger. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to go to a gig where I didn’t know any of the lyrics except the odd recurring chorus line. But it turned out to be the best gig I’ve ever been to – still to this day! It was so fun and I feel like my experience speaks for the album’s allure. As soon as I got back, I went to sleep listening to the songs on repeat. They’re catchy but far from trivial.

Bizu’s lyrics reflect on what it means to live and love, set to ethereal melodies and jazz-inspired beats. It’s an album I always come back to and know you will too!

My Individual Song Recommendation:

Gorgeous 

Also, sort of cheating, but on the deluxe version is, Someone That Loves You from Honne’s album Warm on a Cold Night (which Izzy Bizu features on) and is a definite must-listen-to!

Will Heard’s Trust EP

Technically not an album, I put my hands up. But Will Heard’s EP Trust, featuring just four songs, is the ultimate uplifting record. Heard’s soulful but playful voice serenades you alongside funky beats and melodies on top of melodies. This EP feels otherworldly – it feels like an intergalactic experience as Heard reflects on trials and tribulations of relationships in the context of the brevity of life. Heavy stuff but done with such ease – captivating hooks, relatable lyrics and an earnest voice. You’ll be sure to find yourself attempting riffs that you know you can’t do but you’ll be inspired to try anyway because in his own words, “this life is only getting shorter”, so go for it! 

My Individual Song Recommendation:

Naked

Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia

Inspired by the synthesiser culture of the 80s, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia bridges a gap between heartbreak and new found self-love and assurance. Lipa sings about getting up and brushing yourself off when a relationship comes to an end and thriving independently while basslines sound: unwavering and determined. This is the best album to dance to or just to lift your spirits if you’re feeling a bit low. Luckily for the people in love, the album does offer songs about when love and relationships work out and this variety makes the album a great one to go to for whatever mood you’re in. 

My Individual Song Recommendation:

Boys Will Be Boys

And so there are the five albums to sing along with, dance to, listen to in bed with earphones or blast while you wash up the dishes. Music is a wonderful thing, and if you take the time to appreciate all that is available to you, you might just come away with a new favourite track or artist or new albums that you end up playing on repeat until you hate them and then love again in six months!

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