Music Monday: Transcendent Songs to Get You Through These Distressing Times

Need a break from the daily news? These tracks are our salvation.

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Springtime Anthems from Kate Bush, Haim, and More

Last week I had the insane luck to snag a ticket to a special performance by Solange at the Guggenheim Museum as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival. Like so many others, I have constantly had A Seat at the Table, her latest, greatest record, on repeat since its release late last year. Watching her performance at the museum, with a live band and a cadre of dancers performing modern choreography that would make Trisha Brown proud, I realized how much that record has helped me deal with my current feelings about the world.

As soon as the drum beat to "Cranes" started, my eyes welled with tears. The world is trash outside, but right there, in that very moment, I was feeling closer to salvation than I've ever been before. Later, when they played "Mad" and Solange, along with her two backup singers, sang "I'm not really allowed to be mad," stretching that last word until it became a scream that echoed through the atrium of the museum, and then bringing it back to a melody, it was perhaps one of the most poignant and cathartic things I've ever witnessed. I worship at the church of Solange.

What our assistant editor Molly Elizalde is listening to:

Last week, I started watching The Handmaid's Tale and found that the music is a darkly metaphorical expression of what the characters can't say: Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" plays as the credits roll in the first episode, and a violent protest is soundtracked with a stripped-down remix of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" that's overlaid with mournful violin. It's a well-done show, which I recommend with caution — the first episode was so disturbing I felt nauseous. But, on a lighter note, I started listening to Blondie originals and they're the perfect counter to the show's harrowing narrative and its echoes of our current political climate. Even better, the original "Heart of Glass" is the perfect springtime walking song.

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