Music and television to keep you sane during quarantine


Britni Dunn and Bart Carmody

Quarantine boredom seems to be hitting University students pretty hard, so the Pace Press decided to compile some music and movies to pass the time! Students are looking to distract themselves, and what better way than losing yourself in music or television! We have compiled a list of suggestions that suit an array of taste and interests!


Yves Tumor — “Heaven to a Tortured Mind”

When the immensely electric multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Yves Tumor dropped their genre-blending-and-morphing LP “Safe in the Hands of Love” in 2018, it was almost impossible to imagine them outdoing themselves once again. And yet, here we are—with Tumor’s remarkable release of their 2020 LP, “Heaven to a Tortured Mind.” The album adopts several features of dreamy psychedelic glam rock, but still maintains the same grating yet irresistible sound that they have so perfectly captured on past works. From front to back, the entire project sounds like throwing on some of Prince’s “Purple Rain” while in some kind of hallucinogenic realm, and it works impeccably. It’s the perfect album for quarantine as it’s the type of album that’s bound to send you on a trip—without even moving from your couch.

Highlights: “Gospel For a New Century,” “Kerosene!” “Romanticist,” “Dream Palette,” “Super Stars”


Dua Lipa — “Future Nostalgia”

After her breakout 2017 self-titled album, pop sensation Dua Lipa had a lot of expectations to live up to. And that’s not even mentioning the copious amounts of attention that she gathered following her radio-dominating collaboration with Calvin Harris, the single “One Kiss.” So, admittedly, Lipa had to stick quite the landing on her next LP—and luckily, on “Future Nostalgia,” she does exactly that, and then some. Through both funky and disco-esque production, she perfectly delivers a soundtrack that aptly honors the title of the album itself, as it sonically feels like a blast to the past with a vague hint of modernism still present, or even a soundtrack to a ’70s post-apocalyptic movie, overtaken with retropunk glamor while still maintaining the aesthetics of the 1970s. The record’s title track exhibits this description most aptly, as the synthpop production laid over the robotic voices in the background sounds like something straight out of an older Daft Punk or Kavinsky album. Yet in a contrast to the intensity of the title track are songs like “Levitating,” a song that feels like it would sound at its best while gliding across the floor of a neon-drenched roller rink. Making for the perfect escapism in quarantine, Lipa sends the listener on multiple journeys, pulling them from the past, to the future, and back again.

Highlights: “Don’t Start Now,” “Levitating,” “Pretty Please,” “Hallucinate,” “Break My Heart”


The Strokes — “The New Abnormal”


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The New Abnormal is out now. Cover Painting “Bird on Money” by Jean-Michel Basquiat #thenewabnormal

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It’s been seven long years since the iconic rock band The Strokes have broken their radio silence – with the exception of a few features and production credits. Many fans were getting hopeless if they were even going to hear another solo project, but with “The New Abnormal,” it’s unequivocal that the band is back and better than ever. They began their reverberating return with their single “At the Door” back on Feb. 11, which sonically, was a change of pace for the band. It was a lot more spacey and less percussion-filled than their previously known sound. However, it shouldn’t be considered a litmus test for how the rest of the album sounds—the band touches on all kinds of bases, from their traditional lo-fi sound on songs like “Bad Decisions,” to more buoyant and dreamier ballads like “Eternal Summer,” not to mention a display of lead singer Julian Casablancas’ most impressive vocals yet. A perfect album to get you looking forward to when the sun comes out and we’re all let out of our homes.

Highlights: “The Adults Are Talking,” “Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus,” “Bad Decisions,” “Eternal Summer,” “Ode to the Mets”


TOPS — “I Feel Alive”

Canadian indie rock band TOPS’s newest LP has had a bit of an unorthodox creative process. It’s the collective’s first project since moving from Montreal to California, a process that struck them with such encouragement that they decided to hole up in their new Los Angeles home and divert all of their focus towards the making of “I Feel Alive.” “We really labored over it a lot,” lead singer Jane Penny told Apple Music in an interview, “We really had to be very focused and do a lot in a short period of time.” But it’s not the band’s change of environment nor the culture shock that made their fourth LP so unique. Rather, in between this album and their 2017 release “Sugar at the Gate,” the group’s main songwriters Penny and guitarist David Carriere had ended their long-term relationship. However, don’t mistake “I Feel Alive” as a break-up album. The record instead finds beauty in the discoveries of oneself, intimacies, and womanhood that begin to burgeon in the difficult times that follow a break-up. The splitting of the two members doesn’t take any negative effect on the band’s sound, either. In fact, TOPS sounds silkier and more cohesive than ever before, from the cheery, melodious tracks like “Direct Sunlight”, to the dazed and more melancholic tracks like “Take Down.” Truly, “I Feel Alive” is a profound and blunt autobiography of personal growth and the learning of self-love.

Highlights: “Direct Sunlight,” “Pirouette,” “Ballads & Sad Movies,” “Colder & Closer,” “Take Down”


Thundercat — “It Is What It Is”


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What y’all think? It Is What It is out now 💕

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Returning in the fashion of zaniness and absurdity that he’s always so effortlessly captured, the bass wizard Stephen Lee Bruner, better known by his stage name Thundercat, just released his fourth LP “It Is What It Is” on April 3. Listeners unfamiliar to the multi-instrumentalist may find his production and lyrics jarring, as Thundercat has a flair for finding the beauty in all things obscure. For example, the record’s lead single “Dragonball Durag” contains oddball lyrics such as “I may be covered in cat hair, but I still smell good / Baby, let me know, how do I look in my durag?” It’s clear that one shouldn’t go into Thundercat’s music taking anything from his lyrics too seriously, but his production is nothing but serious. The basslines on this record are intoxicating enough to drown out the absurdity of it all, until the bassist snaps you out of it with one of his witty and ridiculous one-liners. Along with the help of other funk veterans and prodigies such as Steve Arrington, Steve Lacy and Childish Gambino, this album is brought to legendary magnitudes.

Highlights: “I Love Louis Cole,” “Black Qualls,” “Dragonball Durag,” “Fair Chance,” “It Is What It Is”


Cavetown: “Sleepyhead”

Cavetown’s newest album arrived March 27, making it a timely album for quarantine. After the YouTube star’s acclaimed third album, “Lemon Boy,” listeners have been anxiously awaiting what vocalist, Robin Skinner, would do next. Skinner is known for his mellow tunes and his poetic words tinged with sadness. “Sleepyhead” is an 11-track indie-pop record that is sure to make listeners smile and cry in one listen. The album consists of quite a bit of acoustic guitar, paired with Cavetown’s soft voice, which adds up to a very calming set of songs. Each song works as the background for a night studying or simply relaxing at home. The album moves along naturally, bringing listeners into the world of “Sleepyhead.” It can be a bit melancholy at times, but that can bring some peace in these uncertain times. 

Highlights: “Things That Make It Warm,” “Pyjama Pants,” “Empty Bed”


Fiona Apple: “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”


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Hello world, Fiona Apple is back!! #fionaapple #fetchtheboltcutters

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Fiona Apple, who had no intention of releasing music during a world-wide pandemic, has become a voice for the ongoing crisis. Apple announced her new album at the beginning of April, releasing it on April 17, 2020. Despite unfortunate timing, fans have gone absolutely wild for the album. Even though Apple clearly had no idea she was writing music that would become anthems for a world in quarantine, the lyrics seem to fit the times. “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” like its title, is an exciting, eccentric, and mesmerizing album. It is one of the most unconventional “pop” albums to date, with a sound that is difficult to define. Apple blends an array of genres and subjects together, making an exquisite look into her mind. Pitchfork has even given the album a 10/10, which is almost unheard of. This rating is sought after by musical artists- Apple receiving the high praise is almost ironic considering her distaste for norms and what other people think. Her experience in the album can be summed up in the climactic title track: “fetch the bolt cutters, I’ve been here too long.”  Apple’s new songs that sound nothing alike are somehow strung together as her rebel call. Her anger, sadness, and heart is palpable throughout. 

Highlights: “Shameika,” “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” “Ladies,” “Heavy Balloon”


Beach Bunny — “Honeymoon”


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So excited finally release the first single off honeymoon! 💒💕 If you’d like to hear Dream Boy / watch the music video click the link in my bio! Our album drops everywhere this upcoming Valentine’s Day! Thank you so much to for being the loveliest people and making every video look stunning. Huge thank you to @bestsandwichever and @_sharkbuffalo_ for making the record sound so beautiful & to @momandpopmusic for adopting us 💕✨I’ve always wanted to write an album and it’s been a very magical process, thank you for making my popstar dreams come true with all your love and support. Thank you to @matthenkels & @pavementthebandofficial for being my family & the best bandmates a girl could ask for, really really excited for everything that’s about to come 💕✨ here’s Dream Boy

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Chicago-based indie rock band, Beach Bunny recently released their debut LP on Feb. 14, 2020- just before the world went a bit crazy. The lead singer and long-time only member of the band, Lili Trifilio brings out her songwriting prowess throughout the nine tracks. Shying away from a typical pop sound, Beach Bunny feels more like a mix of experimental pop and indie rock with exciting beats and heart-wrenching lyrics. Trifilio provides her fans with her usual diary-like writing techniques and straightforward lyricism. Lamenting about lost loves and a lack of self-confidence, Trifilio puts heartbreak and hope simply into words. She is outright with her feelings in a way that allows listeners to relate and feel angsty to while listening. Each track is an exciting new sound for the band, edging on pop-punk. This album is great for listening while feeling the pressures and loneliness of quarantine. 

Highlights: “April,” “Miss California,” “Cloud 9,” “Rearview”


Nasty Cherry: “Season One” 

Charli XCX’s dreams of a rocking alt-pop girl group have come true, due to her own ingenuity. XCX hand-picked four talented young women to be in a band. The girls were hired to form a band, an unusual beginning for a group. Two of the members had never been in a band before: Gabriette, a model turned lead vocalist, and Georgia, a woman of many jobs that learned the bass from scratch in one year to be a part of the band. The other two members have had careers in music, Debbie, a freelance drummer and Chloe, the lead singer of her own band, Kitten. Nasty Cherry was uncertain and difficult from the very beginning, which is highlighted in their Netflix series. “I’m With the Band: Nasty Cherry,” currently has one easily bingeable season with six engaging and unique episodes. The incredible circumstances surrounding Nasty Cherry are highlighted, with input from Charli XCX and the band’s manager, Emmie Lichtenberg. The process of creating a band is excitingly portrayed and a wonderful addition to listening to Nasty Cherry’s music. Their first, short EP is electrifying and even more fun to listen to after seeing the band in action in their show. The power of each of the women is felt in each song, empowering listeners and they happen to be one of the only girl groups around the mainstream right now. If you’re craving more bops, listen to their newest single “Shoulda Known Better.”

Highlights: “Brain Soup,” “Music With Your Dad,” “F*** Modern Love”



“Uncut Gems” (2019)


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#SpiritAwards WINNER 💎 BEST DIRECTOR @booger_nose @bowedtie, BEST ACTOR @adamsandler, BEST EDITING 💎

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Just making its way to Amazon Prime Video in late February is the highly-discussed and critically acclaimed “Uncut Gems,” the most recent film from the NYC born-and-bred director duo Josh and Benny Safdie, or as they’re more commonly referred to, the Safdie Brothers. The film follows a gambling-addicted jeweler, Howie Ratner, in NYC’s very own Diamond District, taking course over merely a few days of his fast-paced and tumultuous life – but in these few days are copious amounts of action, betrayal, deception, and revenge. Ratner, played by none other than the infamous Adam Sandler, has to retrieve an extremely expensive gem that he imprudently lent away in order to repay his constantly-heaping debts. Admittedly, for the past decade or so, when people saw Sandler’s name as the lead role of a movie, they have had the tendency to roll their eyes, knowing his shaky cinema track record. But the Safdie Brothers have already proven their talent for actor reinvention with “Good Time,” a 2017 crime thriller that launched Robert Pattinson’s career back into astronomical heights. Alongside Sandler executing the serious yet endearing role of Ratner are other tremendous performances from Julia Fox and Lakeith Stanfield, not to mention the acting debuts of NBA player Kevin Garnett and pop/R&B icon The Weeknd. Although having a run time of two and a half hours, the rapid and turbulent direction style that the Safdie Brothers so consistently deliver will make those hours fly by as you’re immersed in the unforgiving life of Howie Ratner.


Studio Ghibli Films

Good news for fans of Japanese animation—as of April 2020, every Studio Ghibli film is now available to stream on Netflix. Studio Ghibli is a legendary Japanese film studio based in Tokyo that specializes in animated films. You may be familiar with some of the more well-known titles like “Spirited Away,” “Ponyo,” and “My Neighbor Totoro,” but familiar or not, their movies are simply must-watches that flawlessly stitch together enchanting fantasy and stark realism. And just in time for quarantine, Netflix has just released the last seven films in a 21-film complete series. The movies are a perfect escape from your confinements in these times; whether you’re joining the company of a family of supernatural raccoon-dogs defending their habitat in “Pom Poko,” getting lost in the utter poetry and imagery of a romance between two aspiring writers in “Whisper of the Heart,” or diving head-first into a battle between kingdoms and a chase for lost youth in “Howl’s Moving Castle,” you’ll be instantly transported into the fantastical world of Studio Ghibli.


“Silent Madness” (2020)

Although capping out at only six minutes long, “Silent Madness” is a short film that can only be described as an impassable piece of nightmarish eye-candy that one has to experience in order to truly appreciate. From director Jordan Hemingway, the piece follows psychedelic rockstar Yves Tumor as they meander their way through a bad trip in an overcrowded nightclub. Riddled with horrifically astonishing imagery and dreadful yet captivating cinematography, it is almost impossible to look away from Tumor’s terrifying experience, as disconcerting as the material may be. The film is sure to submerge the viewer into this on-edge, bewildering and wild experience, making for the perfect dark escapism. Trigger warning: the content can be anxiety-inducing and does contain images of gore and drug abuse. The short film is available for free on YouTube under the username “Mowalola.”


“Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012)

The 2012 young adult film has made a resurgence in mainstream media due it finally being available to stream on Netflix. Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Cbosky, “Perks of Being A Wallflower” has been warming the hearts of viewers and readers for years. The coming of age story is focused on freshman in high school, Charlie, and his struggles with mental health and haunting flashbacks of his dead aunt. He meets two outcasts at his school, the laughing stock of the school, Patrick and his step-sister, Sam, whom Charlie immediately falls for. The movie grapples with the many woes of highschool in a beautiful, heartbreaking way. Viewers have resonated with the teenage hardships the three heroes go through together. This movie gives voice to the kids that considered themselves wallflowers, rejected by their peers. The emotional side of the movie is the main gift the movie gives viewers, reminding them that “they are infinite.”

“John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” (2019)

Ex-writer on SNL and comedian with three Netflix comedy specials, decided to switch it up and create a sing-song special with fifteen children ranging in ages from eight to thirteen. Mulaney, who has been very open about not wanting kids, begins the special stating: “What you are about to see in a children’s TV special, and I made it on purpose.” From the get-go, it is clear that this is no ordinary stand-up special from Mulaney, but a look into his mind and heart. The special is a shout-out to the wacky TV shows of his youth like “Free To Be You and Me,” “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company.” Despite his candor on having no musical abilities or children, the special was a huge success, praised by comedians everywhere for its unique charm. The hour-long sketch show included tons of music, celebrity guests, and most importantly: existential dread. Throughout “The Sack Lunch Bunch,” Mulaney explores the fears of the children and guest stars which include: Richard Kind, Jake Gyllenhal, and David Byrne. Each of the children profoundly affects viewers with their unique answers, some fun little stories about watching “Us” and the 2016 clown scare mixed with larger, existential fears about death. The special, more than anything, is a sweet look into anxiety. In a time that everyone seems so far away, this is a bright spot of golden comedy and love to anyone who views it, showing us we are more connected than we could have imagined. Plus, there’s a cast album including every show-stopping performance!


“The Iliza Schlesinger Sketch Show” (2020)


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The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show premieres this Wednesday 🙌

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This new, six-episode comedy show is some of comedian Iliza Schlesinger’s best work. It is an eclectic jumble of the characters that live in Schlesinger’s head. She pokes fun at almost everyone with sketches like “Female Jackass,” “Confident Women Support Group,” and one of the wackiest characters ever created, Cashew Albacore. Schlesinger embodies each of the characters she created wonderfully, a hard task to take on considering the amount of sketches she fits into six episodes. This series establishes Schlesinger as not only an immaculate comedian but a hilarious impressionist and actress. Each episode leaves viewers laughing and smiling. The show came out amidst quarantine, a much-needed dose of laughter in challenging times. If you are in need of a good chuckle during your isolation, this is the perfect pick to stream. 


Pace Press Staff Picks 

Here is a shortlist of recommendations from The Pace Press staff for your quarantine needs!

Kelsey Nicholson: Editor-in-Chief

Movie: “Heathers,” which you can find on Hulu. I like the film so much because I’m a big fan of cult classics and I’m a huge Winona Ryder fan. The entire movie is so quotable and Veronica Sawyer will forever be one of my favorite characters. Also, shoutout to Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women.” 

Music: Kids That Fly! They’re a band that started at the University of Connecticut in 2018, and their music is on Spotify! They just dropped their new EP “Between the Lines,” so give it a listen! My favorite songs are “Sunday in London” and “Hazel.”

TV: “The X Files,” on Hulu! “The X-Files” is (another) cult classic, this time from the early ’90s instead of the late ’80s, and has such deep lore and so many episodes that quarantine is the perfect time to check it out! The truth is out there. For something more recent, try “Psych” on Amazon Prime! Shawn Spencer is a fake psychic detective and boy does he get up to some antics.


Sam Unger: Executive Editor

Movie: I’ve been watching “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” on repeat (the only DVD I own besides “The Lion King 1 1/2” which I feel is important to note) since it was added to Netflix. Watching my “comfort” films has been really helpful and calming.

Music: I’ve been listening to The Strokes’ new album, “The New Abnormal,” (fitting title) as well as Bad Bunny’s “YHLQMDLG.”

TV: When I don’t feel like I have the attention span for a movie, I’ll watch shows instead— “Rick and Morty” on Hulu or “Dynasty” and “Ozark” on Netflix.


Secretary: Owen McGonigle

Movie: “Cinderella” (1950). One of my favorite princesses, Cinderella always has a way of instilling hope in me.  Especially in times like this, it is extremely beneficial to hear “no matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”

Music: “Joanne” by Lady Gaga. An overall mellow album that has been able to calm my nerves and anxiety in even the worst times.  In times of trouble, I always come back to “Joanne.”  Besides, who wouldn’t want to listen to Gaga singing about masturbation on her most personal album?


Jess LaFrance: Graphic Designer

Movie: Rocky Horror Picture Show on Netflix. An absolute classic and just an overall great time. Everything about this movie is a piece of art, whether it’s Tim Curry in drag, Susan Sarandon’s boobs, or the killer soundtrack. I’ve seen this movie more times than I can count and I notice something new every time.

Music: Chilombo” by Jhené Aiko on Spotify. Jhené is like the only artist that I resonate with on such an emotional and spiritual level. “Chilombo” is an uplifting feel-good album, promoting confidence and self-healing but also love and appreciation for the people in your life. give it a listen and take your soul for a ride.

TV: The OA on Netflix. This will forever be my ultimate series recommendation. It’s a unique sci-fi mystery with a slow beginning, but once you’re a few episodes into the 1st season, you will be taken on a psychological journey that will have you questioning everything. The 2nd season is rewarding, faster in pace, and has Zendaya in it. Please support this beautiful show because it was discontinued by Netflix in August and needs all the support it can get!


Alex Puga: News Editor

Movie: Every Marvel Cinematic Universe film TBH (all found on Disney+ minus Hulk and both Spiderman movies). If you can fall in love with a tree (Baby Groot) then honestly MCU is doing something right.

Music: Asking me to pick my favorite Taylor Swift album is tough but honestly I would have to say “1989”; I mean that is when she released “Welcome To New York” in 2014. I will admit to having dance parties in quarantine to “Shake It Off.” Honorable mention is “Only The Young” from the documentary “Miss Americana.”


Barbara Rucci: Features Editor

Music: I’ve been listening to an album titled “I See You” by The XX. I’ve loved it since it came out in 2017, but I’ve been revisiting it during quarantine because it has a relaxing sound and great songs! My favorite track on it is “Replica.” You can find it on Spotify and Apple Music.