UML’s Soundtrack to Self Isolation

The Union Music Library is a society based around sharing music. Though its physical base takes the form of a library on Level 2 of the Union, its reach stretches much further, forming a community of like-minded people across the city. In response to COVID-19, we hit up Leeds’ biggest music nerds to collate a list of calming albums to ease the minds of those isolating or simply in need of some support in this period.

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic by the Sundays 

“Soothing, sweet indie pop/ ‘90s alternative, with soft vocals for ultimate relaxation” – Jessa Kidner

Isolation by Kali Uchis

“Titular puns notwithstanding, Uchis’ smooth and soulful debut flits from jazz to bossa nova to hip-hop seamlessly. It is the perfect soundtrack for long days in a sun-streamed bedroom” – Alex Gibbon

Post by Björk

“Perhaps the Icelandic visionary’s most iconic work, Post is an album ripe for rediscovery, time and time again. Lose yourself in whimsy and electronic experimentation as Björk’s ethereally angelic vocals trill and thrill through iconic tracks such as ‘Hyper-Ballad’, ‘Army of Me’ and ‘Isobel’” – Alex Gibbon

Tango in the Night by Fleetwood Mac

“Often obscured by the titan that is Rumours, the last studio album from the band’s most successful line-up deserves a full and hearty recommendation. The airy, slick and lush pop-rock never becomes kitsch and would be ideally paired with a view of the sunset from any Hyde Park bedroom window” – Alex Gibbon

Four-Calendar Cafe by Cocteau Twins

“Wonderfully spacy and meditative, as well as soothing vocals” – Queenie Qureshi-Wales

Moon Safari by Air

“If there’s an audio equivalent to lazy Sunday mornings or bubble baths, it’s this album. The warm bass and breezy synths of ‘La Femme D’argent’ set the tone for the rest of the record. A classic” – Oscar Richardson

Rage Against the Machine by Rage Against the Machine

“Music to help plan how to take down the government to” – Owain Culture Johnson

Ambient 1/ Music for Airports by Brian Eno

“Gentle synth, tender harmonies, and haunting piano softly weave together in this era-defining ambient record” – Euan Ridley

Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks by Brian Eno

“At times fun, at other times brooding, crafting elements of folk, pop and industrial music into ambient soundscapes” – Euan Ridley

Vini Reilly by the Durutti Column

“There’s something about being stuck inside a Durutti Column guitar riff that makes you feel like you’re inside a giant slinky made of wood, gently slinking down grassy steps in the sun” – Amelia Cripps

Mother Earth’s Plantasia by Mort Garson

“A UML classic, this LP is a treat for all moods. Sometimes uplifting, sometimes melancholy, this collection of beautifully-arranged songs can hold your hand through a trying and lonely time like this” – Safi Bugel

New Tab by Khotin

“This makes me feel like I’m sitting by a pond, especially the Frog Fractions song. Good water sounds, and rainy” – Freya Smith

Out of the Blue by Blue Gene Tyranny 

“The perfect album to get lost in, made up of four long tracks and avoiding any homogenous genre. ‘The Next Time Might be Your Time’ echoes positive vibes for the coming troubling times” – Emma Khan

Shoals by Taylor Deupree

“This album is almost beyond music, it’s like it’s breathing” – Frank Goddard