Lockdown playlists for every mood, part one: chosen by Jarvis Cocker, Haim and Lianne La Havas

Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase, for when you’re feeling angry, in need of a boost - or ready for a dance

Jarvis Cocker’s uplifting playlist
… for raising the spirits

Cocker and his partner, Kim, have been keeping their spirits up during lockdown by doing domestic discos on Instagram Live. “You’ve got to go for the uplifting music, haven’t you?”, Cocker says from his home outside Sheffield. “The world’s on pause, after all. It’s time to remind yourself you’re lucky to be here.”

Cocker has been encouraged by how people have reached out to each other since the pandemic hit. “After all, we were voluntarily self-isolating before this, weren’t we? Ordering our Deliveroos and watching our Netflix. Now we’re in this unfamiliar psychic realm, lots of us want to talk and dance together.” Cocker also needs to uplift himself. He misses his son Albert, 17, who’s in Paris with Cocker’s ex-wife, Camille Bidault-Waddington. “I haven’t seen him properly for two months, and goodness knows when I will next, or when I’ll be able to hug him. It’s strange, that.”

Feelgood music allows us to escape entirely for a few hours, he says. “We’re stuck in our heads now more than ever, but put on uplifting songs and get lost in them, and it’s like you’ve exorcised something.”

Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker’s uplifting tracks

The Tymes
Are You Lookin’?

I got this from my stepdad, who used to work in local radio, a while ago. The lyric “If it rains on you / It rains on me” feels fitting right now, and the tune is fantastic.

Horace Andy
Cus Cus

I got this in a Lake District junk shop at Christmas. It picks my spirits up when I’m doing my exercises with my pilates ring.

Althea and Donna
Uptown Top Ranking

This was big when I was a kid. It’s an effortless feelgood track.

Spacemen 3.
Spacemen 3. Photograph: PR

Spacemen 3
Big City (Everybody I Know Can Be Found Here)

This got loads of people excited in one of our first domestic discos.

We’re Not Adult-Orientated

Such an underrated band, and there’s a brilliant Krautrock energy to this.

The War on Drugs
Under the Pressure

I love the breakdown in the middle that’s a bit like a rave track.

The B-52’s
Dance This Mess Around

I’d forgotten how brilliant the B-52’s were.

Will Powers
Dancing for Mental Health

This is from an early 80s self-help record, set to electronic music, obviously.

Mr Oizo
Flat Beat (Radio Edit)

Such a weird pop record, not really a pop record at all, just a brilliant, stark, wobbly bassline. We have a Flat Eric toy that comes to our discos sometimes.

Meditation Tunnel
Glittering Jewel (10)

One of many songs I’ve found on Instagram during lockdown, which has been great. This is by Luke Jennings, who used to be in The Rapture.

Maxi Jazz of Faithless performing in 2005.
Maxi Jazz of Faithless performing in 2005. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Insomnia (Monster Radio Edit)

I had insomnia at the start of lockdown. This helped. It’s nicely intense, as you’d expect from a song that includes the lyric “tearing off tights with your teeth”.

Marshall Jefferson
Move Your Body

Obviously [because it’s] a fantastic house track, and because Marshall’s a really nice bloke.

Rose City Band
Rivers of Mind

This is by Ripley from Wooden Shjips, which mutates into a nice mid-70s boogie.

Kid Loco
Love Me Sweet

This has Katrina from [Scottish indie group) the Pastels singing, with a great, insistent rhythm behind it.

The Beach Boys
Here Comes
the Night

From their late-70s album, LA (Light Album). It’s all vocoders and disco, and sounds like Daft Punk.

* * *

Haim’s shimmying playlist
… for the weekly kitchen disco

Despite living “a stone’s throw away” from each other in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, the three sisters that make up Haim haven’t seen each other since 13 March, the longest time they’ve ever been apart, says bassist Este. “And it was a day before my birthday,” she adds, mock-mournfully. To cheer them all up, Este’s been encouraging them to do as much dancing as possible. “I’m on my balcony at 9am doing it. I’m the rooster of the neighbourhood! Sorry everyone.”

The sisters have also been making playlists when they’re in the mood to shimmy, Este says – but this doesn’t come without it tensions. “We’re all so competitive about our music taste. It’s ridiculous. We’re all trying to search for the ultimate sad banger all the time.” Activating a shimmying mood has also had more sensible benefits for Este, she says. Letting off energy has been helping her sleep: as a Type 1 diabetic, she’s been at pains to be extra-sensible during the pandemic. She’s found it “really hard” not seeing her family. “But sharing music helps us be together.”

From left: Este, Danielle and Alana Haim.
From left: Este, Danielle and Alana Haim. Photograph: Publicity Image

Haim’s shimmying tracks

Donna Summer
Bad Girls

Este: Here we go: disco! The way Donna emotes! She’s a favourite of our mom’s.

Try Again

Danielle, Alana and I would watch this video on TMZ, and be, wow, look at her makeup, her moves. Plus I’m obsessed with Timbaland’s production, and this is his most major.

Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía at the 2020 Grammys in January.
Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía at the 2020 Grammys in January. Photograph: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

A Palé

Basically because we have a massive crush on Rosalía.


You can’t have a shimmying playlist without a song that’s literally about shaking your upper body.

Anita Ward
Ring My Bell

This used to be the group skate song at a roller rink in LA we used to go called Moonlight Fever.

Destiny’s Child
Jumpin’ Jumpin’

Still a classic.

Missy Elliott
Get Ur Freak On

My sisters and I always do the call and response part to this.

Groove Is in the Heart

Danielle sent this to us about a month ago and I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten it.

Crystal Waters
100% Pure Love

We’d always do warm-ups to this song at our after-school dance class.

Ace of Base
All That She Wants

This is the best fun to sing on a dancefloor.

Talking Heads in 1985.
Talking Heads in 1985. Photograph: Benno Friedman/The Life Images Collection/Getty Images

Talking Heads
Life During Wartime (Live)

Because Tina Weymouth is the greatest bassist ever and if I met her in real life I’d turn into a hologram.

Thelma Houston
Don’t Leave Me This Way

Our parents were proper disco dancers. Mum has taught me the turns to this.

New Order
Bizarre Love Triangle

We’re such 80s babies, and Gillian Gilbert’s synth line is so sonically cool, catchy and simple.

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom

We used to play as a family band with our parents when we were kids, and Dad only listened to Spanish music, so this is for him.

Kylie Minogue
Spinning Around
Something we all first heard on a family holiday to New Jersey in my early teens. I tried to run away to dance to it. It still gives me that feeling.

* * *

Lianne La Havas’s angry playlist
… For when you need to vent

Lianne La Havas’s father is a key worker – a bus driver – so she’s constantly trying to keep her spirits up undocer lockdown in London. “I’m grateful my family are doing OK at the moment,” she says, “but I’ve got the kind of mind that’s always occupied, that always need to find some space to relax.” As well as preparing for the July release of her self-titled new album, she’s been listening to music for longer during lockdown, and enjoying unexpected new releases popping up. She’s especially loved the new Laura Marling album (“it’s so gorgeous – she’s always been one of my favourite artists”) and songs by Nick Hakim (“listen to him right now, everyone, please – he’s a genius”).

But the music she’s gravitating towards more than most is stuff that’s great if you feel you need to vent. “Angry music always helps me relax – it fills me with adrenaline, and gets me excited and hyped, which I love. It’s also good to let off steam every now and then, isn’t it? I find that’s especially true now. Plus songs can help you do that without anyone else getting in the way!”

Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas’s angry tracks

Caught Out There

So literal and in your face. What a debut!

Roots Manuva
Witness (1 Hope)

There’s lots of angry lines in this, but I love Roots’s hybrid London accent and rapping style – plus the sounds are so fantastic and squelchy.

Dizzee Rascal
Fix Up, Look Sharp

Another track that basically shows how much I love deep, loud, aggressive beats and shouting.

99 Problems

This really gets my blood pumping: that heavy beat, that minimal, raging vocal.

Erykah Badu

This captures that catty, covert anger you feel when your partner’s done something that you want to give the side-eye.

Tom Waits
Hoist That Rag

This recording in itself sounds wonky and angry, like it’s been chucked down the stairs.

Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino.
Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino. Photograph: Pavielle Garcia

Childish Gambino
This Is America

Such a brilliant song about injustice, set in such sonically deep music.

Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

An artist getting angry about something and interpreting it so poetically. You need to listen closely to the lyrics to hear Dylan’s rage.

Tempa T
Next Hype

A great angry song to run to that increases my heart rate by about 1,000%.

Aphex Twin
Orban Eq Trx 4

One of my all-time favourites. It’s full of obnoxious sounds that somehow make something beautiful.

Martha Wainwright
Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole

This gets the aggression out for you when you can’t do it yourself.

Nina Simone
Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter

Nina had lots of furious moments in her career but she always stood her ground.

Scottish DJ Hudson Mohawke.
Scottish DJ Hudson Mohawke. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

Hudson Mohawke
Thunder Bay

This is me hood up in the club, elbows out, being totally antisocial. Get out of my way!

Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip
Thou Shall Always Kill

The first time I heard this I agreed with every lyric!

Betty Davis
Anti-Love Song

I love things that are sickeningly funky like this when I’m angry.

Notorious BIG
Machine Gun Funk

The angriest rapper that ever was, coming off the back of a dream-like sample. “So you wanna be hardcore?” Yes, Biggie, I do!


Jude Rogers

The GuardianTramp

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