Turning to oldies for musical comfort during COVID-19

“Recognizing this absence, this retreat of the amount of things that we were going to be able to be exposed to, the people sort of went backwards a little bit, and just enjoyed the things that they remembered from their youth,” says KCRW DJ Eric J. Lawrence. Image by Tobias Hampl from Pixabay

At this point, many people have spent the better part of 2020 trying to figure out what makes them feel good. Maybe it’s rewatching favorite movies and TV shows, looking through old photos of friends and family, or listening to music as an escape from the year. 

Artists like Toto, Fleetwood Mac and ELO are seeing major listening spikes, according to a study on Spotify behavior. There’s already evidence of how crises can affect consumption of toilet paper, water bottles, and hand sanitizer. So why wouldn’t people hoard good vibes too? KCRW music critic Eric. J Lawrence shares thoughts on this musical nostalgia trend.