Library Blog

Playlist for the Apocalypse

Spread the love

It feels like the end of the world, but the silver lining is this: there’s a banging soundtrack for it! Here are several recommendations for songs that you can borrow from our Hoopla catalog that may help your inner dancing queen  (♫ young and sweet, stuck in quarantine ♫).


“We Will Become Silhouettes” from the album We Will Become Silhouettes by The Postal Service
Released in 2005, the lyrics of this song bring to mind a world following a nuclear attack (the song’s title evokes the Ray Bradbury short story “There Will Come Short Rains”). In spite of the heavy subject matter, the song is peppy and catchy. In fact, there is an even more upbeat cover of this song by The Shins, available on Hoopla on The Postal Service album Such Great Heights.


“The Final Countdown” from the album The Final Countdown: The 30th Anniversary Show (Live at the Roundhouse) by Europe
In spite of its appearance on several “worst songs” lists, “The Final Countdown” has perhaps the most recognizable intro in contemporary music. It’s a favorite to play at sporting events, whether by music professionals or pep bands. The Swedish rock band Europe released the song in 1986.


“Calamity Song” from the album The King is Dead by the Decemberists
This incredibly cheerful ballad describes “the end times” of global thermonuclear crisis in detail both amusing and alarming. In 2011, when the song was released, the Decemberists made a music video for the song based on a scene from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. The music video was directed by Michael Shur, who later created the television show The Good Place.


“99 Luftballoons” and “99 Red Balloons” from the album 99 Luftballoons by Nena
While “99 Luftballoons” was originally released on German rock band Nena’s self-titled album in 1983, the song was so successful that they released both the original German and an English adaptation the next year on the album “99 Luftballoons.” Contrary to popular belief, the English version is not a direct translation of the German song. Still, both versions reflect concerns about a trigger-happy world while still being great for karaoke.


“End of the World Party (Just in Case)” from the album End of the World Party (Just In Case) by Medeski Martin & Wood
Keyboard jazz trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood collaborated with a rock producer to create this album. In “End of the World Party (Just in Case),” they’ve created a mellow soundscape, layered with pop, rock, and jazz influences. Even though this song was released in 2004, it’s a groove that fits right in 2020.