The intention of these recommendations is to help you discover their magic by yourself. As such, I have refrained from recommending anything too specifically or revealing too much. I will leave large bits out so that you can explore them by yourselves. So, without further ado, let us commence.
Music: The 1975
A few of us might have heard of this niche band, but most of us remain ignorant. The 1975 is a British band that defies genre expectations. One of the best aspects of their music is that their discography seems to have a song for everyone. You want pop? Listen to Tootimetootime. You want soft rock? Listen to Chocolate or Robbers. You want a song about how technology has affected our lives, read by Siri? Listen to The Man Who Married a Robot/Love Theme. You want a metal song about the anxieties of living in this decade? Listen to People. The 1975’s impressive cache of good songs is baffling, as is their way of referencing a multitude of relevant topics in the songs. Though their versatility does take some time to get used to, it is worth it because once you develop an ear for their music, you will not be able to turn back.
Poetry: A Minor Role by U. A. Fanthorpe
When I read this poem, I felt akin to the narrator whom I imagined was weaving the poem as they went through a typical day. Perhaps, the most enjoyable part of poetry is that we can find ourselves portrayed through it — and while this could also be said for books or music, it is particularly true for poems. As for A Minor Role, what many of us will undoubtedly like about this poem is how it deals with the introspections of a person who is comfortable with playing an insignificant, inconspicuous part in the world. Often, we imagine our futures to be times of grandeur, but this poem conveys the simple joy of a future that is utterly devoid of greatness.
Graphic Novel: No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai, illustrated by Junjo Ito
To be completely honest, this graphic novel is dark and very depressing. Bu, it is also an excellent read. For any form of art, one of the important things is how it makes us feel. And No Longer Human will make you feel the worst in the shoes of its protagonist. However, I still recommend this because I believe that the questions the protagonist poses about human beings are ones that need to be pondered. The plot is not the only aspect of the graphic novel that works well; it is also Ito’s atmospheric and stark, honest artwork. Some of us might know Ito from Uzumaki, an excellent graphic novel in its own right. However, in No Longer Human, Ito’s art comes alive, making readers feel the horror that the protagonist experiences about his humanity.
Movie: J’ai Perdu Mon Corps (I Lost My Body)
J’ai Perdu Mon Corps was released last year on Netflix. It’s a French animated film about a sentient severed hand. The weird premise, however, is not something to shy away from. In this beautifully surreal film, the simple plot, the atmospheric music, and the gorgeous cinematography all work in harmony to allow for an immersive respite from the grumbling boredom of quarantine.
Book: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is mostly known for his graphic novel series Sandman and his novel American Gods. However, he has also written for TV shows and has penned quite an impressive collection of books. Though most of his books are a delight and I would recommend you try all of them, Fragile Things is worth mentioning solely because of the surrealism of the plots. While not everyone enjoys surrealism much, I would like you to give this book a try. Fragile Things is a collection of short stories and poems which have bizarre plots and subject matters we may never have thought about but which prove to be thought-provoking and intriguing. It also helps that these stories are relatively short and require little commitment.
Miftahul is a curly bigfoot who is seen reading whenever you spot her, that is. Occasionally, she writes.