I read an article on how being in isolation feels like being a teenager again, and I felt that. 

On one hand, I have a lot more time to connect to myself and reflect on life without external noises and distractions; my main concerns are my introspective, self-critical thoughts and feelings of uncertainty about the future, and a general confusion; I don’t have many other responsibilities other than my academic studies; I’m not making any money and I’m watching a shit load of TV and movies. 

On the other hand, between living in isolation with a partner, online Zoom classes, school assignments, and all the TV, I rarely find time to listen to music, something I used to do a lot on my daily train rides or when preparing for DJ sets. This combination also doesn’t leave much space for intense emotions, and it’s mostly just a detached, numbing relaxation. 

There was one particular day when I was very emotional though, on the night before Holocaust Memorial Day. I was chopping up onions in the kitchen and Frank Ocean’s “Cayendo” came on some playlist I was listening to, and I started crying. Probably the onion had something to do with it, but it was mainly from the heart. So that song was my starting point. For the rest of this playlist. I wanted to take all these aspects into consideration and try collecting all the songs that hit hard and made me feel strong emotions at some point in life. 

It’s a pretty eclectic mix that includes RnB, experimental hip hop, some ambient, adolescent indie-rock, and a few all-time classics. I recommend listening to it in bed, connecting to your teenage-self, and playing it on shuffle as I find it creates the most cosmic, unexpected flow.  

Tom Koren is a DJ, music curator (for Haaretz and others), booking agent, creative director, and literature/art history student currently living in Haifa.