Six Songs Called Isolation: A Lonely Playlist

By Last Updated: August 1, 2023Views: 1489

The theme on the website this month is isolation so we have put together a list of 6 songs on that theme. Now there are many, many, many (manymanymany) many songs about loneliness, being alone, separation, etc. that we could have chosen for this list but we decided to go with only the ones that actually have “isolation” in the title. A little on the nose I know, but there are a surprising number of songs that fit this criteria. We have narrowed it down to 6 – and here they are:

6. Love Isolation by Gary Numan

“Reasons fade
As reasons can do
All I want
Is to talk with you”

Most people probably know Gary Numan as the Peter Gabriel/David Bowie hybrid that sang the incredibly catchy single In Cars. But that’s not really doing him justice. Numan was a pioneer in electronic music and synth-pop who has had a long, diverse career right up until today. Not all of what he has produced are classics but his music has always been experimental and interesting – definitely worth seeking out and giving a listen. Love Isolation is a haunting love ballad (sort of) from his 1992 album Machine + Soul.

5. Isolation Years by Opeth

“And isolation
Is all that would remain
The wound in me is pouring out
To rest on a lover’s shore”

Opeth is a progressive metal band from Sweden. But I probably don’t need to tell any of you that because surely we are all familiar with the progressive metal scene out of Stockholm, right? Beginning as more of a death metal band Opeth has evolved over the years embracing the “progressive” sound and arrangements and softening their sound quite a bit. That being said this is still a metal band though and though. Isolation Years is an emotional (some may say emo) song from their 2005 album Ghost Reveries.

4. Isolation by Crowded House

“I wait for you to make a sign
Let the door open in your eyes
And I believe it
That one day you’ll step inside”

Crowded House is an Australia/New Zealand alternative band that is one of the finest examples of jangly music you will ever find. They’ve been around since the mid-80s and if you think you don’t know their songs – Hey now, hey now, I bet you do. This song is from their 2010 album Intriguer. (Side note: this list was supposed to be only 5 entries – this song is the reason it went to six. Added it at the last minute.)

3. Isolation by John Lennon

“We’re afraid of everyone
Afraid of the sun
The sun will never disappear
But the world may not have many years

I’m assuming I don’t have to explain who John Lennon is but I may have to explain the album where this song comes from. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band from 1970 is Lennon’s first solo album post-Beatles and it is a stripped down, emotional and deeply personal collection of songs. Produced not long after Lennon went through primal scream therapy, the subject matter is an honest outpouring of personal trauma dealing with parental abandonment, suffering, anxiety, and abuse. It is an amazing piece of work from an artist holding nothing back.

2. Isolation by Joy Division

“Mother I tried please believe me,
I’m doing the best that I can.
I’m ashamed of the things I’ve been put through,
I’m ashamed of the person I am.”

What can I say about Joy Division? Post-punk pioneers that paved the way for New Wave, Goth, Grunge, Alternative – look they’re just great okay? Their career ended tragically too soon but the body of work remains solid and influential. In the punk scene they emphasized energy over anger and created a moody aesthetic that is haunting and beautiful. Isolation is from their 1980 album Closer.

1. Splendid Isolation by Warren Zevon

“I’m putting tinfoil up on the windows
Lying down in the dark to dream
I don’t want to see their faces
I don’t want to hear them scream”

Warren Zevon was the king of ironic lyrics and biting satirical messages told through eccentric characters and quirky turns of phrase, all set to rocking tunes that were catchy as hell. Case in point this song right here. Splendid Isolation is from Zevon’s 1989 album Transverse City and is on the surface silly song about an introvert comparing himself to Georgia O’Keefe and Michael Jackson; but there is an undertone of sadness, fear and desperation intertwined with the jangly guitar and lilting harmonica. Goofy, take my hand and lead me through the World of Self…

So what do you think?

Do you know of any other “isolation” songs that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter: @DaddyElk.

Featured Image Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

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