In this year’s first UVC monthly editorial all the way back in January, I somewhat defiantly claimed that 2020 would come to be one of, if not the most impactful and integral years in the history of the underground music scene as a whole. While I certainly had what I considered pretty substantial reasoning behind making that claim, I absolutely never could have guessed that I would have been proven right just three whole months into the year. 

I also could have never guessed the exact way I was proven right either; I think it is safe to say that no one could have predicted the predicament that the world is currently facing. 

The resounding, rippling, and raucous effects that the Coronavirus pandemic is currently placing on nearly every single aspect of life as we know it are as unprecedented as they are unruly. Every single time some facet of life is brought up as falling victim to these effects, another one of equal or even further weight springs to mind… and then another… and another… 

To put it bluntly, COVID-19 knows no bounds, and it will continue to be as such for the unforeseeable future. We are currently living in an entirely unparalleled time — a period of human history that will go down as equal parts infamous as it will egregious. 

With the rabbit hole of life’s most essential aspects being presented given the imposition that these effects are constantly holding, it’s easy to feel a sense of selfishness or even basic inadequacy when attempting to talk about the more trivial factors that are being changed. This is certainly something I have personally struggled with for the past few weeks, as every time I attempt to spur a conversation about how this pandemic is affecting the things I love most, I immediately think of the devastation that some individuals, families, or even entire countries are currently facing as a result. 

But with the end of this pandemic nowhere near in sight, I think it is time that I move past my sense of reluctance and finally delve into how the pandemic itself is taking a toll on the things I am most interested in and enamored with. 

With that out of the way, it is safe to say that, even in its present infancy, COVID-19 has already made its presence known on the underground music scene in a variety of manners. Although that statement is inherently negative in nature, this fact actually has not resulted in complete and utter hostility. 

We can get the bad news out of the way first, however. With federal regulations on quarantine essentially putting a stop to all large gatherings as a whole, rising artists are obviously being denied the chance to perform physical shows for the time being. This has not only barred them from on the spot performances, but it has also put an end to numerous instances of tours in their entirety. The shining light in this situation – if you can really even call it that – is the fact that some acts are moving towards putting on their live shows in a digital setting via the medium of streaming. All things considered though, these shows cannot hold a candle to the opportunities that so often correspond with networking in a physical space. 

Numerous other inconveniences have made underground acts’ lives just that more difficult, and it goes without saying that the financial implications that the pandemic has brought with it cast an all-too-looming shadow over not just their careers, but their entire livelihood as it currently stands. 

But for those fortunate individuals that can afford to stay afloat during these trying times, there is a slight silver lining within this entire ordeal that they can fall back on. As if social media has not made it obvious enough, the present quarantine period has resulted in an immense increase in time spent at home with no other responsibilities at the forefront of life. Basically, many people are facing the now ever-so-common enemy of boredom. 

Now unless every single act working in the underground is facing that exact same enemy, their time at home is likely now being spent in a complete shelter of creativity. To say that now is the time for buckling down and putting in immense work in the studio is a complete understatement; if this situation is indeed achievable from a financial/mental standpoint, then it really should be capitalized upon with all things considered. 

If more creative work being put in and more music being made as a result is the only positive aspect that we can take from these circumstances that we are being forced to face, then so be it. It is truly difficult to find the good in such god awful times, but at some point, we really have to enhance our respective niches to a point where they are at least achieving something good in an entirely bad situation. 

That is where our music comes in. We are not the saving grace of the world, not even close. But a little certainly does a lot when working as a creative unit, and as these clouds of uncertainty continue to shroud us day by day, the creative energy of the underground can without question act as a single ray of sunlight creeping into our somber world as it stands.