For many of us, 2020 has been the year when ‘working from home’ has really come to the fore. In the past, we might have dabbled with the odd day here and there from the kitchen table but try working a whole week from home and attention would likely be drawn to your office visibility.
Now the office is the place many of us go if we can to get away from our home surrounds. If we are able to temporarily escape from the dining room table, it’s likely that a trip to the office will mean rotas, excessive cleaning protocols and plants in need of water. Colleagues are unlikely to be there. It’s not the place it was.
And there are undeniable benefits about working from home. Personally, it’s given me the opportunity to hunker down at the Spanish villa whilst doing my London-based day job. I’ve worn shorts to work most days, started earlier because my travel time is nil, managed my own time and had a siesta when I’ve wanted. The flexibility has been liberating.
But, let’s not kid ourselves that damage isn’t being done as well. The boundary between work and home, already eroded by year’s of technological advance, is now clinging on by a thread. Our nights become daytime and vice versa as routine gives way to the reluctant acceptance that you do have time before sunrise to write that paper that’s needed for later.
I’m drawn to the new single, dominique, from Colombian musician, Ela Minus, because it documents a time last year when, for her, night and day blurred. “today I woke up at 7PM // my brain feels like it’s going to break“, sings Ela in the opening line of the track. Over spritely synth and uplifting electronica, Ela shows how she’s wedded to her creative craft. Like many artists before her, writing and recording works better in the witching hour.
It’s a song of solitude; a deceptive banger that’s ready-made for our hours of quarantine. I love the dark humour within; the hazy memories of a time-more-normal that Ela draws upon to convince that her sanity remains in tact; the gradual realisation that messing with your body-clock can be a very small act of rebellion. Somewhat appropriately, Ela’s new album is called ‘acts of rebellion’ and it’s out tomorrow.
It’s 5AM on Thursday morning. I wake, feel unable to sleep and begin to write a blogpost.