It can be difficult to find hope or optimism in these grim circumstances, especially when you're in the midst of a lockdown, daily figures are skyrocketing, it's raining and you can't go further than 5km your home.
It's a tough time for all of us and it's not easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel – but we've chosen five things for you to look forward to this year, especially if you're a music lover.
PETER JACKSON'S BEATLES FILM
Have you seen the preview of 'The Beatles: Get Back' yet? If not, watch it right now. Clearly, there have been countless documentaries and films made about the most famous band of all time over the years, but this one, in the 'Lord of the Rings' director's hands, is shaping up to be seriously special. Featuring never-before-seen footage of the Fab Four around the time they recorded 'Let It Be', it looks like it'll offer new viewpoints on The Beatles' personal and working relationships alike. We haven't been this excited about a music documentary... ever? It's out in August.
FOO FIGHTERS' NEW ALBUM
Luckily, we don't have too much longer to wait for this one. Foo Fighters' 10th studio album, 'Medicine at Midnight' is released on February 5th. We've been lucky enough to hear an advance stream, and it's a seriously groovy piece of work. It's concise, too – at just 37 minutes long, it's Dave Grohl and co.'s shortest album to date. After 25 years in the business, they're still capable of surprises.
TAYLOR SWIFT'S RE-RECORDED BACK CATALOGUE
This may only interest the Swifties out there – at least on a musical level. Nevertheless, it's a really interesting concept; one of the world's biggest pop stars no longer owns the rights to the majority of her own back catalogue, so what does she do? Re-records every album. Although her voice hasn't changed that much over the years, we're curious to hear how the now-31-year-old re-interprets songs recorded when she was 17 (and before she was a global star). Recording, she says, has already begun.
'RESPECT' – THE ARETHA FRANKLIN BIOPIC
Music biopics are big business these days, as the likes of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Rocketman' will attest to. The latest flick we're pinning our hopes on is 'Respect', the story of the legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. It's going to take a big name (and a big voice) to fill those boots – but with Jennifer Hudson in the lead role, we're confident she can handle it. Forrest Whitaker, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess and Mary J. Blige are also set to star. It's due out in the US in August (Irish date TBC.)
THE RETURN OF LIVE MUSIC?
We're tentatively including this one on the list, because... well, you've gotta hope. Plenty of gigs and festivals have been booked over the course of 2021, but will they go ahead? We're keeping our fingers cross. Recent trials like the one conducted in Barcelona by Primavera Sound are very encouraging, so let's hope we're all in a sweaty venue with sticky floors and holding a warm pint of beer sooner, rather than later.