In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to check in on your friends and loved ones. Here at XPN, we’re Checking In With our extended musical family to see how they’re holding up during the Coronavirus quarantine…and what music has kept them grounded. Today, Rachel Del Sordo chats with Ben Walsh of Tigers Jaw.

Ben Walsh is half of Philadelphia indie rock duo Tigers Jaw, who released their most recent full length album Spin on Black Cement Records in 2017. Since quarantine started, Tigers Jaw has embarked on a weekly livestream “tour”; the band performs at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays on Instagram Live. The band also goes live on StageIn Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Each StageIn show has a unique theme and is pay-what-you-can. Walsh expresses trying to appreciate the small stuff during this time of quarantine. “Every so often, it just hits me how weird and terrifying this whole situation is, and how different life feels. I’m doing my best to stay optimistic and creative and focus on enjoying the little things. We’ve also been planning everything for the release of the next Tigers Jaw album so it’s nice to have that on the horizon.”

Listen to Walsh’s music picks below.

Favorite Song Of All Time: “Tomorrow Too Late” by Saves The Day 

“This is so difficult to pick a single song. My favorite album of all time is In Reverie by Saves the Day. The album closer ‘Tomorrow Too Late’ might be my favorite song. I can go on and on about the lyricism of that whole album, or the layered melodies, or the intricate guitar and bass work. The album as a whole is so incredible, and this track is a perfect closer. The whole theme of longing and desperation paired with the moodiness of the music in the context of the final track of a perfect album really seals the deal for me.” 

Song That Raises Your Spirits: “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac

“There are plenty of songs I turn to, but lately it’s been ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac that comes to mind. It just feels like a powerful, forward-driving song and I feel good when I hear it. The ending is pure rock and roll bliss, like an untainted ‘Stairway’ or ‘Freebird.'”

Song You’re Most Proud Of Working On: “Escape Plan” by Tigers Jaw

“‘Escape Plan’ from our album spin was a song that I gave up on so many different times because I couldn’t get it to work. I wanted this huge jump in dynamic from the start to the end, and I wasn’t able to figure it out until I forced myself to really work on my lower vocal register. I’ve always been self conscious about my singing voice, so I was always hesitant to venture away from the range I typically stay in. When it finally clicked, it felt so gratifying to have the mood and dynamics of the song fall into place. I think it’s an important track in the context of the album and I’m glad I didn’t give up on it. The song also has a music video that means a lot to me. The idea came from a conversation I had with a friend (video director Josh Coll) about my late grandfather, so the song and video are special to me for that reason as well.”