Often in my life, the times I feel the most happy are also the times I feel the most melancholic. It’s almost like I pick the periods where I shouldn’t feel sad and use that breathing space to think about the past, present and future and feel sad in a positive way. I threw together a little playlist of songs that are good to listen to when you are feeling that way. Not all of the songs are about sad things – not all of them even sound sad. But I have felt very engaged when listening to them when I’m just sitting around with headphones in having a think.
- A New England – Billy Bragg
Something about Billy Bragg’s voice in this makes a lump in my throat. It’s very tender. The message of the song is also moving.
2. Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
A list of sad songs wouldn’t be complete with some Joy Division on there. They are one of the most depressing bands out there. Something about this video just feels lonely. The story of Ian Curtis, the lead singer, and his suicide is told in the excellent underrated movie Control, which I really need to see again soon.
3. Heartbeat – Childish Gambino
Bit of a different one for you. Childish Gambino walks the very fine ledge of the best-sounding music I’ve ever heard and incredibly cringey so hard to listen to. He sometimes falls down hard. But this song walks that line with grace.
4. I’ve Got Your Number – Passion Pit
Have you seen me cry? Tears like diamonds? Come on. This song is really bleak. Nice to stare out of a window of a bus or car with headphones in and listen to this song.
5. Salad Days – Mac Demarco
This song makes me think of long Summer days. The lyrics are quite spiteful and aloof. I like to indulge in this song when I am being unfairly judgemental about people.
6. New York Groove – Hello
This is my official ‘moving on’ song. I sometimes fantasise about the idea of completely cutting off ties with everyone I know, moving to a brand new city all on my own, and starting over. This is the song I will be listening to as I drive into this big, scary, exciting place.
7. Today – Jefferson Airplane
This one is for sitting on a chair with a mug of coffee, smoking a cigarette – hungover – after a night of nasty drunken fighting with the people around you. It really gets under my skin.
8. I Don’t Want to Grow Up – Ramones
When it feels like everything is going wrong in my life and I decide to say ‘fuck it’. That’s what this song is about. God, I love Ramones. An anthology of their music was one of the first CDs I ever bought. The memories!
9.Whole Wide World – Wreckless Eric
I actually already included this song in my Valentine’s Day in Music blog post. That’s because this song can easily make me feel two different ways: empowered and hopeful, or desperate and lonely. There’s something about the idea that this guy is prepared to search the entire world just to find this ‘one’ special girl – who, realistically, would probably be a disappointment. It misses the point of what love is all about, and also implies that happiness can only be derived from a relationship. And that’s sad. Maybe I’m overthinking it !
10. On the Road Again – Canned Heat
This is another song about moving on. But mostly I just included it because I think the guys in the video seem super duper cool.
So those are ten songs to listen to when you feel a bit blue. I know this blog post a bit different from my others – more pretentious and depressing maybe – but I want to keep experimenting with different kinds of posts – including ones like these. If you didn’t like it, that’s cool, bro. That’s cool.