Monday, September 1, 2014

Sad Songs (Guest Post)

Happy September everybody! Today's blog seems very appropriate for the end of summer - Joshua Price, a.k.a. SCRIBER, has very kindly listed a few of his favourite sad songs. What better way to kick off the cold months?

Hi. My name is Josh and I write and perform in a band called SCRIBER. As he may have previously mentioned, Joel plays drums for us. He's very good. [Aw, shucks! - J]

The music we play is pretty sad and quite bleak. I have a song called Hopeless Lost; some of my songs have made people cry at gigs. After seeing me perform for the first time, my girlfriend asked, "Are you okay?"

As a person, I'm relatively happy and chirpy, but the music I listen to could certainly be shoehorned into the boxes marked 'Depressing' and 'Sad'. So, here are ten of the best sad songs I could think of:

The Spirit Was Gone by Antony and the Johnsons
Antony's voice truly is one of the most upsetting things to listen to. I mean that in a good way, kind of. He really resonates a kind of unique pain that I hope I never feel.

I Have Never Loved Someone by My Brightest Diamond
I truly adore this song. It's essentially a lullaby to her little son. Lullabies are my favourite type of songs, really; they're very simple, but evoke so much emotion. The album version is played on a harmonium, which works very well. However, it's this La Blogotheque version that particuarly got me, sending me to tears.

The Best of Times by Sage Francis
This is actually a very personal song for me, but I'm never sure why. I didn't particularly experience any of the harsh things that occur in the song; I think it just might be the childhood isolation and victimisation he went through that I connect with. Still, to date, this is my all-time favourite song.

Radiant by S. Carey
S. Carey's new album is a work of magic; very intricate and astonishingly written. However, out of all the landscaping and ethereal club bangers, this song stands out for me. It's so brief and fleeting - those opening notes get me every time.

Break by Son Lux
I actually discovered this song in the 3rd series of Skins. I remember seeing it on the tracklisting, listening to it, and thinking, "Which half of the song are they going to use?" Turns out they used the piano-y part, which is totally misplaced. The first part of this song is just brutal emosh.

Meaning of the Ritual by Villagers
Becoming a Jackal is perhaps my favourite album - I never really tire of it. I constantly change my favourite song from the album; perhaps, for now, it's this. The lyrics are pretty sad, and so is Conor O'Brien's voice.

Jesus Christ by Brand New
When I first heard this I was like, "JESUS CHRIST, DUDE". It's important to note that Jesse, the lead singer of Brand New, was diagnosed with a brain tumour and given months to live. In light of this news, he wrote Jesus Christ. Like, how the fuck do you explore the fact that you might die very, very soon in a song? I think he did a good job here.

Dream by These New Puritans
The backbone of this album is essentially really harsh and odd chord changes, which really make these dark, drony, orchestral pieces. The Portuguese voice is kind of mesmerising, but it's also kind of hopeless. I love it.

Coming Back to You by Leonard Cohen
I used to get compared to Leonard Cohen a lot, which was very humbling. He has a rich back catalogue of pretty bleak songs and wonderful lyricism, but to me, the sort of '80s vibe here almost heightens his dreariness.

Saving Song by Wintersleep
I must state at this point that these selections aren't exclusively listened to because they're sad songs. I don't actively listen to sad music; I'm widely eclectic. I went to a rap gig once. All of the songs on this list are really beautiful, regardless of their sadness, and this Wintersleep choon is particularly stunning. It's a wonderful refreshment from their regular math-y stuff.

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Have I missed any songs? I'm sure there are sadder songs out there. Maybe come to a SCRIBER show and see how these - and your sad selections - compare?

Outside of SCRIBER, Josh is also a talented graphic designer. He works under the name Nest of Cogs, and he's done quite a few bits and pieces for me, not least The Album Wall's logo. Check him out!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a big fan of Villagers, particularly Becoming a Jackal. Some incredible lyrics on there, as there is on pretty much every Brand New record. I'm not such a fan of Daisy, but God and the Devil is such a winner it's unreal. Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis is sad for a different reason - unbelievable self-hatred. Bit of a running theme in their stuff, and probably explains a lot....