Does music that is pessimistic prolong your pessimism? One of my friends thinks so. And I think I agree. At least I know that when I listened to Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) in high school it was hard for me to transmute my depression into happiness.
That said, there is beauty in artists sharing their true feelings. (Why should they share anything else?) This sharing can provide healing to those who are experiencing something similar to the artist and, while listening, feel less alone in their journey.
I would argue that the journey is a hopeful one to a pleasurable place. Despite your opinion on the affects of music on your life, I think we can all agree that we share the same goal in our journey. We want to be content, loved, happy, deep in pleasure—not depression.
Songs that border on depression or even sink deep into depression are useful on this journey, but it’s easy to get trapped in these songs because they sound so good. Like Circle the Drain by Soccer Mommy and Nada by Christine and the Queens (both featured in this week’s playlist).
And this is the theme for this week’s playlist. We start our journey with a little sadness (first two tracks), enter into neutrality (next three tracks), then cross the “opportunity bridge” with Opportunity by Kevin Krauter into profound optimism provided by Lisa Loeb and her song Shine. The final track by Night Gestalt can be listened to as a meditation on what it means to be happy.
Soccer Mommy — circle the drain
Genre: Bedroom Pop | Vibe: Defeated
Confronting the ongoing mental health and familial trials that have plagued Allison (the artist) since pre-pubescence, her album color theory that features “circle the drain” explores depression and emptiness.
Christine and the Queens — Nada
Genre: Pop | Vibe: Burning
Christine is a beautiful woman filled with so much passion but she’s also fighting some demons (evident in this exceptional music video album).
Phoebe Bridgers — Garden Song
Genre: Indie | Vibe: Waiting
This is the song I listened to the most since last Friday. Supposedly while making this music video Phoebe got high (she doesn’t smoke a lot) and told her brother to try to scare her.
Greg Mendez — Bike
Genre: Singer/Songwriter | Vibe: Humble Crave
A little number about desires. Wanting to turn your pain into art. Wanting to smoke menthol cigarettes. Wanting to love (but what’s that mean?). I think (Sandy) Alex G would approve of this one.
Baali Soda — Immortals
Genre: Wave | Vibe: Midnight Miami Crusin’
A good one for when you have the top down at night cruising on the side streets and have something on your mind that needs released.
Kevin Krauter — Opportunity
Genre: Indie | Vibe: Dreamy
A beautiful one that I think Tame Impala would approve of that deals with the opportunity to see past old, dark days, and make the present something new and good.
Genre: Singer/Songwriter | Vibe: Lullaby
A beautiful lullaby for adults. And there’s more where this came from on her album A Simple Trick to Happiness.
Night Gestalt—Like a Particle of Dust
Genre: Ambient | Vibe: Meditative
Play this while preparing to meditate on your present state (potentially beautiful) and what you want from life (something beautiful).