I woke up this morning to an email from a friend, apropos of nothing, who was trying to think of the saddest song. Sadness being an overflowing vessel that you have to pour into another lest it spill all over the place, this question now lived inside of me. I spent the rest of the morning laying in bed trying to think of what the saddest song meant to me. Now I offer some suggestions, and pour it into you.
These aren’t “the saddest songs ever” or anything stupid like that, but merely some of the saddest songs. The songs I’d play if I wanted to lean into the curve, maybe flirt with running off the road entirely. Some of them are old, some of them are new, some are obvious, some are not. You’ll know many of them, but probably not all of them, and hopefully they will make your day a little bit better by making it a little bit worse. Here’s a Spotify playlist to take home with you for further study.
“Bankrupt on Selling”, Modest Mouse
The little four note figure that persists throughout is a fading beacon in the mire. “It took a long time but I clean with myself, I came clean out of love with my love. And I still love her. Loved her more when she used to be sober and I was kinder.”
“No Below”, Speedy Ortiz
Like the best saddest songs, you’re never really sure if it’s a love song or a breakup song. “I didn’t know you when I was a kid, but swimming with you it sure feels like I did.”
“Give What You Take”, Mojave 3
“I’ve been looking for a love. Pretty soon I’ll guess I’ll fuck things up.”
“Carry the Zero”, Built to Spill
This is what it sounds like when guitars cry.
“Never Meant”, American Football
There’s a reason why American Football is suddenly the most influential band in the country again.