Thursday, December 6, 2012


Heartsick? Forlorn? A tad depressed? Autumn and Winter will do that to you.

I've always felt lows around this time of year and it's not much different circa 2012. Music's always been a strong sense of relief and fascination for me, and I don't know where the logic lays in listening to sad music while you're down, but it's what a lot of us do.

Perhaps there's no better soundtrack than Jesu's brand of gloomy drone/doom/shoegaze hybrid, most perfectly distributed by their first full length Jesu.  Right in tow there's The Angelic Process, a former couple that took My Bloody Valentine's whirling layers of melancholy to new levels with crushing vats of guitars and some of the most otherworldly vocals.

A touch of despair and animosity goes a long way with Leviathan's brand of black metal most perfectly encapsulated in The Blind Wound. While going by a different name, Leviathan main man Jef Whitehead, produced possibly my favorite album of all time under the moniker Lurker of Chalice. Combining all kinds of genres, the self-titled LP is a powerful murk of neo-folk, black metal, and ambiance. The sample, coming from the Sylvia Plath biopic, shouldn't turn you off, no matter how angsty it might sound, this track is really overwhelming.

Alongside Justin K. Broadrick, no one's done as good a job as forging a musical path based around their own depression than Wesley Eisold of  Dark Wave/Synth Pop outfit Cold Cave. Cold Cave's first album's title says it all; Love Comes Close.

Swans made their name through their harsh beginnings and ever-changing sound, but I came to enjoy them through this simple acoustic track that does more for me than nearly any other track.

A bit on the cheesy side, Roy Orbison holds a special place for me as he was a favorite of my mom. His croon has gone nearly unmatched and a track like "No One Will Ever Know " is unbeatable.

Undeniably most of these acts are frowns, but every so often they surprise us with glimpses of joy, hope, or just something positive sounding. This is what pushes them beyond simple angst.


Andrew Childers said...

"tired of me" may be the most beautifully morose song i've ever heard.

Perpetual Strife said...

One of them for sure. Funny how I have no interest in Godflesh, but love Jesu.

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