9. Ben Gibbard– Death Cab for Cutie’s deliciously depressing front man was once quoted as saying, “I would rather make great records than make great relationships”. Even after his marriage (and subsequent divorce) to the adorkable Zooey Deschanel in 2009, Death Cab’s 2011 record Codes and Keys, which is by far their most upbeat record, possesses many shades of despair. While it is uncertain what Death Cab’s next move will be, it’s a safe bet that it will spark waves of pity tears among listeners, all courtesy of Ben Gibbard.
Listen to it now- Cath…
8. Sufjan Stevens– Even a man as virtuous as Sufjan Stevens manages to indulge in his fair share of self-pity. Then again, what musician doesn’t? From comparing himself to the serial killer John Wayne Gacy to writing an eight-minute song about the apocalypse, Stevens adds a certain charm to even the most frustrating human questions. But let’s be honest, who hasn’t listed to Age of Adz’s “I Want To Be Well” and imagined poor Sufjan hysterically crying and throwing himself into Lake Michigan?
7. Craig Finn– While his work with The Hold Steady maintains an acceptable level of dignity, Finn’s 2012 solo debut is just plain sad. And it’s not sad like when a drummer leaves a band for a solo project that will obviously never leave the ground. It is sad in the sense that it evokes images of Finn drowning himself in whiskey and possibly joining Sufjan in Lake Michigan. While the tracks are all solid (but nothing special), full of Finn’s haunting voice, it’s hard to escape wondering that Finn may be in a dangerous downward spiral.
6. Régine Chassagne– Wife of Win Butler and fellow member of Arcade Fire, Chassagne has received her share of not-so-positive feedback for her undoubtedly original voice. While Arcade Fire fans have come to accept Chassagne’s pitchy vocals, music critics have voiced distaste for her musical styling. However, Chassagne refuses to put down her tambourine and streamers and seems outwardly unaffected by the contempt of fans and critics alike- which is why she needs an encouraging hug and assurance that music is where she belongs.
Watch Régine preform-
5. Billie Holiday– Holiday’s undeniable talent (and lust for alcohol) landed Lady Day on a path toward self destruction since the beginning of her career in the 30’s, but this is not what landed her on the list. Her bold lyrics of love, denial, and betrayal display a desperately trapped woman ahead of her time. However, the saddest part of Holiday’s music may just be the taste in men she apparently had.
Listen to it now- Don’t Explain
4. Merrill Garbus– tUnE-yArDs’ leading lady doesn’t need a hug because of her lyrics, her beautifully disturbing juxtaposition of instruments, or even the lady-moustache she proudly sports. Garbus is a musician so far ahead of her audience that there is little hope that people will not only understand, but also embrace her musical gifts. She is one of the few women in music right now who isn’t afraid to use her most alienating gifts for good.
3. Justin Vernon– While we aren’t exactly sure who Emma is, we hate her for breaking poor Justin’s heart and love her for inspiring the formation of Bon Iver. For those who don’t know, Vernon’s girlfriend (implied to be Emma on his first record, For Emma, Forever Ago) broke his little heart- leading to a self-imposed exile in a Wisconsin cabin where an abundance of sadcore falsetto wonder was born. Even after Bon Iver’s self-entitled second album was released, it is obvious that he is still a bit caught up on Emma; perhaps a hug would soothe his despair.
2.Morrissey– Don’t even pretend like you didn’t expect Morrissey to be on this list. He tortured soul cries out in that melancholy voice that we’ve come to associate with The Smiths. His worried lyrics and even more desperate song titles rank him among the best artists for angsty, misunderstood teens across the western world to listen to whilst asking the question, “Why me?”
1. Dallas Green– Better known as City and Colour, Green’s music evokes simultaneous feelings of understanding and eternal confusion. This sentiment is no more obvious than in the titles of his songs. For example, Green has track titles that include “Little Hell”, “Natural Disaster”, and “Faithless”. In this fashion, Mr. Green channels the king of depressing song titles- Morrissey himself.
Listen to it now- The Grand Optimist