A playlist to evoke a wide range of emotions.
For fuck’s sake, it’s a song about cheating. I don’t think I need to say anymore. But where would the fun be in that. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t been cheated on, the relationships I was in might have succeeded. Maybe we could have sat down (as close to when one person is halfway across the planet) and discussed what wasn’t working in the relationship, to find out the root of their desire to cheat. The song has a little too bravado for my liking, and it’s a pretty upbeat tempo, but the words hit home the most – “Well, then think of what you did, and how I hope to God he was worth it”. Is there honestly any woman on this entire planet who thinks of me as their favourite lover? I doubt it. I would bet my entire existence on the negative.
The music of The Feeling is just filled with emotion (must be why they picked that name for the band). I discovered the band when I was in the UK the first time – with Cheating Girlfriend Number 1 – and the song Sewn had just come out. I got given the full album for Christmas, and since then I was hooked. It was like discovering that there was this whole set of English bands that I didn’t have access to because I lived in Australia, and it made me scour the English charts for years afterwards. It caused me to seek out music on the internet rather than just waiting for songs I liked on the radio. Without this, I may never have discovered Nerdcore, Chap Hop or Babymetal. Anyway, because their emotional style resonates with me so well, so many of their songs could have been included on this list, and it’s taken me a while to decide on a single song. Say No was the top contender for a while, with the line “I say one thing, you say another baby, I say love and you run for cover baby”, Connor with the line “You’ve got the life I want” solidifies my belief that only cheaters prosper, or Loneliness which asks “What is the point of it?”, but ultimately the line “Everybody knows I was in love with you” because pretty much from the second my last ex went overseas, I had this dichotomy where I presented that everything was alright, while slowly but suely she pulled away from me until she wouldn’t even tell me what she was thinking, which lead to cheating. The video is just a dude dancing – not the most interesting video ever (I prefer music videos with a story). Love It When You Call is also very prophetic, and I listened to it a lot as my relationship with my girlfriend was deteriorating – which feels very strange with such an upbeat song.
Another band I got into late, after I was trying to wrestle with my depression. I could have listed “Helena” here, for having a much better music video. At one point, I must have considered it the best MCR song because I put it on a mixed CD for my last girlfriend – I wonder if she ever actually listened to it? But I picked this one for being the song I scream in my head whenever someone asks me if I’m alright – “I’m telling you the truth, I’m okay (trust me)” followed by the titular chorus.
If you clicked that link above, you’ll have noticed that 1) it’s not a Doctor Who themed song (why have the last name ‘who’ in the first place if not for that?), and 2) it’s not the music clip for the song. Nope, it’s a proposal video. It’s such a beautiful video. Those two guys are so damn happy. I wish I could be happy. I wish I had someone to propose to like that. Or propose to at all. My recent torture method is to proposal videos on YouTube. My second favourite is this one, although the song used in in about a solid 75% of all proposal videos, and it becomes annoying after a while. This couple are really cute too. And hell, this one for the trifecta of destroying my possible dreams. The line that really gets me is “If I am good to you, won’t you be good to me. That’s how easy this should be.” Fuck, if only.
Bang The Doldrums – Fallout Boy
I initially hated Fall Out Boy. I made fun of people who liked it, even while deep down inside I was grabbling with my depression, which didn’t have a name back then. Then I actually listened to them, and there’s a reason that they’re an emo anthem. These guys not only have melodic songs, but manage to weave words to express emotions in a way that not many people can do as consistently. I could have picked many particular songs, but I went with this one mainly because of many vivid images – trying to be friends after breaking up with someone (which I can’t do due to the strong emotions), slowly coming to the realisation that a relationship is over, and the line “I cast a spell over the west to make you think of me the same way I think of you”. I think I fall in love too easily, and expect equal footing in the relationship. My girlfriends have seen it as me being an annoyance, to be called upon when it suits them. I guess they win.
“I want you to notice when I’m not around” – Radiohead might now hate their first hit, but it’s like a depressive’s handbook – the first self deprecating song you’ll ever hear, a gateway song to emo music.
Music has played a large part in most of my relationships. In one of them, she liked Amy Winehouse whereas I liked Lily Allen. I mean, I guess I kind of won that battle. But after the relationship, this song was a constant reminder. Hell, it’s just a good song about the sense of loss after a relationship dies, and how suddenly all you can remember are the good times. You have to actively remind yourself why the relationship ended, or you’ll just end up in love with them again. Remember: If they didn’t love you when you were together, they sure as hell don’t love you know you’re apart.
Muse are probably my favourite band ever. There are a number of great lines in this song, but the one that always sticks with me is: “This ship is taking me far away, far away from the memories of the people who care if I live or die”. I also recommend ‘Thoughts of A Dying Athiest’ and ‘Hysteria’ because I think about death and the supposed afterlife a lot, and also about being in love with someone so much that it drives you crazy.
This is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It starts off soft and slow and grows into this grand celebration of beautiful sound. Truly melancholy.
“How can you be sad? It’s such a nice day/Your life is good!” It’s a common argument heard by the depressed. People don’t understand that the things that make them happy don’t make us happy. Or, we can’t be physically happy at that point. Why do I perform in an amazing improv show but then cry to myself on the drive home? I don’t know. Watsky puts it best when he raps “I know I should be grateful, I know I’m good and able, but I don’t have the strength to get up from the kitchen table.”
Pulp have a plethora of songs that deal with loneliness – “Live Bed Show”, “Bad Cover Version” – and dealing with being the antithesis of modern masculinity – “Glory Days” is about hopelessness, “I’m A Man” is about toxic masculinity,
Now, this may surprise you, but being a nerdy drama kid meant I was never one of the popular kids at school *sarcasm off* I did spend my primary school years trying to become one of the cool kids, and most of high school just trying to get by before (I believed) I became an adult, and everything fell into place. It wasn’t until I was about 21 that I finally started to realise I could just be myself. I sure hope this song is a satirical look at high school dating, because otherwise I have been reading into it all wrong. “There’s still a feeling of rejection when someone says she prefers the company of others to your exclusive company” – and how. Plus the film clip is about a cheating cheerleader. So fuck that.
I love the opening and closing songs of Japanese anime – they’re usually awesome pop songs, and they change every season so there’s always a new one to become obsessed with. LeeandLie does some amazing covers, translating them into English so you can sing along.
This is probably my favourite, and the song has a special place in my heart, even though I’ve never seen the anime. It’s such a beautiful song about two people in love who can’t be together, so you can imagine why it hits so home for me. I particularly identify with the line “I just really wish that you were here, ‘Cause inside my dreams it’s not enough”.
This song actually made me realise I had to break up with my last girlfriend. One, the characters in the anime, and singing in the song, are so deeply in love and yet are separated. However, they’re always pining for each other, wanting to feel close together every opportunity they can. I realised I wasn’t getting that from my relationship, and she was just making up excuses not to talk to me, which, when you’re in a long distance relationship, would be the same as making up excuses to avoid your partner. I can understand the idea of giving someone space, but when all you’re giving is space, you’re not actually in a relationship. A year of people asking “How’s she doing over there?” and my usual response – “Good? I think? She doesn’t really talk to me.” and it’s an anime song that finally makes me realise it.
The second epiphany was when I sent a link to this song to my girlfriend at the time, in an attempt to connect with her on a deeper level. I was sick of just constantly asking her where she was, who she was hanging out with, what she was doing – boring details that hold no emotional weight. A good conversation could come from these details if the person wants to tell you about them. I had even suggested we go on virtual ‘dates’ – we would both watch the same movie so we could discuss it together. She wasn’t interested in any of it. I never know if she actually watched this video, if she understood that I was desperately trying to reach out to her on an emotional level. But when she never mentioned it, it made me realise that I didn’t have a place in her life, and that coupled with all of the other issues in the relationship made me realise that I had to release myself because I was just going to hurt myself further chasing after someone who wanted to be left alone. I tried reaching out to her so often, and her response was always to shut down or run away.
There’s actually another really good English cover of just the first opening song by S.B.R.M.P.N.Y, but I like this version as it mashes together a few of the opening and closing songs into a coherent song.
Depression can cause you to focus on your own situation. You look around, and everyone else seems to have everything figured out. This song brings forth a “what about me?” aesthetic (without listening to “What About Me?” by Shannon Noll). I found out a while ago that my first serious girlfriend is now married and has a kid, so I have the strong belief that the cheaters in my life will get everything they want whereas I will languish in emotional agony.
The Luckiest – Ben Folds
I largely got into Ben Folds thanks to my first serious relationship. She was obsessed with him. So I bought some of his EP’s (at the time they were only available from the US – this was the early 2000’s, kids) and hid them in her room when I visited her. She didn’t find them for 2 weeks, and the suspense drove me crazy, but it was worth it. Also, this is a beautiful song. My brother and his wife played it as their wedding song, and it was at that time that I realised it would make a great wedding song and that I would have chosen it too, if I ever got married. This song reminds me that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life.