8 Sad Songs By 8 Happy Artists - A playlist by WALKEN
Their new EP, What's Your Environment, is out December 15.
Brisbane-based grungey pop-punkers WALKEN are on the verge of releasing their new EP, What's Your Environment, due December 15. To get you pumped in the lead-up, they've recently released a new single in Unomi, one that is accompanied by a pretty bloody gorgeous new video clip if we're being honest. And to mark its release, and the impending EP, Matt from the group sent us a playlist of his favourite tracks that keep in line with the somber tone of Unomi with some fantastic descriptions. Check it all out below:
8 Sad Songs By Happy Artists:
AJJ - Big Bird
AJJ are one of the few bands that can truly pull off having playful tracks like Gift Of The Magi and Fucc The Devil landing on the same album as this incredibly desperate heart-on-sleeve closing number - And I bloody love ‘em for it. I heard Big Bird for the first time ever when we played with them at The Tivoli a few years back for I LOVE LIFE Festival – that moment has been carved into my memory since then and I think it will be for a long time.
Favorite Line: “I'm afraid of the way that I live my life/I'm afraid of the way I don't” - Probably the most powerful opening line I have ever heard to this day, something about it really punches my heart in the face.
Jamie T - They Told Me It Rained
When I was first introduced to Jamie T’s music (back in the Kings N Queens era with his typical energetic and snarky charm), I don’t think I would have ever pictured him dropping all the tearjerkers from his 2014 album Carry On The Grudge… But I’m so glad he did. It’s easily my favorite album of his (but that’s probably because I’m just a sucker for them feels) and this is a beautiful closing track that sums up the majority of this album – surreal perspectives and a yearning for adoration, all tangled up in a dragnet of heartbreak.
Favorite Line: “Between a birth cry and a death wail - there’s just houses” - The simplicity and imagery in this line is neat as heck. Life sure can seem like the never-ending cycle of a similar routine but just based a different location or setting, eh Jamie?
Blink-182 - Stay Together For The Kids
For both Beej and myself, this is one of our first proper memories of a playful/happy-go-lucky band branching out into a serious feels-centric track (I must have missed Adam's Song at the time, okay, I’m sorry, geeze, I was really young). Blink is pretty much always a must for any list of ours anyways. They got some perfectly crafted pop-rock/pop-punk goodness.
Favorite Line: “If this is what he wants, and it's what she wants, then why is there so much pain?” - I’m pretty sure any kid who has grown up in a somewhat dysfunctional and/or separated family can relate to this song. It’s a real adolescent banger with a nice little “yell your lungs out” chorus refrain. P.S. I also just really, really hope that Tom pulls through on all the space travel and alien biz. You got this Tommy Boy, at least, I hope so, dear lord I hope so.
St Vincent - Happy Birthday, Johnny
Annie Clarke AKA St Vincent sure knows how to make us humans groove to the beats, boogie on down and shred a quick air lick – even if a lot of her lyrics can be riddled with existentialist undertones and a flurry of anxiety. This track, however, is a sombre new tune from her latest record Masseduction that goes through a story of running into old friends, falling out of communication, witnessing their downfall through gradual interactions, but still only wishing the best for them.
Favorite Line: “Since we last spoke, you live on the street/Yeah, I wouldn't believe all the shit that you seen” - This is self-explanatory, really. Homelessness would be a shithouse trot for absolutely anybody, and it’s not exactly a perspective you could easily imagine until you’re knee-deep in it. Cross-referencing back to Sean Bonnette from AJJ – “My friend Erin says ‘at best, we're all two or three bad decisions away from becoming the ones that we fear and pity’ - Tony says ‘it's important to bear some witness when you can’ - And that's not hard to do in the city that I live in”.
Ben Folds Five - Brick
I think that a lot of people must assume Ben Folds is a sad fella because this is probably BFF’s biggest commercial track, but I always remember him being the happy geeky dude from Rockin’ The Suburbs – I literally first heard of him through that song being used in Over The Hedge, which is pretty stupid, really. Either way though, Ben Folds Five had a crapload of cheery songs and therefore this one sticks out like a really sore sad thumb to me.
Favorite Line: “For the moment we're alone/Yeah, she's alone, I'm alone, now I know it” - Yeah, so like, dude, you know how when you’re with someone, but like, you’re still feeling like, lonely and stuff? Yeah this line is about that.
T-Rex - Cosmic Dancer
Given Marc’s untimely passing, a lot of T-Rex’s history can be overshadowed in sadness because he died young, which can lead to a big “What If?” question that lingers over their discography. To be honest though, they had an unreal catalogue of feel-good hits (and if you don’t jive your body to the maximum degree while listening to Get It On (Bang A Gong) - there is seriously something wrong with you). This song however, actually adds an eerie and saddening undertone to the whole “live fast, die fun” ethos that seemed to surround Marc’s life.
Favorite Line: “I danced myself into the tomb/Is it strange to dance so soon?” - Yeah, weird right?
NOFX - Doornails
Listening to Punk In Drublic or White Trash never fails to put a big ole smile on my dial because it’s just some god damn playful fun punk-rock – but this punk remembrance anthem from Wolves In Wolves’ Clothing tugs on the heartstrings like nothing else in their catalog (asides from My Orphan Year).
Favorite Line: “You know, suicide isn't painless when you leave everyone in pain” - Yet another very heavy line. This one really shifted a perspective change for me about certain aspects of depression + coping mechanisms, in general.
The Simpsons - Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?
If this one doesn’t bring you to tears, then lord knows what the heck will.
Favorite Line: “Hey, he's not happy at all! He lied to us through song. I hate when people do that!” - Don’t we all, Homer? Don’t we all. (P.S. I just realised what could bring you to tears if this song doesn’t and the answer is - onions. It’s always onions).
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