5 Singer-Songwriters With Depressing Sombre Tunes

There’s something about singer-songwriter stuff that makes it authentic. Just a human with a guitar singing about something that’s close to their heart. Usually these songs tend to be about love or heartbreak (John Mayer is an example) but sometimes they touch on something deeper. For me, that is the sort of music that I listen to a lot. Here some of my favorite singer-songwriters with a mostly depressing discography.

1. Nick Drake

A highly regarded guitarist and song-writer. When you listen to Nick Drake, you just get the feeling that you are listening to songs recorded in someone’s bedroom on dreary night. I think music magazines called him the “king of gloom” and rightly so. Mellow, sombre, depressing, authentic, unique probably genius. Sadly, Nick Drake died of an anti-depressant overdose at 26 years of age (allegedly committing suicide) and most of his music gives an insight into his gloomy state of mind.

2. Benjamin Clementine

Genius! Gifted! Every other superlative you can think of! Artists like him come once in a generation. When I first heard him, I was blown away. Literally every song on his first album was a work of genius. For a normal musician, even creating one such song would be their magnum opus but for Benjamin it seemed effortless. I can’t describe, I could die happy knowing I experienced Benjamin Clementine’s music.

3. Laura Marling

I don’t know much about her, I have only heard a few songs. Even those few make it clear that she is special. I didn’t feel much listening to her music, I just knew she was giving me a perspective that did not come naturally to me.

4. Damien Rice

You wouldn’t associate depressing tunes with an Irishman but Damien Rice is probably the most well known artist on this list. You can’t casually listen to his songs, you need to take time out of your day and create space to listen to Damien Rice’s music. Not only are the lyrics dark, the tunes uncomfortable but his vocals are also super intense. Infact, that’s what I remember when listening to his album, feeling uncomfortable. This is a man singing about the most harrowing emotions with as much sincerity as possible.

5. Tom Odell

More of a pop artist than a traditional singer-songwriter but if you listen to the lyrics closely you will notice the under-lying existential angst. He also has a great voice that conveys a lot of emotion. When I first heard him, I knew he was going to be big! I thought of him as a male Adele. Strangely though, the UK seems to produce a lot of these young men singing about romance and love and loss, and apparently it’s nothing special. Still one of his songs that define sad singer-songwriter stuff for me is “Sense”

Special Mention: Joy Division

No list of mine will be complete without a mention of Joy Division and Ian Curtis. They put into words everything I felt and brought to fruition the tunes in my head. I am huge fan.And when it comes to writing of  depressing things, it doesn’t get better than Joy Division.

The list should make it clear that I’m a millennial, with a millennial’s taste in music. I’m sure I’ve missed a few other great artists. Are there others I might like? Do leave comments.



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