Amanda Votta, Grey Malkin, and Neddal Ayad put together a new mix for springtime…here’s what they had to say about it:
Everyone loves sad songs. Everyone has a handful (or more) that they secretly (or not so secretly) adore, worship and couldn’t really live right without. Sad songs are often the ones you keep returning to, year after year, which might be why there’s a good amount of older music here. Sometimes, these things grab you right away, but others have very quietly and unobtrusively made their home in your thoughts over the years and remind you they exist at just the right moments. Hazy, like an unobtrusive haunting, sometimes that very quiet ghost will brush past you or wander down your hallway and remind you of your songs. Even then, it might just be the wind.
We thought, since we’re in the midst of working on writing new songs for several things – The Floating World, Antler & Ivy, another entirely new thing – we’d put together a new mix. Something that goes well with Spring thundershowers and red wine.
(On Tuesdays She Used To Do) Yoga – Peter Hammill.
Probably to get out of the house and cheer herself up, but Peter is having none of it. A self pitying, grandiose ghost of a song.
Archangel – Scott Walker
The Great God Scott invents goth with a dramatic sweep of his menthol cigarette. Heartbreaking and deeply cool.
Forever Autumn – Justin Hayward
For when your girl leaves you, is probably killed by Martians and London lies in ruins after an interplanetary takeover. I should apologise for this choice but I shan’t. So there.
The Dreamer Is Still Asleep – Coil
Melancholy moon music.
The Garden Of Jane Delawney – Trees
Chilling, resigned and haunting. An aural representation of such visual treasures as The Haunting or The Innocents. Good for listening to whilst staring out of frosted windows. As you do.
Apostle – Marissa Nadler
She went all dull indie rock, but when she puts her mind to it Marissa can write a sad fucking song.
That Was My Veil – PJ Harvey & John Parrish
It sounds like it could have been written for the Shangri-La’s, the queens of the sad song. Listen to the quaver in Polly’s voice.
Famous Blue Raincoat – Leonard Cohen
I imagine this is on just about every list of sad songs ever made. There’s a reason for that.
Down From Dover – Dolly Parton via Rowland S. Howard
“I could not believe that I was using her.”
Sometimes I Can’t Stop – Mark Kozelek and Desertshore
A tribute to Jason Molina and a reflection on mortality.
I Knew These People – Ry Cooder (w/Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski)
How much hurt can you fit into one bit of guitar ambience?
Through the Trees – Edith Frost
I’ve long described this as a sad girl afternoon tea time song and that’s still exactly what it is to me. Something to listen to while sipping your tea and staring out of windows wondering things better left unwondered.
I Lost Something in the Hills – Sibylle Baier
Even though Sibylle is leaning on a window, to me this isn’t a staring out of windows song, this is a standing in fields staring into windows song. Staring in windows and not wanting to be on the other side of the glass because that’s not what you want or need. It doesn’t fit. You need wind and rain, fog and fires, long roads and night sky.
The Desperate Kingdom of Love – PJ Harvey
Looking into windows while looking out of them. You don’t even get a cup of tea, you just get to stand there. And it’s cold. And you don’t want to be outside or inside, but a thousand miles that way.
Next Time the Sun Comes Round – Medicine Head
This is kind of like “I Lost Something in the Hills” in a way. It’s outside, always. Far away, over fields and oceans. There’s only a long walk in cold rain. New bottles, old medicine.
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
I’ve been carrying this one around for a while now. It’s just haze and smoke and you don’t even know where you are. Shadows. Flickering lights fading. Ghosts.
Flowers (Live) – Rozz Williams
This version is off a bootleg – the name and date of which I never remember – that floats around, from the same era as the recently released Sleeping Dogs live album. I don’t have the whole recording anymore, just this song. The other songs in my list are sad, sure, but this is despair. Black despair. I hesitated to add it in because I can hardly listen to it, but it is the saddest song I know – and this version the saddest one I have. Nothing that can be said reveals what this feels like. It’s worse because of the clapping at the end. Don’t applaud, bow your head. Like a fading flower.