This summer has been quite the bummer, right? We here at Tell Me Something got to thinking: What is the biggest bummer song? You know, that song that you put on and to make yourself feel sad and super Zach Braff-y. Well, there's really only one way to find out and that's an incredibly sad, deeply depressing and somewhat biased look at the songs that bring us down the most presented in a confusing and, again, biased form. Here we go...
Bright Eyes - "If Winter Ends"
I first heard If Winter Ends, by Bright Eyes when I was 17 and depressed. I had lost most of my friends because they weren't happy about the guy I was dating. The guy I was dating broke up with me, which was actually the least of his hurtful offenses. So I spent a lot of time listening to sad music, thinking my life was over. Side note- your life is not over at 17 when someone breaks up with you. Trust me. If Winter Ends resonated, for sure. Conor talked about needing to escape and not being wanted. More importantly , "if I can't learn to make myself feel better, how can I expect anyone else to give a shit?" I would listen to this song over and over again, waiting for someone to come save me. It didn't happen, but Bright Eyes did make me feel less alone. A fact not lost on the people around me, as my father called Conor Oberst my "cry-baby boyfriend."
In the end, no one came and got me. I also didn't drive myself off a cliff. I went away to college and made new friends and life got infinitely better, and continues to get better to this day. Still, if I'm ever feeling really bummed, I'll give this song a listen, and remind myself to start giving a shit about... myself. -Theresa Martin
The Mountain Goats - "The Mess Inside"
There is something really, terribly magical about The Mountain Goats. John Darnielle and his band of merry gentlemen have been filling our worried hearts with music for over twenty years, the bulk of which I can only describe as "god damn perfect". For many of those years Darnielle used limited production (essentially just a cassette recorder) to record these poetic masterpieces, one of the most potent comes off of 2002's All Hail West Texas. The unbelievable thing about "The Mess Inside" is how limited the song actually is; a dusty cassette recorder on the floor, a man with a guitar and a tale about the worst part of a break up: trying to make it work.
The song tells the story of a couple doing everything they can to fix what is wrong with their relationship. They travel across the globe to try to rekindle the love they once felt, but no matter how far they travel and how hard they try they just can't find it. The more that dirty cassette tape turns in the recording the further we drift toward the inevitable. It's the knowledge that something's just can't be. The most stomach churning moments of the song come when Darnielle pleads with this lost girlfriend, "I wanted you to love me like you used to do." The song reminds us that everything ends, even the things we love the most and hold the closest, everything ends. -Dylan Wise