Hope and despair are sometimes closer than one might recognize. And from time to time drowning in sadness isn’t the worst feeling in the world. It can actually offer some form of relief if you enjoy it in small doses. And since the days are getting longer, winter is about to embrace us with its cold claws we from NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION thought it might be a good time to spread some gloomy sadness today. After all, we’re feeling quite comfortable in a dull environment from time to time. Just take last winter’s Nothing But… Melancholia sampler, for example.
We sad down, looked into ourselves, then in our record collections and back. We dug deep and discovered beautiful bittersweet evergreens from the past years that might not be that familiar to the masses but should belong into the collection and soul of every proper music lover. Slowed down, desperate but also full of hope and, if you like to call it that way, positive melancholia. Feel invited to grab yourself a warm tea, an even warmer blanket, turn up the volume and dive into these songs.
Portrait Of David – ‘Nine-Day Wonders’
Somewhere around 2001 THE WHITE BIRCH member Ola Fløttum became a bit tired of spreading his ‘sadcore’ magic only via one act which resulted in the release of These Days Are Hard To Ignore by PORTRAIT OF DAVID. Just a one-off adventure by the Norwegian songwriter but one that is truly beautiful in its reduced and sad simplicity.
Bohren & der Club of Gore – ‘Midnight Black Earth’
These gentlemen are always a fitting choice when it comes to gloomy and laid back darkness. While their more recent output is dominated by gentle piano sounds their earlier work can be categorized best as some sort of ‘doom jazz.’ Just take this 8-minute-long trip into the heart of darkness.
Savoy Grand – ‘A Trained Dog’
‘A trained dog is a happy dog. You don’t bend, you break.’ Haunting lyrics at the beginning of an album are a tricky thing but these lads from Nottingham really know how to do that. They set a mood with few simple elements making A Trained Dog the wonderful opener for their 2002′ record Burn The Furniture that it is.
Idaho – ‘Hearts of Palm’
The build-up of this aching beauty is really one to send shivers down your spine. Though the LA-based IDAHO are often mentioned alongside the big names of slowcore, their songs sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve. This one from 2000’s Hearts Of Palm maybe is such an example. A good reason to get back to their latest effort You Were A Dick from 2011 with which they reappeared out of the blue. Slowcore’s alive.
Sylvain Chauveau & Ensemble Nocturne – ‘Enjoy The Silence’
You might have heard countless cover versions of DEPECHE MODE’s 1990 evergreen over the past almost 25 years. Most of them can’t compete with the genius of the original. This one by French composer SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU definitely can. It twists the moment of relief (from the original) into a peaceful but also devastating loneliness. Is that really all we ever needed?
Codeine – ‘Cigarette Machine’
Here we have the band after which Ola Fløttum’s THE WHITE BIRCH was named. CODEINE created two records that could really destroy your day; or save it – depending on your mood. Cigarette Machine stems from their 1990 debut Frigid Stars and is just an example of these guys’ ability to create a claustrophobic atmosphere by cold, heavy distortion, rough breaks and spoken words filled up with anxiety and loneliness.
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – ‘Long Walk’
As these gentlemen from Austin, Texas just released their first album in eight years it is wise to remind ourselves of the greatness of their 2006 debut Fear Is On Our Side. Long Walk really feels like what the title implies. Driven by a cold mechanical beat we slight along a path into the cold unknown.
Blueneck – ‘Lilitu’
The guys from BLUENECK will release their anticipated new record King Nine on November the 7th, probably delivering a few more fantastic pieces of melancholia. Maybe even in the style of the heart-wrenching Lilitu from 2009’s The Fallen Host. An almost ten-minute-long monster with great dramaturgy and emotions. Timeless.
Carissa’s Wierd – ‘Sofisticated Fuck Princess Please Leave Me Alone’
Not only are CARISSA’S WIERD the artistic nucleus for bands like BAND OF HORSES or GRAND ARCHIVES. This outfit, formed in 1995, really know how to write songs that bridge indie-rock, shoegaze and sadcore. Their albums actually should be classics. This track, taken from 2002’s Songs About Leaving, with its not so subtle title works great as a breakup-song – reducing the despair of that situation to its devastating core, mixing it with anger and the right amount of defiance.