By: Staff –
Winnipeg-based pop band Panicland is back with their brand new single “Wasted”, and to celebrate they curated an exclusive “Sad Songs that Make Me Happy” Spotify playlist. Check it out below!
Johnny Cash – Hurt
This is one of those rare, rare songs where only this specific artist could pull it off and, ironically, it’s a cover. Hearing someone at the end of their life sing about regret is pretty scary/eye-opening. You know how relieved you feel when you wake up from a nightmare? That’s what I feel when this song ends. The dry/upfront production and intense low piano inspired the mood of our single, “Wasted”.
Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry
Out of all these songs I find this one the saddest. I always ask people “Do you like ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’?” – when they answer ‘nope’ I ask them if they’ve ever laid down in the dark and listened to it start to finish. If anyone reading this has never done this (it would honestly be weird if you have), I strongly suggest it.
Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes
To me this song sounds lonely/desperate. Imagine someone getting all dressed up for their birthday party that they’ve been looking forward to for weeks – they walk downstairs and see that nobody showed up. That’s how this song feels.
KISS – Beth
KISS is incredibly underrated musically. Lots of sad songs centred around some sort of conflict. In this song it at first sounds like he’s conflicted about whether he should choose making music over a girl, but when you listen a few times you realize he’s not conflicted at all – he’s just trying to explain his choice in the nicest way possible. And musically it sounds like a darker version of something off the “Sgt. Peppers” album.
The Eagles – Desperado
This song is like a wise old man that appears out of nowhere and gives you great advices – then you realize it was just your imagination. I’m listening to it as a write this and it makes me physically sick because of how good it is.
Kermit the Frog – Rainbow Connection
The banjo chords at the beginning are the saddest moments in this whole list. I still can’t figure out what it is about this song that’s so sad – it’s not nostalgia because I’ve never really seen The Muppets. I think it has something to do with hearing a fictional character that represents childhood innocence sing about his future being unknown. Still have to think about this one!
Creed – My Sacrifice
I just wanted to throw in a little dad-rock here as an intermission. I love songs that aren’t religious songs but use religious imagery to intensify whatever emotion is coming across. This has been one of my favourite songs for the past little while.
John Lennon – Stand By Me
To me, like with Bette Davis, this song sounds desperate. The chord progression is a classic 50’s progression we’ve all heard a million times, which implies this desperate emotion is rooted in a place of nostalgia. It’s like he’s begging for someone from his childhood he knows he’ll never see again – or something he knows is unattainable but for the 3 minutes of this song it doesfeel attainable. Of course this is cover of a song written during a time when that progression was hip, so I’m sure that wasn’t his intent – just how it feels.
Bruce Springsteen – Hungry Heart
I like the combination of the mid-60’s Motown-style production, which implies a carefree youthfulness, and the jaded-ness of the lyrics. It takes the Motown mood of “I’m young and carefree, ready to take on the world!” and mixes that with “I don’t like where I’m at in life”, which becomes a reeeeally enjoyable bandaid. It’s very cool to hear that angle in pop music. This was usually the role of country music in the 70’s. Pop music was usually directed at young people who dealt with their issues through music that painted a phantasy picture of where they want to be in life, the same way hip-hop does today. Country music was directed at an older demographic who dealt with their problems through music that helped them face their problems directly but from the most appealing angle possible. This is where the working class anthem comes from.
Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere
I think this was intended to be a happy song but I don’t find it is. The chords at the beginning and the long, airy hiss effects make me see lots of grey and clouds. To me that implies that this song is more of a dream that contrasts a less care-free, innocent reality. These aren’t things that I actually think about when I’m listening – I feel/see these things first and then for fun try to break down what is making me feel that way.