Mood Music: Ready for the Breakdown

Because I’ve been ill (not in the cool, street cred way) these past few days, I’ve been listening to Frank Ocean’s “Forrest Gump” on repeat and excessive amounts of emotional music in general. As a result, this playlist was made as an ode to miserable sick days and cold, dreary weather.

1. Jake Bugg (UK) – Slide

Dubbed as “an East Midlands Bob Dylan”, 18-year-old Jake Bugg has achieved a lot of success these past few months, from dropping an eponymous debut album last October, which shot straight to number one in the UK charts, to getting nominated for “British Breakthrough Act” against big contenders Rita Ora and Alt-J for the upcoming BRIT Awards. He grew up in council housing – the UK’s version of the projects – and dropped out of school by the age of 16 to focus on his music. At age 17, Bugg had signed a deal with Mercury Records and his success has grown ever since. “Slide” is the 10th track off the album and showcases his simple but finely picked lyrics and soft, melodious guitar. Bugg’s voice will make you want to curl up under your blanket and fall back to a fitful, melancholic sleep. Heartbreaking dreams ahead.

2. Alex Ferreira (Dominican Republic) – Me Pierdo Contigo

Currently based in Madrid, Santo Domingo native Alex Ferreira began writing songs at age 16 and won several music competitions. His first full-length album, Un Domingo Cualquiera, was released in 2010 and achieved marginal success. “Me Pierdo Contigo”, which translates to “I miss you”, is from his 2012 album, El Afán. With wistful instrumentals and a soft yet soaring voice, Ferreira sings about the longing of a loved one and his devotion. Best for when crying over a long-distance relationship or even just missing friends and family.

3. Yellow Ostrich (US) – Hold On

Signed to Barsuk Records, Yellow Ostrich is a three-piece band based in Brooklyn that has put out a lot of music, from EPs to studio albums, since its formation in 2009. Their latest release is an EP called Ghost that formed right after their studio album Strange Land. “Hold On” is from their debut album The Mistress and is a favorite of mine, especially after seeing lead singer, Alex Schaaf, belt it live at a gig last year in DC. It starts off with Schaaf’s vocals – harmonizing on a loop pedal – and a steady bass that mirrors an anxious heart. Schaaf’s voice is reflective as he sings, “Now that we’ve started/It’s sad to see it end/But I’ll try to make it/As long as it’s all right for me to pretend.” It’s a song about a crumbling relationship but Schaaf is quietly determined to make it work, firmly promising that he’ll “hold on”.

4. Hungry Kids of Hungary (Australia) – Eat Your Heart Out

Inspired by the 60s, Hungry Kids of Hungary offers the best in Australian indie music. After forming in 2007, they’ve released two studio albums and a few EPs; their newest album, You’re a Shadow, will be released later this week in Australia. “Eat Your Heart Out” is from their debut LP, Escapades, and highlights the songwriting craft of lead vocalist, Dean McGrath. Featuring steady acoustic guitars under deeper electric guitars and pianos, McGrath’s vocals rise and sweep above the instrumentals. The song evokes the image of parting ways with a lover, while a montage of the past is set as the distance between the two people widens. Yup…I am currently weeping in bed right now.

5. Marcelo Camelo (Brazil) – Meu Amor É Teu

Known as the lead singer and guitarist of Brazilian band, Los Hermanos, Marcelo Camelo is currently going solo during his band’s hiatus. This Rio de Janeiro native released his first solo album in 2008 called Sou. This particular track is from his 2011 album, Toque Dela. “Meu Amor É Teu” roughly translates to “My love is yours” and is rife with charming guitars, moving percussions and even trumpets. It’s an adorably produced song and Camelo’s voice is endearing as he sings about giving all of his love to his sweetheart. It’s one of the more uplifting songs of this playlist but still gives me feels because of the fragile state I’m in.

by Teta Alim 

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