Press Play: An ode to chill-abus week
Here are a few moody tunes to match your back-to-school blues as real work takes the place of Syllabus Week splendor:
1. “Angels” — The xx
These artsy band members are the unofficial connoisseurs of pop sadness, known for donning all black attire and responsible for the creation of some utterly soul-wrenching pieces of music. “Angels,” the premier single off the band's newest album, Coexist, which is set to be released Sept. 11, is indeed a part of the aforementioned category. The minimalist vocal style and low bass tones give off an incredibly saddening vibe, yet it is still a powerful and magnificent song. After the explosion of its well-acclaimed first album, only The xx could drop the least cheery single possible and still remain incredibly popular. This song uses emotional soul in a way I have only seen done successfully by The Cure, and that is a difficult thing to accomplish.
2. “Love That’s Gone” — La Sera
Indie princess “Kickball” Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls released her second solo album, Sees the Light, this spring under the name La Sera with plenty of swooning, beach-rock sound. “Love That’s Gone” sounds like something straight from a '60s record with a mellow tune that carries throughout and consistent guitar and drums. The lyrics express a bit of a bummer situation with a happy ending — a past love has gone awry and resulted in the realization of newfound independence. This sleepy breakup hit definitely has a lonely feel fitting for any down-in-the-dumps day.
3. “Fingers Never Bleed" — Yeasayer Off its latest album, Yeasayer brings the, well, creepy factor into this single, but in a good way. The collection of dizzy beats and ghoulish, drawn-out vocals make this an especially chilling piece of music. A title as mysterious as digits without blood should give you a hint as to the moodiness of this track. Yeasayer has created a borderline emo anthem to cope with the depression of summer’s end.
4. “Constant Conversations" — Passion Pit
After what seems like an eternity, Passion Pit finally dropped its much-anticipated album, Gossamer, in July featuring this golden track. The slightly melancholy tone is not customary of lead vocalist Michael Angelakos, but with the sensual back vocals and plenty of low-tone electronic influence, it fits. This song stands out on the album as clearly unique, a slight break from the upbeat cheer that radiates from the rest. “Constant Conversations” is a beautifully constructed piece of music that shows Passion Pit’s maturity and growth as a band. It’s a perfect choice to settle down to after a long, stressful day.
5. “Flowers in Your Hair" — The Lumineers
This up-and-coming trio has been dominating the radio with its single “Ho Hey” recently, but this track off its self-titled debut slows down and focuses on the little things in life and relationships. This band emanates modern folk similar to bands like Mumford & Sons, alternating between steady and fast paces with sad but sweet vocals. Although short in length, this song creates an old-world atmosphere and sound that allows listeners to create their own imagery.