Sad music doesn't have to bring you down - sometimes a sad song punches you in the gut and leaves you staggering but strangely energized. When you have a lyricist like Craig Finn and a guitar player like Tad Kubler, you get pummeled on many different levels.
This song is about as bleak as it gets - the focus of the singer's love and attention slides into drug hell and all he can do is watch. The story is told with the true grit and grime of addiction, the lies, the money, the loss, and is summed up in one of the most cathartic guitar solos I know.
This track will resonate with anyone who's been affected by drugs, either their own addiction or that of someone they love. While most of us make it out the other end - for some there is no positive outcome. As the final lines of the song go:
"...I know it's unlikely she'll ever be mine,
so I mostly just pray she don't die."
Music to grieve to indeed.
You can learn more about The Hold Steady here:
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state. I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.
If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.