I went to London for 10 days in June, spending the first four days there on my own, so I created a playlist to prepare myself for much solo exploration throughout the streets of my favorite city in the whole wide world. I named it “You must be somewhere in London” and felt very smug about my creativity even if it’s probably completely unoriginal to anyone who has ever heard of The National. The playlist consisted of 498 songs (ambitious?) and let’s be real, I skipped through like 436 of those to just listen to my favorites on repeat and let’s be real again, most of my favorites are depressing af. But hey, London rains all the time and that’s depressing af so the mood fits.
So here’s a list of 7 depressing af (but still really good!) songs for your London playlist:
1. Midnight // Coldplay
In 2009, I went to my first Coldplay concert. It was life-changing. I decided that one day, I would see them in concert in London. Seven years later, all my musical dreams came true and I saw my fave Brits at Wembley with 75,000 other peeps and that! was! thrilling!!!!!
“Midnight” is a song from their sixth album, Ghost Stories, which is depressing in both the subject matter and song quality (not your best, Chris). However, I have a strong affinity toward this song -- it may be all Bon Iver muffly and not Coldplay-like but it’s still a solid one on a not-so-solid album.
2. England // The National
One of the saddest things I could’ve voluntarily done to myself was walk away from an excellent London skyline view on Parliament Hill on my final evening in London with this song as my soundtrack. Imagine that solemn piano opening as you walk away from the most magical place on earth. Necessary mood music even if it makes you want to cry a li’l bit, amiright? This line: “Put an ocean and a river between everybody else, between everything yourself and home.” SO GOOD.
3. Say No More // Fickle Friends
Fickle Friends is a poppy British band my music-trendy friend Lane introduced to me on a drive to see The 1975 in Columbus, Ohio (lol). The sound is what I’m into therefore I’m into this band. No full-length album out currently, but the songs they have released are quite good and fun (the one fun song exception I’ll allow on this list).
4. Lonely Town // Brandon Flowers
Can’t say I’m a fan of The Killers, but I am a fan of lead singer Brandon Flowers’ solo stuff, like this song. This one is upbeat enough to make you want bob your head in conjunction with the rhythm but still depressing enough lyrically to be included on this list. Should be noted that music-trendy-friend Lane also introduced me to this one. And the next one. And “England” by The National, too. Thanks, Lane.
5. Between Me and You // Brandon Flowers
Another Brandon Flowers song because I love me a good *~emotional~* tune about life crises. Fave line: “All my life, I’ve been told, follow your dreams, but the trail went cold.” NICE.
6. Let It Go // James Bay
What a great voice James Bay has! What an upsetting song when you actually listen to the lyrics! So great for sitting on a London bus while watching Londoners run for cover during a downpour and empathizing with their drenched discomfort!
7. Somebody Else // The 1975
Okay okay let me be real one more time and say that the majority of time in London I forewent my playlist altogether and solely listened to The 1975, but they are also a depressing af band so once again, the mood fits. And "Somebody Else" is probably the most depressing song ever. Awesome! There’s also nothing quite like walking aside the Thames while listening to “The Sound” and witnessing Brexit demonstrations. I also listened to “Robbers” excessively on repeat because that song is basically the sonic form of a memory box for all my London experiences. New life dream now that I’ve fulfilled my Coldplay one is to see The 1975 baes in London. Please join me in my obsession for this band.