posted by Krisi
November 2022

If you are here, you're probably going through something, and with this list, we want to remind you you're not alone. We gathered 9 of our favorite sad indie songs that will make you feel a little bit more understood. Even if you are completely okay and on the lookout for new sad jams, look no further, and let's align your playlist to the weather outside together.

Here is a short list of the artists we are going to present to you:

  • sombr
  • Cigarettes After Sex
  • mehro
  • Celeste
  • The Franklin Electric
  • Tom Rosenthal
  • RY X
  • Patrick Watson x Sea Oleena
  • Katie Gregson-MacLeod

sombr - willow

The multi-instrumentalist is taking his inspirations on the streets of New York as his guitar is the one sending the mellow harmonies our way. sombr has a voice that can make everybody a little touched, and his delivery in "willow" is no exception.

The charismatic tune is aching for love almost gone hooking up on them because we don't want them gone. And even if you haven't been through that exact situation you would imagine it clearly in your head as the melody surrounds every part of your reality right now.

Cigarettes After Sex - Pistol

It's dreamy, it's haunting, it's Cigarettes After Sex. The Texas natives once again prove that the misty nostalgia is something they can incorporate into their pieces easily, and their latest bullet "Pistol" is а prove they didn't lose their magic after so many years. The fragile indie piece welcomes us with a reverbed guitar, soft drums, and the resigned, calm vocals of Greg Gonzalez. A track to watch the rain outside falling, making you feel like the main character for almost four minutes.

mehro - whore

The track is an anthem for all the lost souls out there. Sam Sturges is a 22-year-old musician from the US, and as he is taking the word to make us wonder before we hit "play", he's actually using it as a metaphor, making us all feel like a "whore". His soft voice pricks us through a blur of hazy instrumental with distinct guitars as he goes "we've all been used before/nobody's clean".

Celeste - To Love A Man

Now, this one is more influenced by the smoky jazz era, but still, it finds a place to sit here because that indie sorrow is entangled in "To Love A Man".

The Brighton-raised Celeste was named the Brit Award Rising Star of 2020, as she is also mainly inspired by Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald. Her granddad would play their cassette tapes on repeat, and now we hear the results. "To Love A Man" explores the feeling of what it is to be in love with someone, and the poetry in her words captures the ear over a scarce instrumental. Everything we can take on days like this.

The Franklin Electric - Answers

The Montreal-based singer-songwriter knows how to make a conversation with the listener through a story so vivid you feel transparent. Every word and each strike of the guitar strings is almost reconciled as Franklin doesn't stop to take a long breath, frightened you'll get distracted and won't hear all of the truths. "But you were looking for direction/Trying to make it by/Always looking for the shortcuts/You’ve been racing this whole time". And for the first time in a long time, we are slowing down at the fast pace of his words. 

Tom Rosenthal - Never Not Sunday

Another one striking with poetry between catchy indie bars. Tom Rosenthal has been around for a while, but his life changed completely when one of his 2018 tracks "Lights Are On" went viral on TikTok. Since then, his numbers have been going up, and now he has his own label called Tinpot Records and is continuing to self-release alongside other artists. The melancholic vibe was always there, and "Never Not Sunday" falls under the same ray of blue, but this time Tom decides to be a bit more optimistic. His voice and the acoustic guitar as the main instrument as he goes back to the simplicity of his youth "Now the time is a weight on my wrist/All of my hearts have wandered off without me/To the land I once knew as a boy/I ran through the light, it was never not Sunday".

RY X - Let You Go

His biggest influences are Pearl Jam and Jeff Buckley, and he started pretty strong back in 2006. However, the Los Angeles-based artist's breakthrough moment was the track "Berlin" four years ago. His latest album Blood Moon tests our crying nature, and "Let You Go" is part of this sad, marvelous experience. The hazy vocals in the track haunt us as the guitar dares to stay awake and upfront so we do not forget who the host is here. It's like a warm siren song and stays that way even when the electronic beat makes its way through the element crowd. 

Patrick Watson x Sea Oleena - Stay

The Montreal artist has our heart and squeezes it every time we hear the first notes of "Je te laisserai des mots". He does it often because it hasn't been taken down our personal playlist since 2015. The songwriter composes music for films, and these inspirations are in everything he and his band bless us with. Better In Shade is the EP that came out earlier this year, and everything in there is absolute gold, but we decided to highlight the collab with the ambient folk Canadian musician Sea Oleena - "Stay". The experimental nature of the track does not run away from the indie roots both musicians have. And it's like a fairytale with two voices in complete harmony. With a sense of grief and beauty, we are embracing every trippy stroke of the drum. 

Katie Gregson-MacLeod - complex

We love the songs that we can feel while listening. Katie's vocals are stunning, and as we move our heads slowly with the vibration of the piano, we remember that obsession is a normal reaction sometimes. It's a heartbreaking song that the Scottish artist is pulling us in. But it's okay. We like it when a song breaks down with us. That way we know that we may be called art.

Sad Indie Songs Playlist

So, there it is. Our final selection of sad indie songs that you can absolutely stream one after the other in our Indie Escape playlist.

Besides that selection, you can listen to artists like:

  • Bon Iver
  • Dope Lemon
  • Hayden Calnin
  • Ben Howard
  • Alice Phoebe Lou
  • Leo Stannard name a few.