Everybody gets depressed. When I’m in a bad mood, the last thing I want to hear is happy, upbeat music. Sad songs are always more comforting when you feel like shit. But, if you continuously listen to depressing music, it’s only going to get you more upset. Therefore, I created this mixtape to flawlessly aid depressed listeners in their times of need. It begins at a low point and progressively gives the listener a sense of hope. By the time you reach the end of the mixtape, you’ll realize that everything will be just fine.
— Joe Zorzi
Elliott Smith – “Everything Reminds Me Of Her”
I’m not particularly a person who enjoys setting rules — especially when it comes to music preferences and all that jazz. But to be completely honest, if you make a sad mixtape that doesn’t feature at least one Elliott Smith song … well, your mixtape sucks. And so I figured, there’s no better way to start off this mixtape than with this beautifully written song. The guitars are soft and sit nicely behind Smith’s heartfelt vocals. While Smith may not have the best natural voice, you can tell he meant every word of what he said in this song.
Bright Eyes – “A Perfect Sonnet”
Bright Eyes is another one of those artists that cannot be left off a mixtape such as this one. Many people dislike Conor Oberst’s shaky vocal delivery, but those people just don’t get it. This song wouldn’t be nearly as good if it were performed by anyone else. In fact, it would be a very average song. It sounds like Conor’s heart was broken ten minutes before he entered the vocal booth. No matter what mood you’re in before you listen to this song, you’ll automatically become depressed. That might sound negative, but only the best pieces of art can change a person’s mood on the spot. Now, if you actually are depressed I don’t think this is the best place to stop listening. More positive vibes are on their way, I promise.
Band of Horses – “Detlef Schrempf”
My good friend Dan showed me this song a little over a year ago. We were driving late one night, talking about our respective girl troubles. Dan plugged in his iPod and warned that the next song might be depressing. Well shit, was he right. This is one of the saddest love songs I’ve ever heard; but, it’s also one of the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. Benjamin Bridwell’s melodies float over the music so naturally. If the music itself isn’t depressing enough for you, try reading along with the lyrics. If you start crying, it’s okay. I won’t judge.
Jimmy Eat World – “23”
Jimmy Eat World is one of my favorite pop-rock bands. They’ve been around for over 10 years and have this incredible knack for always making great albums. Futures was the first Jimmy Eat World album I ever actually owned. To be honest, when I first got it I wasn’t much of a fan. But now that I’m older, I realize how amazing songs like “23” really are. You can feel the emotion in Jim Atkins vocals and the string section adds so much feeling to the music. This song is the transitional song on this mixtape, starting out very dark but ending with a sense of hope. Although it clocks in at seven minutes and twenty-four seconds, the song is constantly building and never gets boring.
Chronic Future – “New York, NY”
Other than their semi-successful single “Time and Time Again”, Chronic Future never really got the recognition they deserved. I always thought “New York, NY” was the real gem on their album, Lines In My Face. The opening keyboard really sets the mood for this song right away. Hip-hop and rock have been meshed numerous times with mixed results, but Chronic Future really do it well. The song continuously builds and eventually just smacks you in the face with awesomeness. “New York, NY” is the first full “pick-me-up” song on the mixtape. The song structure, combined with the lyrics, capture the frustrations associated with life and how you have to move past them.
The Dangerous Summer – “The Permanent Rain”
No matter how I’m feeling, my mood increases tenfold when I put this song on. It helps that I’m a sucker for delay pedals and “big” choruses. The lyrics are about moving on after losing someone close and the music compliments the lyrical content perfectly. By the time The Dangerous Summer finish delivering their message, it’s hard to not feel better about things. This is the only song I could think of to end this mixtape, and if it doesn’t help your mood, I’m sorry. At least my day’s better.