Artist: John Newman
Released: October 14, 2013
John Newman reaffirms Britain’s knack for churning out artists with soul. “Easy,” following Tribute’s theme of rollercoaster romance, is a downhill moment on the ride. “Just another song/ Just another tale/ Of a broken heart” is the opening line of this brooding track, and as suggested, the content is not particularly poetic. Despite this, Newman manages to add a profundity to the lyrics with his powerful vocal rendering of the sentiment, starting small and tender, then escalating to a gut-wrenching chorus that makes the endlessly recycled heartbreak theme sound fresh again.
Album: If You Leave
Released: March 18, 2013
If the music they make is in anyway reflective of their life experience, London trio Daughter are no strangers to misery—particularly when it comes to lost love. “Touch” poignantly captures the sense of disconnect and loneliness that comes with a broken heart. Vocalist Elena Tonra sings “I’m dreaming of strangers/ Kissing me in the night/ Just so I/ Just so I can feel something.” Whether or not you can relate, for a moment you sink into that dark place with her.
Artist: Kacey Musgraves
Album: Same Trailer Different Park
Released: March 19, 2013
“Stupid” is a refreshingly unsentimental look at relationships that playfully condemns love in general. Though Musgrave’s vocals are not particularly powerful, her songwriting voice—full of matter-of-fact wit and companionable charm—manages to draw you in. This track, with its twangy acoustic guitar and relatable message will make you want to crank it up and stomp your feet as you revel in all its cynical glory.
Artist: Damien Rice
Released: February 1, 2002
Sometimes there’s nothing better than shutting off all the lights, curling up with some cozy blankets, and listening to some really depressing music. “Delicate,” a song about an unhealthy relationship, follows Rice’s tendency to seamlessly glide between bareboned acoustic ruminations to grandly orchestrated balladry. Though such dramatic production and heart-on-sleeve lyrics like, “So why do you fill my sorrow/ With the words you’ve borrowed” can often seem contrived, Rice’s delivery always feels pure and sincere. When the mopey mood strikes, no one is a better guest at your pity party than the king of lonely hearts himself, Damien Rice.