Jens Lekman

10 Sad Songs That Will Make You Surprisingly Happy

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The UN, which apparently doesn’t have anything better to do, has released what it’s calling a list of the world’s happiest songs, in support of something called the International Day of Happiness. If you’re of a certain persuasion, though, you probably regard “happy” songs with the sort of creeping dread you otherwise reserve for “bubbly” shop assistants and “uplifting” motivational homilies. And you’re not the only one — there’s been plenty of research into why sad songs can leave us feeling happy (and, conversely, hearing Pharrell’s “Happy” one more time can leave one with the urge to kill). Scientific evidence aside, there are certain songs that, while undoubtedly sad, are somehow also uplifting — happy/sad songs, for want of a better term. Here are ten of our favorites.
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A Selection of Hitherto Unseen Responses to Famous Songs

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The idea of writing a song lyric as a letter is one that’s as old as music itself, but if you’re like Flavorwire, you may have occasionally found yourself wondering: what if the recipient of the song in question wrote back? What might they have to say? Wonder no longer, dear readers, because through the magic of a program that grants access to the the hitherto undiscovered secret archives of rock (aka Photoshop CS5), here are the unseen responses to a bunch of our favorite “letter” songs.
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Reverse SAD: 10 Works of Art That Celebrate Winter

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I feel for people with seasonal affective disorder. I really do. And I can sympathize, too, because as soon as spring turns into summer, as the air gets muggy and heat gets oppressive and the big comforter is consigned to the closet for another year, I get reverse SAD. I really do. If you’re like me, this time of year is like waking from a shitty night’s sleep in a room that’s too hot to get comfortable to find that a cool change has finally come — it’s like you can function again, like the brisk wind has blown away a fug of depression and fatigue. And look, even if you don’t feel this way, there’s a lot to like about winter, and many of our greatest artists have done a wonderful job of capturing the mood of this time of year.
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The 25 Greatest Songs About City Life

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Most big cities with any sort of history have a song. If that city’s New York, it has about 1000 of ’em. But to be a classic of the genre, the song has to speak to bigger themes about city life, be it the hustle, the danger, or the beauty below the filth. Here are the 25 best, from Lou Reed to Nas to The …Read More

10 of the Most Deceptively Depressing Songs in History

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The legend of the Hungarian Suicide Song is one of those things that does the rounds on the blogs every few years, and it surfaced again on io9 over the weekend. The song in question — László Jávor and Rezső Seress’s “Szomorú vasárnap,” which translates into English as “Gloomy Sunday” — is famous for having allegedly catalyzed multiple suicides over the years, including its composer Seress’ in 1968. Quite how much truth there is in all this is forever unclear, but one thing’s for sure: the song’s depressing as hell. Still, it’s not always the obviously downbeat songs that cover disturbing and/or depressing subject matter — sometimes it’s the most deceptively jaunty songs that conceal the saddest lyrics.

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20 Great Albums You Can (Legally) Download for Free Right Now

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David Byrne and St. Vincent have followed up their excellent Love This Giant album from last year with a new EP entitled Brass Tactics. Apart from the fact that it contains a previously unreleased track, the most notable thing about the EP is that they’re giving it away for free, making it the latest addition to an ever-increasing volume of music that you can download — legally! — for free right now. There’s so much, in fact, that it’s kind of overwhelming. Here’s a selection of 20 records that Flavorwire recommends you add to your collection right …Read More

10 New Tracks You Need to Hear This Week: David Bowie, Suede

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It’s Friday, which means that, yes, it’s time for us to round up the 10 most noteworthy tracks of the week that’s gone by for your listening — and, ideally, downloading — pleasure. It’s been a pretty fantastic week for new music, and thus there’s plenty of goodness to be had after the jump: the return of Suede and that Bowie chap, Jens Lekman writing a song for two big-hearted fans, Thom Yorke doing Thom Yorke things, new solo stuff from Electrelane’s Verity Susman, a kinda interesting Majical Cloudz remix, new songs from Low and La Big Vic… and more! Everything awaits you at the click of a mouse. Get into it, gentle readers!
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