Death Blooms

What more can be said about the notion of “death” that hasn’t already been said. Things perish all the time. People die everyday. Relationships crumble and buildings fall. There is death everywhere we look. Not to be a “Negative Ned” about all this stuff though, it just that I find this notion of “death” so fascinating. Specifically, the theme of death within music. It’s just the coolest thing. I can stand happy music. If I hear one more Jack Johnson song about feet and turning the world upside down, I am going drop an anvil on my “bubbly toes” (Yeah that’s right, I said it). And it is probably because of where I currently stand in my life. I am a twenty-two year old who will be graduating college soon, and I have know idea where I’m going. I’m full of anxiety and questions unanswered, and I think that directly reflects my musical tastes. I enjoy music that can convey true emotion. We all latch onto those kinds of songs. They are the songs that live on forever within your psyche. So for the purposes of this blog, I focused in on songs that sound like death. Whether through their lyrical content, the music itself, or both, I believe these songs encapsulate the dismal emotions that we all feel, in a very beautiful, and in some cases, extremely abrasive way. Enough of my homily…listen to these tracks.

Ulver -What Happened?

This is a band out of Norway. This song is off of their most recent release Shadows Of The Sun. Years ago they were part of the raging black metal scene in Norway, but have since progressed into a dark and gloomy electronic force. The band members themselves are elusive, rarely give interviews, and never tour. I was blown away the first time I heard this song. It conveys an extremely depressing feeling, especially through the string section towards the end of the song. Overall, it is just a beautiful track.


Elliott Smith – Speed Trials

What more can be said about Elliott that hasn’t already been said. I have honestly only recently come to discover how good of a musician he is; his songwriting capabilities, his quiet, mournful vocal melodies, and his melancholic guitar playing all add to his gloomy aura. As a listener, you can really get a sense of how troubled he was when he was alive. Elliott was able to really pour his heart out for the listener, which is a gift many music fans don’t often get to receive.


Imogen Heap – Rake It In

This song just really hits me. This is off of Imogen’s Heap’s first album, iMEGAPHONE. Much darker than her more recent material, the songs off of that album are fairly aggressive. I honestly feel a bit anxious when I hear this song.


Jeff Buckley – Dream Brother

Jeff Buckley is one of the best singers I’ve ever heard. There is no one else in music that comes close to sounding like him. Grace is one of the best albums of the 90s, and sadly, his only full-length release. There have been several releases of various b-sides and live cuts that he had recorded prior to his tragic drowning death in 1997. This song is quite eerie, definitely something to be listened to in the dark with a pair of headphones.



1 Response to “Death Blooms”

  1. 1 matt
    April 23, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    big fan of Imogen Heap! i’m most interested in the song “hide and seek.” its definitely a bit more “involved” than some of the other songs i’ve heard from her. plus, the electronica-voice kit she used throughout the song is mind blowing.

    keep up the blog work. i like learning ’bout all these new bands!


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