Any band involving singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek, specifically Red House Painter and/or Sun Kil Moon
, is almost scientifically engineered to be depressing. Red House Painters
are a strange case. Not only are about 90 percent of their songs pure Tear Jerker
, but their music has been rumored to give people eerily suicidal thoughts. Let's put it this way, they took a subgenre called "slowcore" and decided to sadden it up even more
by calling it sad
- The most notorious example is "Shadows" which is just Mark Kozelek alone at the piano singing about a couple that forces themselves to stay in a relationship despite how wrong they are for each other. Yes, this type of subject matter is a regular thing for them.
- Heck, even when they're not trying to invoke this trope the fans still try to interpret this song as a Tear Jerker. And for good reason. Take "Summer Dress" for instance. The song is a tribute to Emily Dickinson who wrote a poem about herself feeling unloved and like to go to the beach to calm herself. However, because of the way Kozelek wrote the lyrics, many fans interpreted it as a girl who was sad with her life and drowned herself at the beach.
- Their cover of Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs" turns the song from an uplifting ballad to a pure gut-wrenching tearjerker.
- Their cover for The Cars' "All Mixed Up" is sad on its own just with the way it's performed... But the music video offers a visual interpretation of the song: An imaginary friend that realizes she doesn't exist. It takes having to watch it to get the full impact of the video.
- As a combined Tearjerker, there's the World Trade Center looming in the background... as well as a good portion of the video shot in the courtyard of the twin towers.
- In addition to the aforementioned tracks, Ocean Beach also reels two big ones at the end in the forms of ''Moments'' and the melancholy closing track ''Drop''
- There's also the brief, yet very effective and underrated song known as "Red Carpet".
- Almost the entire album of Rollercoaster is considered to be an extremely rough listen to make it all the way through for some. The constant visuals of murder, suicide, depression, drug abuse, and violence are just way too much for people with rough pasts to take. However, the album makes it's point with the track "Strawberry Hill", which is considered one of the band's best songs. The song details a friend of Kozelek's that was threatening suicide and his attempt to convince them they are a wonderful person and not to kill themselves, as Kozelek knows and understands what they're going through. This suddenly makes all the overly sad imagery of the album come together as an uplifting message from Kozelek to depressed people to not give up and that all is not bleak and sad. The final track "Brown Eyes" brings the album to a close on an uplifting note.
- The Bridge album gives us a great one by the name of "Bubble".
- Another track of that album called "Blindfold" is also one.
- Then there's "Uncle Joe". The opening line "Where have all the people gone in my life?" is enough to get you teary-eyed. The rest of the song is just pure depression.
- It doesn't help that "Uncle Joe", just like "Strawberry Hill" is about Kozelek's struggle with depression and suicide. Uncle Joe was the uncle he was living with at the time.
- Songs For A Blue Guitar, while not entirely as depressing as Rollercoaster can offer several nostalgia-induced tearjerkers. The entirety of the album seems to be about the troubles growing up and making the slow transition to adulthood.
- The first track on Down Colorful Hill "24" definitely qualifies as one.
- "Medicine Bottle" also qualifies when you realize that the character described in the song is actually Kozelek himself.
- The closing track off the album "Michael", based on a friend of Kozelek's, is also one.
- Even Old Ramon arguably their most upbeat album, has a big one in the form of "Smokey".
- The unreleased early demos contain one called "Headsore"