Following their early-doors tour with Inhaler to open the year, Fuzzy Sun dropped a two-part single that sees them embrace the contrast between the upbeat and the melancholy, ‘A Modern Kind Of Blue’ b/w ‘Sorry, Honey’. It’s a well-loved dichotomy that’s been present in some proper bangers over the years, including this batch here, curated into a ‘Happy/Sad’ playlist by vocalist/guitarist Kyle Ross ahead of the band’s performance at Homeschool this weekend. Give it a whirl, eh?
Dolly Parton – Jolene
For me this has to be one of the saddest songs ever written in terms of heartbreak, it’s literally a woman begging another woman for her not to steal her man and, even though she knows he doesn’t want her, she loves him that much she will do anything to stay with him. True heartache for me, that. But the tune itself always feels somewhat joyous and is rather upbeat, I’ve said it to a few people before and they say: ‘oh yeah suppose it is sad isn’t it.’ I think a lot of people just want to throw a hoedown to it.
Steely Dan – Bad Sneakers
Hard to have any list of tunes that don’t feature the almighty, Steely Dan! This song’s always been a favourite of mine and a tune that always puts a smile on my face. But if you have a listen to the lyrics, the basic story is about someone being lost in the world, and actually losing their mind. I think a nice verse that demonstrates the sadness in this tune is this one:
‘Do you take me for a fool
Do you think that I don’t see?
That ditch out in the valley
That they’re digging just for me’
That feeling of abandonment by people and society for not being part of the normal order, really echoes in that line, and is very upsetting.
Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – Glasgow Jubilee
If you haven’t heard this album (which I assume many won’t) you should 100% go and put it on – it’s absolutely amazing. Most the songs on the album are very sombre but Glasgow Jubilee almost has a tacky homemade disco feel, with a funky riff that really picks your ears up and gives you a little groove. Aidan Moffat precedes to tell us a story over this upbeat instrumentation in his classic fashion. This is where the sadness arises, he just tells stories of prostitutes, sleazy businessmen, adultery and so on. It just manages to paint quite a bleak picture of things that happen in the world, maybe the side of reality we don’t like to think of too much. Ending on a classic line: ‘Don’t let it get you down, we could all be dead tomorrow.’
The Clash – Spanish Bombs
London Calling is an album I’ve been listening to since I was about 10-years old, and Spanish Bombs was always a song I just loved the sound of and used to jump around my room to. It’s got a very infectious melody coupled with those stabby guitars, and Spanish lines in the chorus, making it a very enticing pop/rock tune. As I got a bit older, I got more into understanding the lyrics and found out the song actually came from when Strummer heard about the ETA terror bombings of tourist hotels in Costa Brava in the 70’s. It also references the Spanish civil war. So yeah, I think out of all the picks this song definitely has the saddest and most poignant of lyrics which most definitely contrast the nature of the music.
New Order – Age of Consent
A song about the impending conclusion of a relationship, it reflects a reluctance or unwillingness from both sides to actually take the decision to end it. Musically, it is full of hope and optimism, but the lyrics contrast this greatly. The opening verse begins with ‘won’t you please let me go,’ and the outro repeats ‘I’ve lost you,’ which characterises the song’s theme of indecision and regret. If you wanted to, you could also read into the lack of a generic chorus which raises further doubts that the step will ever be taken. Either way, it is the perfect happy/sad song at parties.
Fuzzy Sun are taking part in new online festival Homeschool, which runs from 8th-10th May – visit homeschoolfest.com for details.