Lykke Li – “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”

Lykke Li’s sophomore record might have been somewhat infamously spurned here at TND, but we are pretty stoked for her new one! Li has just announced her third LP, I Never Learn, and has released this gorgeous, heartbreaking video for album track “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”. The track features nothing but Li’s voice and a simple acoustic guitar, but that’s all she needs for this one. The melody slowly ebbs and flows into these painfully emotive peaks, culminating in the glorious climax around the 3 minute mark where she takes what seems like a natural, unplanned pause. The sadness in that rest is palpable. This song is all about Li’s passionate vocal. Simplicity has worked for her before (especially on tracks like “Silent My Song“) and it serves her very well here. Li claims this new record is comprised almost entirely of “power ballads”, and if they are all of this caliber, I think we are in for a (wrenching) treat.

I Never Learn is out May 6 via LL/Atlantic.

Elvis Depressedly – “Pepsi/Coke Suicide”

Stream: Elvis Depressedly – “Pepsi/Coke Suicide”

Elvis Depressedly has dropped a new track from the upcoming release, Holo Pleasures and it really feels like steady improvement.

Mat Cothran has been recording this album with his full band and it really shows with the fullness of the sound. In many ways the instrumentation feels warm on this track, but if you are familiar with Cothran at all you know that his lyrics are going to directly conflict with that. It creates an air of uneasy comfort and it really makes the song stick out, while showing just how much creative content can come from this guy. In the end there is always an element of some kind of beauty within this music too, something that I have been unable to resist so far.

Various Artists – 420 Love Songs (First 40)

Some of today’s most melancholy and brutally honest songwriters have had their demos gathered from the 420 Love Songs Tumblr into a bandcamp compilation of infinite, sadness.

On here you can expect to see plenty from Sam Ray (Teen Suicide, Ricky Eat Acid, Julia Brown) who runs the Tumblr as well as his known friends like Mat Cothran (Coma Cinema, Elvis Depressedly), Infinity Crush, Happy Trendy, and some others. This is a compilation of song demos so you should know before going in that they are ridiculously lo-fi and distorted in some cases, but the way I look at it is it just adds to the whole theme of sad, longing love. This is still an going project so if you like what you hear here be sure to check out the Tumblr for more.

Freddie Gibbs- “The Hard” ft. Dana Williams

Indiana gangsta rapper Freddie Gibbs has dropped a new song featuring Dana Williams, which effectively lives up to its name “The Hard.”

Gibbs like many other artists of the sort gives off an air of toughness that is undeniable even down to his gruff voice. He does this just as well as anybody else, but he delivers a sort of realism to his words that doesn’t exactly feel like he is trying glorify that kind of lifestyle. The track actually feels like it would totally fit in with the last album from The Roots, Undun, right down to the production. It has that identical sad undertone to it that when it came to Undone, it was because you already knew how the story ended. Above all else Gibbs has managed to deliver the gritty verses necessary to compliment that production.

Elvis Depressedly- Mickey’s Dead

South Carolinian Matt Cothran, a.k.a. Coma Cinema, a.k.a. Elvis Depressedly, has a new set of tracks out proving his worth as a sad, sad songsmith. He’s diversifying the sounds he works with as well, making use of more synths, vocal effects, harmonica, and even throwing some cello in there for good measure.

Robin Pecknold- “Olivia, in a Separate Bed”

Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes has released this song demo where he pines for the love of a woman named Olivia. The song being a demo is pretty stripped down, and features Pecknold’s strong vocals over some lightly strummed acoustic guitar. The vocals in combo with the lyrics display a great contradiction of beauty and sadness. In some ways the song resembles a courtly love poem of a man being smitten with someone he has little contact with. It is an uncharacteristically sad tune for Pecknold and he has said it is likely going to change. This track offers the range of his songwriting and some of the different directions that Fleet Foxes or Pecknold himself could take, which is something I wouldn’t mind seeing.