My friend Honey turns a year older tomorrow. In my teens she introduced me to some of the musical artists who have spoken to and for me so, so many times in my life. Happy birthday, Honey. The world’s better with you in it.
As always, these are not in any intentional order.
1. The Smiths – As evidenced here, The Smiths are my go to when I feel crummy and need a band who understands. No one gets angst, insecurity, relational fear and existential dread like Morrissey. And if you have 5 second to spare, I can tell you the story of my life: Sixteen, clumsy and shy – that’s the story of my life.
2. The Cure – If Edgar Allen Poe were still alive, Robert Smith would be his favorite songwriter. He’s androgynous and fucked up and beautiful and he just positively bleeds in his lyrics. Campy at times? Sure. But he makes campy as classy as it gets. Don’t wake at night to watch her sleep, you know that you will always lose this trembling adored tousled bird mad girl.
3. Echo and the Bunnymen – I have to confess, this is the artist I’m least familiar with and attached to on this list. I love their sound, but they’ve never quite cracked the Cure/Smiths/Depeche Mode group in my head. Still, there are times when they’re exactly what I want to listen to.
4. Suzanne Vega – Vega’s Solitude Standing album easily makes my top ten albums of all time list. Her music if haunting and her lyrics cut deep. I won’t use words again. They don’t mean what I meant. They don’t say what I said.
5. Depeche Mode/Martin Gore – I don’t know that the 80s saw a better rock lyricist than Martin Gore. Their music is fantastic, but I don’t know if I could take it as seriously without his at times pitch perfect words over top of it. I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours, but I think that god’s got a sick sense of humor, and when I die I expect to find him laughing.