Hotel Books

 

There’s something about spoken-word music that I really love. It’s  expression at its rawest, which, combined with calm and somber music, creates something truly powerful.

I just came across Hotel Books yesterday and it’s a perfect example for what I mean. See for yourself. Prepare to be punched in the feels.

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Beartooth

Beartooth delivers a fantastic mix that blends raw and powerful with melodic and catchy in pure energy. The vocals are incredibly passionate, sincere and diverse, fitting absolutely well to the heavy issues the songs deal with.

While the first album Disgusting mainly revolves around the pain and despair resulting from severe depression and definitely captures expierencing what that feels like really, really well. The second album Aggressive has a more positive, more hopeful attitude and is more focused with moving on from that. I like both of them very much. When you’re just about to crash, already screaming internally, this is the stuff to listen to.

Also, the song Sick and Disgusting is one of the most heart-wrenching songs I’ve ever listened to.

 

Sufjan Stevens

Devastating.

The songs on Carrie & Lowell are so ghostly, so deeply sad and yet, at the same time, manage to resonate comfort and serenity. And it’s especially heart-breaking if you know what these songs are about. Stevens wrote this album mainly about his mother, who abandoned his family when he was one, and about coming to peace with her passing away. She suffered from depression, schizophrenia and alcoholism and only intermittently visited her family, which resulted in a lot of hurt and confusion for Stevens. “Fourth of July” is a conversation between him and his mother on her death-bed.

I’m not that much into his other works but this album is haunting. Minimalistic and beautiful, somewhere along the lines of Joshua Radin’s first album and Radical Face’s more quiet songs. Give it a listen.

Why do you cry?
Make the most of your life, while it is rife
While it is light

Motion City Soundtrack

Anyone looking for some uplifting music is sure to find it in Motion City Soundtrack’s break-through album Commit This To Memory back from 2005. It’s bright, energetic and mostly light-hearted from front to back, yet, to me has enough character and depth to be fresh and interesting, even ten years after its release.

My two absolute favorites are the consecutive songs Everything Is Alright and When “You’re” Around, which (at the right volume) might just give you a kick like a caffeine high. Have fun!