There are times in our lives when every single one of us, even those you never see without a smile on their faces, has to go through tough times. And though some of us bounce back soon enough, there are those who continue to wilt and wallow in woe. You know who you are, but hey, you know that music can heal your soul.
At times like these, I often seek solace by listening to The Goo Goo Dolls or Poets of The Fall, among others. If such music is able to affect even a cynic like myself, then it is bound to dispel your own dark spirits. For that matter, I have come up with a list of various songs by well-liked artists as a home-made remedy, in case you don’t want to pop an expensive pill or three of mood-enhancers and anti-depressants – the upside being – you won’t ever overdose on these:
The Unwinding Cable Car ~ Anberlin
When you feel like you’ve lost all hope, listening to this live acoustic recording of Anberlin’s soulful song will surely bestow your faith. Here is what I believe to be their most reassuring line in the whole song (because the rest is a bit too redundant):
“You’ve been misguided, you’re hiding in shadows for so very long
Don’t you believe that you’ve been deceived that you’re no better than… “
Judging by the lyrical content – “Correlation of salvation and love” – one can easily tell that they are a Christian band, but as such, they are a band without an agenda. Their music, instead of proselytizing the masses, allows the listener to make his or her own interpretations.
“Drive” ~ Incubus
A perennial favorite, this is a song that no one would mind singing along with. A deceptively simple acoustic tune (try playing it and you’ll see it is anything but simple!) backed by a steady beat and turn-tabling, one can’t help but agree that it has “a vague, haunting mass appeal.” The rest of the lyrics are self explanatory – are you in control of your own destiny, or will you “let fear drive the wheel instead”?
In a nutshell – “Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there – with open arms and open eyes.” How can one not smile along?
“Closer to the Edge” ~ 30 Seconds To Mars
From the very instant this song starts playing, one can almost feel one’s body pumping more and more endorphins in rhythm with the increasing tempo of the keyboard and the drums – until Jared Leto (once voted the world’s sexiest vegetarian?!) starts singing, changing pitch smoothly between verse and chorus.
The sheer amount of energy emanated by this song is electrifying, with its catchy melody, chugging beats and choir-esque chorus. If you like this, their entire album – “This is War” – is worth a listen or four.
WARNING: Not for the weak at heart – A single listen is bound to raise the heart-rate of even the most doubting of depressed diabetics.
“Humse Hai Yeh Zamaana” ~ Call
Yes, Call is a Pakistani band, and this song is ostensibly an anthem for the Pakistani people, a ‘call-to-arms’ of the non-violent sort (I hope!). Highly popular during the World Cup, you could practically picture burkha-clad cheerleaders prancing and dancing around to this song. Ok, I apologize for all the politically incorrect infamy.
But the music is nothing short of awesome. The major chords in the rhythm and lead sections are as upbeat as can be. The guitar solos are well timed and placed. The background chorus couldn’t be more encouraging. The lyrics are practically oozing with optimism. So let us forget the intended purpose and get inspired – “Aaoo milkar gaaye ye taraana – duniya ko hai dikhaana – humse hai yeh zamaana!”
Seriously, if only India had as many awesome bands making such awesome music per capita, fewer people would feel depressed. Till such time, we know that music has no borders – so let us share the wealth and continue to enjoy the harmony!