Music has always been a conduit for catharsis. For the artist, the process is in itself a form of natural release for the pressure cooker of ideas, inspiration, and a compulsion to create. For listeners, music can often act as an emotional trigger, or as a companion to what we are already going through. Of course, music also acts as an elixir that can ease physical, emotional, and psychological pain. I still remember that Michael Jackson’s Dangerous almost singlehandedly helped me forget about the pain of a broken wrist and chipped kneecap at age 11.

As a heartbroken and hormonal teen, The Smashing Pumpkins’ Melloncollie and the Infinite Sadness was my companion as I wallowed in self pity and licked my wounds (although Siamese Dream is by far their best album!)

Though I (and I imagine most people my age) are less melodramatic these days, there is no doubt that a good tune can still be highly therapeutic. So with this thought in mind, here are a few relatively new tracks that I find cathartic for different reasons.

1) Artist: Chikita Violenta Track: Roni

These guys are a bunch of crazy Mexicans, but they sound like they just emerged from a Seattle dive bar. I love the 90’s shoegazing inspiration that underpins their sound. The fuzzy distortion of the guitars, the aloof and almost echoey production around the vocals, and perhaps just as importantly, the commitment to form and tune despite everything else. This song evokes that warm glow of nostalgia in which we all like to bask from time to time.

Artist: Fleet Foxes Track: Helplessness Blues

Sometimes you just want to escape from the confines of your concrete jungle and the scores of humanity that cohabitate it and explore the great outdoors. That is the emotion and aesthetic that Fleet Foxes capture beautifully. If Chikita Violenta have a gritty, Seattleish sound, Fleet Foxes are the guys singing around a campfire in the wooded hills a few hundred miles away. This song from their upcoming album is just fantastic…

And finally….sometimes you just need to space out and weave in and out of consciousness. Lemonade by The Braids (BTW i’ve heard 4 songs from this album and they are all brilliant) is just the kind of song for this kind of mood 🙂

goood night 🙂


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