Music has always had a holistic and intrinsic quality that has an inherent and unexplainable power to govern our emotions. An album like Remain in Light by the Talking Heads can make you feel ecstatic, sad, and paranoid, while also making you want to Superbowl Shuffle the night away. Music can also live on the opposite end of that spectrum, digging up primal emotions of grief, fear, and loss, which is just as important of an emotion exorcism, especially in the midst of the grieving process. Here is a pair of albums about grief that can help you embrace and wallow in the overwhelming emotions of sadness and grief when confronted with death in the hopes of helping you move forward into a new era of acceptance and emotional stability.
Suggested Read: 4 Ways To Explain Your Grief & Loss
A Crow Looked at Me: by Mount Eerie
A Crow Looked at Me, an acoustic minimalist album by Mount Eerie was conceived, written, and recorded by singer/songwriter Phil Elverum days after his wife passed away in the same room that she passed away in. Its an uncompromising look into the grieving process of Elverum that is so raw and personal that it feels like you’re a voyeur peering through the window into the room itself. Words aren’t so much poetry as rambling prose that emulates the chaotic emotional state anyone is in while reeling in death. Verses tend not to rhyme and choose to paint exact pictures of Elverum’s emotional state, as well as scenes of his life after his wife’s death.
The opening lines of the first track, Real Death, are “Death is real/someone’s there and then they’re not/and it’s not for singing about/it’s not for making art,” which perfectly summarizes the creation process of this album.
Carrie and Lowell: by Sufjan Stevens
Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens follow the same minimalistic and folk-based instrumentation as A Crow Looked at Me, but the grieving process is much more emotionally grey. The album was written and recorded after the death of Stevens estranged mother Carrie and features him trying to reconcile with the emotions caused by a parental figure that wasn’t there. While the album is about the death of his mother, the emotional center is Stevens trying to continue on with his life knowing there will be no closure and the inherent love and admiration he feels towards his stepfather Lowell. While A Crow Looked at Me is an album meant to express emotions in the midst of grief, Carrie and Lowell is an album meant to help you move on.
Sometimes grieving is about staring death and loss in the face and daring yourself to battle and move forward. This is one of the major trials on the road to acceptance and these albums can help induce, punctuate, or comfort you when facing that battle.
Do you have any songs that helped you get through grief and loss? Share them with us in the comments below!
Everdays is designed as a solution to help make communication around a passing less burdensome so that you can focus on what matters most.