Since I was a little man, I've struggled on and off with anxiety and depression. These are the essential records I love to listen to when I want to feel better. They help almost always :)
Rocky Votolato - Makers:
Opening track “White Daisy Passing” was deemed the greatest breakup song of all time by modern philosopher Duncan Trussell. Makers gets straight down to the raw core of depression and holds nothing back. Rocky takes you to emotional rock bottom before dropping you back into sweet oxygen just before you run out of breath.
AJJ (Formerly “Andrew Jackson Jihad”) - Can't Maintain:
This one truly pulled me thru the lurch. Sean Bonnette is the bravest songwriter I’ve ever witnessed. His ability to make fun of his own depression places “Can't Maintain” as the most medicinal music on this list.
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp:
Tramp provides the perfect introspective soundtrack to stare at the ceiling to. I put this record on when I want to think about nothing at all, which is a tricky place to get to. Empty thoughts are the first step to escaping a state of “depresh”.
Ezra Furman & the Harpoons - Banging Down the Doors
This record redefined the way I look at music. Ezra wrote all of these tunes in his teenage years. Lightning in a bottle. His undeveloped, wobbly vocals are a perfect vent for the agonies of anxiety and depression.
Tim Barry - Lost and Rootless:
Barry is perhaps the most literal songwriter on the planet. Easily digestible and accurate storytelling make Barry’s raw folk-punk extremely palatable. Barry touches on the burdens of middle age while having a sense of humor about it. Few men have described the obstacles of being an Average Joe in an unforgiving America so accurately.
Guster - Ganging up on the Sun:
Never known as being one of the “super cool bands”, Guster has always focused on songwriting precision over image or “the scene”. We are talking about perfect pop songs here people. “Sun” places you into your own vivid nostalgia and allows you to let go of the past.
Felice Brothers - Self Titled:
Raw, underproduced music tends to get overlooked by the masses. I recommend listening to this in big headphones all by yourself on the front porch. The first Felice Brothers record time-travels you into a 1930’s worm hole. If Franklin Delaware Roosevelt liked indie rock, this would be his favorite band. Escape the present with this record.
Jessica Lea Mayfield - Sorry Is Gone:
Perfect minimalism record in which Mayfield remains 100% vulnerable in her songwriting. JLM is at the top of her game right at this very moment.
Frank Turner - Love Ire Song:
Easily the most optimistic album on this list, Turner’s sophomore breakthrough LP exposes the shams of the status quo in plain English. Love Ire Song encourages us to be happy by sticking to what makes us feel valued, even if those philosophies are unpopular with peers or parents.
Chris Staples - American Soft:
Massively underrated gem American Soft is the perfect way to vent out melancholy. Staples does the work for you.