So Happy You’ll Cry

* Musicians make the music videos posted here. You have assumed the risk of weirdness, non-G content, etc. by clicking play.

These past few days, I’ve been on a total Nordic music kick. Sigur Rós, the Shout Out Louds, and Of Monsters and Men. I’m not sure why–the mood has struck me.

Sigur Rós’ lyrics are all in Icelandic, of course, so I cannot comment on whether they are happy or sad, but their music is excellent “listen to music until (insert name of neverending work project) is done” music. Shout Out Louds and Of Monsters and Men both have English-language lyrics, so a discussion of their music can go a bit farther.

Although Shout Out Louds are dance-y, while Of Monsters and Men channel more of an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes or Decemberists vibe, both of them are alike in that the first thing that got me into these bands was their perky music. Once I had the general tunes, I started listening to the lyrics, and discovered that these upbeat tunes were paired with generally dismal lyrics about death, and loss, and heartbreak.

(As an aside, I heard “Little Talks” on the radio for several weeks and puzzled over why a good song was playing on mainstream radio before standing in the crowd for Of Monsters and Men at Coachella and going Ohhhh. When it comes to pop culture, I am most definitely not an early adopter.)

But this music is dismal in a happy, awesome sort of way. Seriously: the Shout Out Louds rhyme “serial killer” and “Caterpillar” in “Time Left for Love.” To my great sorrow, this song does not have a music video. In lieu, I have posted “Impossible” because it’s my second favorite song off the album (close on the heels of “Normandie”). And I’m going to make a conservative guess and say that all of you are way more with it than I am and have heard “Little Talks” more times than you can count. If you haven’t heard it, or haven’t connected it with the Icelandic 5-piece, here’s the link to all their videos. I considered finishing without the link, but couldn’t bring myself to do it–I am nothing if not a librarian.

What music is making you happy these days?

One response to “So Happy You’ll Cry”

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