“It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs – and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.” These words come to us from George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, an autobiographical account first published in 1933, long before his fame and fortune. It’s reassuring, at least for this sentimental, millennial hack, to know that even great writers like Orwell found themselves at the end of the line on occasion. But then again, haven’t we all been there? I offer this playlist, what for me may as well be considered a collection of close friends, as an means of temporary respite, as a sonic experience that might allow you, the individual, if for but only an hour and seven minutes, to wallow in your sadness so that you may afterwards overcome it.
Eric Clapton famously sang “nobody knows you where you’re down and out.” With all due respect, on this, Clapton was wrong. These artists have been there, and they know you, alright. All that I can hope, old sport, is that my humble musical antidote might offer strength and serve as a catalyst for constructive thinking and maybe even a slight smirk. And by the way, I highly recommend listening in the prescribed order should you hope to achieve the best possible results. Over and out.
Music featured: Chris Bell, Warren Zevon, Tom Waits, Ryan Adams, Palehound, Pavement, Blur, Bedhead, Nico, Bobby Charles, Father John Misty, The Verve, Slow Dive, Damon Albarn, Girls.