Halftime Leisure

The Weekly List: Summertime Sadness

June 27, 2019

Illustration by Jacob Bilich

I don’t know about you, but at this point in the summer, I miss Georgetown a lot, it’s been getting to my feelings. I miss my friends, my Henle room, the smell of the trees in the Spring, and just sometimes, the classes. As a student with terrible coping mechanisms, I listen to sad songs when I’m sad to make myself even sadder so I can drown in a sea of tears. Here are some of them.

1. “I Love You” by Billie Eilish

I’ve seen a few videos lately of Billie crying while she sings this song on stage. I get it. It’s intensely emotional, and yet beautiful in its honest portrayal of loving someone so selflessly and harmlessly, when they simply do not possess the power to love you like that.

2. “Visions of Gideon” by Sufjan Stevens

I think it’s fair to say that the closing scene in Call Me by Your Name (2017) where Elio (Timothée Chalamet) cries by the fireplace as this song plays is one of the most iconic crying scenes in all of cinema. This tune is essential should you want to recreate that scene at home while you’re gone for the summer.

3. “No Surprises” by Radiohead

Speaking of cinematic moments, this song is the one that would play when you’re alone, walking away in the dark, and it’s raining. While it’s hard to pick only one sad Radiohead track, this one is for the soundtrack to the movies rolling in our heads. 

4. “You” by Keaton Henson

Keaton Henson has such a graceful and emotive way of describing daily feelings in his music. This one is about missing a lover in a tender, strange, painful, and endearing way. Every Keaton Henson song is a poem filled with vulnerability, and in the most touching way.

5. “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” by John Mayer

There’s something about the past (and Georgetown) that never really leaves you. This song is about what used to be, but still exists in you, simply through the memories and fondness they evoke. It’s an ode to that remembrance.

6. “29 #Strattford APTS” by Bon Iver

While I’ve personally never been able to decipher the lyrics to this track, I’ve still found myself able to deeply connect with the instrumentals and the intention of Justin Vernon’s voice. It’s about what passes by your window and leaves to go far, perhaps too far to ever be seen again.

7. “Places We Won’t Walk” by Bruno Major

“Sunlight dances off the leaves, birds of red colour the trees”, this song is a melodramatic celebration of spaces that can be ephemeral in their beauty and reality. The soft piano instrumentals are sad yet reassuring.

8.  “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey

Alright, maybe I’ve let my feelings get the best of me. After all, I will be back next semester. I think I can only blame it on the sun (no existentialist pun intended), and more specifically on the emotional epidemic that Lana Del Rey has diagnosed young girls like myself with: Summertime Sadness.


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