Spotify informed me that the genre that I listened to most over 2021 was Midwestern Emo. You might remember me talking about the genre in my post about The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. It is a branch of emo music that is usually characterized by unconventional vocals (sometimes whiny with moments of abrasiveness) and glimmering guitar lines, making it more approachable than some of the more hardcore-influenced emo bands. A friend of mine recently turned me on to the New York-based emo band Cloud District, and they fit in neatly with the whiney, introspective emo music that I have really come to enjoy.
The song “2sad2swim” is probably my favorite track on their album Don’t Give Up, Skeleton. It describes the despondency of the singer and his unhappiness after completing graduate school (after years of pursuing further education myself, I can certainly relate). The following lines really stuck out to me:
“And I just thought, I'd find a Path by now,
but Tarmogoyf and Thoughtseize keep beating me down.”
After all that he has been through, he imagines that he should have found a path towards happiness. Humorously, he is displaying this notion with a metaphor to playing the collectable card game Magic the Gathering. He is being pummeled by the creature Tarmogoyf (what had been a very popular and somewhat overpowered card) and his opponent is discarding important cards from his hand with the card Thoughtseize. Meanwhile, he is hoping to eventually draw the card Path to Exile from his deck, as he could use it to destroy Tarmogoyf.
The song ends with him expressing a sentiment that anyone battling depression can relate to:
“I've got friends that love me when I won't love myself.”
I would urge anyone struggling with depression or other mental health issues to reach out for help. There is help available. You are worthwhile. At the very least, there is a lot of good music to help ease the sadness. Cloud District is a prime example.
Buy Cloud District’s music here.