Saturday, February 26, 2011

Austria: Why Their Depressing Lyrics Can Turn On a Listener

A common response I get from people who listen to Austria’s “Nada” album is that the lyrics are such a bummer. Song titles such as “Descender” (Down), “Adormecida” (Numb), “Solo” (Alone), “Nada" (Nothing). How much can one listener take? Well guess what, some of the greatest songs every written have some of the most depressing lyrics ever written. Songs with lyrics that include, “…my baby left me…” or “I used to lover her, but I had to kill her…” or try “Girl in a comma…” These lyrics are in hit songs! So apply that to Austria. You know why people keep coming back to see them? Because of the stories they tell and the wonderful melodies that surround them. Take this lyric: “No los puedo esperar, nada de esto me alcanza y ya no puedo guardar, lo que tengo no es nada.” Roughly translated, “I just can´t wait for you, none of this works, I can´t keep saving because I have nothing.” This is from the Lautaro Gonzalez de Cap-penned, “Nada.” On the face of it, whether it is in English or Spanish, it’s enough to take someone out of their Happy Spell in a snap, but coupled with the verse and chorus of the song, you have a wonderful five minutes-plus of music.

Take a few lines from “Solo,” also written by Gonzalez: "Cuando me despierto y ya no queda nada, busco entre los restos y vos no estás. Y pienso en las cosas que aprendí de niño, cuando aún no quería huir de acá." / "When I wake up and there is nothing left, I look for you among the remains and you are not there.” Once again, not exactly words that inspires happiness…but wow, what a song!

So what’s the point? The point is songs that are sad and dark can also be the songs you sing and listen to many times over in your life. Austria’s “Nada” album is filled with sad and dark – and they can keep you humming all day long.

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