Well everyone, it’s that time of year again. Put away the surfboards and daisy dukes and replace them with textbooks and no sleep. We feel you, the transition from summer to fall is tough no matter how many pumpkin spice lattes you purchase, and might we add that one is too many. To help with the back-to-school blues, we’ve curated a list of the absolute saddest Sad Bois (and Grls) to commiserate on your way to do the things you’d rather not be doing.
+ Follow our playlist for ongoing misery all season long!
We’re kicking things off with ROLE MODEL, who is a sad boi you should definitely know. His music features distinctly relaxed vocals, distorted guitars and a uniquely dark bedroom pop vibe. The LA-based artist is new on the scene, but his moody vibe is solidified with candidly open lyrics, verse vocals sizzling in vocal fry and a beanie to end all beanies. His most recent single, “Alone” is perfectly gloomy and quite frankly a must-listen for any human with an ounce of teenage angst.
Gabriel black is near and dear to our hearts here at Ones to Watch, but has truly earned his place on this list. In addition to having incredibly open lyrics regarding self-esteem and mental health, the guy has a song actually titled “Sad Boi.” Give it a listen below and add gabriel black to pretty much any playlist for the sprinkle of rainy day your week has been needing.
The fall is a hot time for breakups! If this is you, we’ve got your back. Wet’s latest album, Still Run is a muted melancholy concoction that will mend even the most broken of hearts. We recommend “Love Is Not Enough,” and maybe don’t listen in public if you’re easily triggered.
Jelani Aryeh’s song “Where We Go” is buzzing with angst, and stands (or rather leans against a brick wall) as a sad boi anthem. The young singer blends R&B, rap and hip-hop, and then adds his own moody flavor. Queue up the track below when you’re a bit revved up about summer ending and just need to drive.
These guys have a sound that is vaguely disorienting, but yet makes you want to hear more. The vocals are buried deep under verbed out guitar, creating a sense of heaviness that acts as glue to bring all of the musical elements together. Inner Wave is a trippy treat for a Friday night with nothing to do.
Sasha Sloan is a serious sadgrl–you’ve been warned. The gentle songstress has the voice of an absolute goddess, and her tracks are minimal so there’s no escaping her heartbreaking lyricism. We’re going to go ahead and coin the term “breakup vocoder,” in reference to Sloan’s use of the same emotionally provoking vocoder effect as Bon Iver, Francis and the Lights and even Taylor Swift.
Banes World offers a vintage element to his dream pop-inspired music that we’re obsessed with. Featuring the line, “I’ve been unafraid to die alone,” his song “You Say I’m In Love” has an interesting dichotomy between the bitter meaning and overall romantic sound. Maybe play it while you hang with your emotionally unavailable friends later tonight.
Boygenius made this list because they’re a collection of three very prominent Sad Grls. Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dracus all make up boygenius, and recently released a set of singles that are painfully beautiful. They might even give you a little glimmer of hope in these dark times.