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  • Writer's pictureHannah Strader

Five Albums That Will Cure Your Seasonal Depression

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

In the throes of seasonal depression, I've had to look for some alternative ways to keep my mood stable. Music has always been a place for me to turn for solace, but in the last few weeks as spring teases her way to us then retreats in an overnight freeze, I've taken to imagining montages of long drives in the summer and matching albums to said montages. A few patterns have shown up in my listening habits, especially with some new releases, and I thought it best to spread the wealth. 

Take it from a seasonally depressed pro: these albums will give you the strength to pull yourself out of your funk.

Expectations, Hayley Kiyoko – perfect for pre-drinks with your friends or getting ready to hit the town

If you’re unfamiliar with Hayley Kiyoko, she’s a long-running staff favorite who just released her debut album ‘Expectations’, and we’re very happy to say our expectations of it were exceeded. The album is an electro-pop dream that takes your hand, gives you a playfully soft kiss on the cheek, and guides you into a hazy, neon-tinted California night. This album pairs perfectly with summer cocktails, your fiercest girl gang, and an evening full of possibility. 

When My Heart Felt Volcanic, The Aces – perfect for mornings spent warm in bed or cloudless days beckoning you to run those errands you’ve been putting off for so long

Think Haim, but only 2 of the 4 members are sisters and they’re college aged. KC alternative station 96.5 The Buzz started circulating the single Stuck last year and it’s been a staple in my playlists ever since. Its a happy-go-lucky bop that coordinates with nice weather and the daily routine. Simply put, this album is perfect in how unassuming it is. It weaves its way effortlessly into your day and makes a soundtrack that feels natural. WMHFV is mad magic in its simplicity of lyrics, catchy beats and riffs, and its ability to capture so exactly moments in relationships and life we’ve all experienced.

Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, The Wombats – perfect for picking up your energy during a mid-afternoon slump or kicking your day off with a bang.

The Wombats have been around for a while, but this album certainly has not. It’s electric from the first chords of the opening song Cheetah Tongue. The lyrics themselves feel loaded and ready for a trigger pull: “I’ll see you later/ I could be your faker/ my hands shake like jellyfish when you’re near”.  The band came to Kansas City in February ahead of their album release, but The Buzz was doing heavy promotion by circulating Lemon to A Knife Fight and Turn, two singles that were released in advance.  I heard the album live first, so every time I listen to the completed LP it takes me back to the pit, singing and dancing with strangers and feeling electric to the touch.

What Do You Think About The Car?, Declan McKenna – perfect for questioning social structures and your place in all of it or a sunny afternoon laying in a patch of sun while observing everything around you

Declan McKenna made himself familiar to local audiences through his single Brazil, which is still heavily circulated on alternative Sirius radio stations and often heard while browsing Mass St. boutiques. McKenna was 15 when he wrote the song about a FIFA scandal and gained his popularity as an artist after winning the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. WDYTATC is one of the strongest debut albums I’ve ever heard, but it’s vastly underrated. There’s an overt British-ness to the songs, not just because McKenna himself looks like a sensitive, unkempt English schoolboy gone rogue, but also in its exploration of politics, sexuality, radicalism and evocative imagery. What else would you expect from a kid whose debut song featured the lyrics, “I’m gonna burn your house down to spread peace and love”?

Dive Deep, Andrew Belle – perfect for laying on the floor after downing two glasses of wine or really focusing while doing homework

Andrew Belle’s 2013 album Black Bear changed my life, so when I realized he had a second album that was flying under my radar, I lost my mind. Dive Deep is a natural progression from Black Bear. It’s an album with the same tone, but just slightly more mellow. It broadens his repertoire without losing the sound he’s perfected, which can be difficult to do for some artists. It’s not replacing Black Bear in my heart, but rather offering a sequel to it. And honestly? I give mad credit to anyone who can sneak a pan flute into a song and make it feel natural. 

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