Songs to Listen to While the World is Ending

todayAugust 22, 2020 32

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By Chinny Egbuna
Music Journalist

If you’re alive and reading this article, chances are that you are very aware of the current state of the world. With raging political activism taking place across the country, a contagious virus causing world-wide panic, and that “Imagine” cover  all those celebrities questionably took part in, it’s tough not to feel like this year is the year the ancient Mayans prophesied about: the end of all days. 

Well, I say lean into the nihilism for a bit. What’s wrong with being pessimistic every once in a while? If the world truly is destined for complete annihilation, I think it’s best to go out in style with some nice tunes. So here are a few songs I find fitting for an end-of-the-world soundtrack. 

  1. “Headfirst for Halos” by My Chemical Romance (I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love)

What screams angst more than the kings of the emo scene? My Chemical Romance was formed in a Jersey suburb by Gerard Way, who then recruited guitarist Ray Toro, Frank Iero, and eventually, Gerard’s younger brother Mikey. 

This band is responsible for some of the most misanthropic bops of the 2000’s, and Headfirst for Halos is a personal favorite. The song puts a dark spin on the optimism of Peter Pan (“Think happy thoughts!”) by subverting cheerful quotes from the film in their lyrics.

The song is fast-paced, angry and brash, complemented by the skillful guitar playing of Toro. It is a great song to get your anger and frustration out to, and clearly encapsulates the hopelessness of doomsday.

  1. “Always Forever” by Cults (Static)

This one is a favorite of mine because it’s a soft romantic song with a sinister undertone. Ever since their formation in 2010, Cults have been responsible for some of the most layered and introspective pop songs of this decade, and this song is no different. Dreamy pop instrumentation layered over creepy drawn-out synths creates an obsessive love ballad about being with someone forever, whether they like it or not.

  1. “Getting Down the Germs” by Gerard Way (Single)

This song (on top of having an extremely fitting title) is a very unconventional rock tune. However, Gerard Way has proven time and time again that he is anything but a conventional artist.

Gerard Way, following the split of his band My Chemical Romance, went on to make varied solo work, like the experimental album Hesitant Alien in 2014. This song meshes varied guitar work, soft bongs playing, and a kick-ass flute solo to create a unique rock song about dealing with the hard parts of life, and taking them in stride.

  1. “I Will Survive” by Cake (Fashion Nuggets)

 Cake, a Sacramento alt-rock band formed in 1991, are known for their strong funk-infused instrumentation and innovative sound. While technically a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s smash disco hit “I Will Survive,” Cake breathes new life into the song by incorporating dry wit and sarcasm.

Strong brass and laidback guitar playing compliment lead singer John McCrea’s apathetic vocals. The song’s snarky yet triumphant attitude makes it a perfect track to set the tone for the end of all things.

In all sincerity, life is tough right now, but there’s always a silver lining, even in situations as dire as these. So while you’re waiting, you can listen to all the longs listed along with a few others in a curated Spotify playlist I deem fitting for an end of the world get-together.

Stay safe, wear a mask, and please don’t make anymore celeb-studded music covers in a show of solidarity. For all our sakes. 

Featured image by KC Green.

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