It's dark, cold, damp and miserable. Join us and wallow in your misery
Andrew Trendell
13:26 11th November 2013

Urgh, it's dark, damp and one of the most depressing times of the year as we find ourselves deep in the throes of November's winter blues. The not-too-distant promise of Christmas shows a brief moment of respite on the horizon, but with festival season fading from memory and next summer feeling like an eternity away, here we are - brooding and feeling sorry for ourselves. 

So rather than even try to look on the bright side, let's wallow in our misery! And what better way to do so than by celebrating the darkest and most depressing bands and artists in music?

Music can paint a world of colour and emotions, but let's face it - we're all drawn to the darker, more morose and seriously sinister corners of the spectrum, right? As winter drags on, here's our pick of the 23 most depressing bands ever. ENJOY!

  • The xx: Tender tales of love and yearning told over a sparse and chilling soundtrack. Most depressing tracks: 'Fiction', 'Angels', 'Infinity'

  • Joy Division: Plagued by frontman's Ian Curtis' illness and mental anguish, the tortured sounds of the Godfathers of post-punk would go on to inspire generation after generation of misery-mongerer. Most depressing tracks: 'Atmosphere', 'Heart And Soul', 'Atrocity Exhibition'

  • The Twilight Sad: True Scottish spirit comes loaded with an epic wall of sound that takes shoe-gaze and twists into something brutally beautiful. Most depressing tracks: 'That Summer At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy', 'The Room', 'And She Would Darken The Memory'

  • Manic Street Preachers: Piercing Welsh political rock from the band that once refused to ever write a love song. Instead, their sound has ranged from glam rock and snotty punk, to acoustic beauty, stadium anthems and the haunting tales of torture and horror on The Holy Bible - often cited as one of the darkest albums in history. Most depressing tracks: 'The Intense Humming Of Human Evil', 'Of Walking Abortion', 'This Is Yesterday'

  • The Weeknd: Representing the darker side of R&B, Abel Tesfaye takes the sexy and sultry elements of the genre and uses them to paint morose pictures of bad hangovers, bad trips and good girls gone very, very bad. Most depressing tracks: 'Belong To The World', 'Coming Down', 'Wicked Games'

  • The Antlers: Their brilliant third album Hospice tells the story of a nurse and a female patient suffering from terminal bone cancer, while the follow-up Burst Apart was equally as devastating. Most depressing tracks: 'Sylvia', 'I Don't Want Love', 'Kettering'

  • Bjork: Aside from her latter day bat-shit crazy experiments with beats and nature, Iceland's finest export tends to deal pretty exclusively in the darker side of things, with a knack of worming her way deep under your skin. Just go and watch the movie Dancer In The Dark - we challenge you to last to the end without adopting the foetal position and weeping uncontrollably. Most depressing tracks: 'I've Seen It All', 'Unravel', 'In The Musicals'

  • Bon Iver: FACT - It's impossible to sit through a Bon Iver gig without demanding to be held as you blubber like a lost child. Most depressing tracks: 'Perth', 'Holocene', 'Calgary'

  • Elbow: Before they became the go-to band to soundtrack every moment of victory, Guy Garvey and co's sound was packed with a lot more Mancunian misery. Check out their first two albums to hear the band in their darkest hours. Most depressing tracks: 'Bitten By The Tailfly', 'Scattered Black And Whites', 'Fugitive Motel'

  • Interpol: These dapper New York kings deal pretty much exclusively in tension, darkness and sinister sounds. Most depressing tracks: 'Untitled', 'Hands Away', 'The Lighthouse'

  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Sinisterly leering over the world as a towering godhead of powerful poetry and dark dynamics - ladies and gentlemen, Nick bloody Cave. Most depressing tracks: 'Your Funeral, My Trial', 'Push The Sky Away', 'People Ain't No Good'

  • Death Cab For Cutie: Post-adolescent wallowing at its best. Most depressing tracks: 'I Will Follow You Into The Dark', 'Some Day You Will Be Loved', 'A Lack Of Colour'

  • Bright Eyes: He's basically the emo poet laureate. Most depressing tracks: 'We Are Nowhere And It's Now', 'Winter Ends', 'I've Been Eating (For You)'

  • The National: Layer upon layer of rumbling textured guitars below Berninger's baritone laments on love, loss and life crumbling everywhere make for The National being one of the most compelling (if a little morose) bands of their generation. Most depressing tracks: 'Think You Can Wait', 'Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks', 'Mistaken For Strangers'

  • Public Image Ltd: Have you ever listened to Metal Box? If not, go do so - but brace yourself. This is not the snotty snarling larger than life Lydon you know from the Sex Pistols: this is a man on the edge. Most depressing tracks: 'Death Disco', 'Albatross', 'Careering'

  • Portishead: Well, trip-hop was never supposed to be cheery. Most depressing tracks: 'Roads', 'The Rip', 'Glory Box'

  • Radiohead: An obvious one, but one can't ignore the dour anthemics of Thom Yorke and co. Most depressing tracks: 'Nude', 'Fog', 'Like Spinning Plates'

  • The Smiths: Of course, we can't ignore these boys either. Morrissey's pained and gloomy vocals were always entirely at odds with Marr's flowerly and cinematic guitarwork - but combined it made for some of the most monolithic miserabilist anthems ever. Most depressing tracks: 'I Know It's Over', 'Death Of A Disco Dancer', 'Never Had No One Ever'

  • David Sylvian: In the writing of this gallery, we had Blemish on repeat. Excuse us for a moment while we call our loved ones to bawl down the phone. Most depressing tracks: 'Blemish', 'Brilliant Trees', 'Plight'

  • Sigur Ros: Well, they're as triumphant as they are depressing, but Sigur Ros are at their most powerful when delivering haunting waves of chilling melodrama. Most depressing songs: 'Vaka', 'Ara Batur', 'Ny Batteri'

  • Nine Inch Nails: Trent Reznor will never write a party anthem - and for that, we love him. Most depressing songs: 'Hurt', 'The Downward Spiral', 'Something I Can Never Have'

  • Smashing Pumpkins: For a bloke with such a massive ego, Billy Corgan sure does know his way around a bloody good self-loathing anthem. Most depressing tracks: 'Try, Try, Try', 'To Sheila', 'Zero'

  • The Cure: Despite brief and baffling moments of gleeful exuberance, Robert Smith and co were one of the first mainstream acts to really turn dark and dramatic goth-pop into an artform. Speaking of their intentions behind their masterpiece Pornography, Smith said: "I wanted to make it virtually unbearable." Most depressing tracks: 'One Hundred Years', 'Cold', 'Lovesong'


Photo: WENN.com/Press