The Art of the Sad Banger


Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind? Wanting to start again? If the answer is YES, then you’ve most probably encountered the mythical ‘Sad Banger’ at least once in your lifetime. Okay, maybe some of pop music’s saddest stompers aren’t as mysterious as I’m making out but, after a recent moment in which I found myself bingeing  on the darker side of pop, I felt it was high time I tried to unpack the power of the Sad Banger.

For many people, myself included, a music selection based on your mood can often be the perfect release whether you need to laugh, cry, or cry some more. While ballads and tender acoustic strums are all well and good, nothing quite tops the melancholic euphoria of a Sad Banger which typically encompasses feelings of: sadness, anger, regret, bitterness, pain, suffering etc. etc. (I am emotionally stable while writing this – promise.) Even if you’re not particularly down, the perfect Sad Banger can often create the illusion that you’ve just gone through some kind of crisis whilst still allowing you to pump your fist – case in point: Robyn’s stone-cold classic Dancing On My Own.

Making a playlist for this post really got me thinking about the abundance of brilliant Sad Bangers which have punctuated the world of pop in the last decade. From Miley to Marina, it’s been hard to escape the tear-soaked pop tune but, you know what, maybe this is what us 21st century pop fans are here for. Without getting too morbid, the world’s hardly been much of a barrel of laughs in recent years, while we all seem to be dealing with a digital hangover in the midst of a social media maelstrom. Is it any coincidence that Steps titled their new album Tears on the Dancefloor? (probably, tbh.)

Thankfully, I’m a strong believer in musical therapy, which is why I hope my playlist of Sad Bangers can help you find some light at the end of the tunnel. It seems to be working for me…

Check out my selection of Sad Bangers below:



The Pop Scribe 10

After a 2-week break The Pop Scribe 10 is back back back! Things went a bit quiet after my first rundown of the best new releases in pop, but now I’ve got a brand new selection for you to feast upon. Making this second playlist was actually a bit more of a struggle than last time as the obvious pop bangerz seemed few and far between BUT, upon closer inspection, these past two weeks have gifted us with some subtly brilliant slices of pop from some unexpected places…

The second edition of The Pop Scribe 10 includes:

  • Zara Larsson perfecting both the sad AND ‘symphonic’ banger
  • (Clean Bandit providing the symphony)
  • Delightfully twisted pop from newcomer Billie Eilish
  • Blondie doing their best version of Blondie in 2017
  • Gorillaz returning with their classic Eastern-infused electro
  • A hazy tropical delight from Drake
  • Charli XCX (praise be) feat. Mura Masa
  • Icelandic troubadour Ásgeir on stunning pop form
  • Goldfrapp edging us ever closer to Silver Eye
  • The Sound of Arrows giving us LIFE