Sometimes all of us need someone to set us straight, especially during stressful midterm season. We need someone capable of capturing our angst and spitting it back at us with fervor. But why go to a trusted confidant for guidance when you can drown your feelings in a compilation of sassy female songstresses? Whether they leave you head banging and screaming out your aggression or crying in the fetal position, these women know how to pack about 20 different emotions into a two-minute indie ballad. Yes, you may find yourself attempting to quietly belt these songs in the midst of an exam.
“Porcelain” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs lead singer Karen O, who seems like a strictly disciplined badass in most of the band's songs, sheds her tough exterior in “Porcelain,” a very honest love song. It still has the typical pounding beats that Yeah Yeah Yeahs is known for, but the band bears all in this guitar and tambourine-only track, leaving O - and all of her heart-wrenching romance - exposed.
“Both Hands” by Ani DiFranco
DiFranco's lyrics are poetry, and this song is no exception. Her somber voice combined with folksy laments of failed love will give you that “good cry” you've been waiting for, if you listen closely enough.
“The Garden” by Mirah
After all that sentimentality, you're bound to be angry, and Mirah has just what you're looking for. Her metaphorical garden is a paradise lost after her lover walks out on her. The bees are stinging, the flowers are wilting and the bass is dropping - a lot.
“Royals” by Lorde
Lorde is here to bolster your confidence and rally you for more emotional turbulence. You don't need gold teeth, Grey Goose or ball gowns.
“Sea of Love” by Cat Power
Most people know this as the song at the end of Juno, accompanying the scene in which Ellen Page and Michael Cera lay in a hospital bed together postpartum and a single tear slides down Page's cheek. It's much more than that. “Sea of Love” is a perfect expression of true love, wrapped up in a tiny, quiet and confident package.
“Academia” by Sia
Sia is nothing if not extremely clever. She dedicates her song to a blustery romance with numbers - or a painful passion for a nerdy logician incapable of emotional depth.
“Summer in the City” by Regina Spektor
From what is arguably Spektor's best album Begin to Hope, “Summer in the City” tells the story of an unknown character who is spending a lonely, uninspired summer people-watching. Spektor's talents for telling compelling stories through her lyrics and playing experimental piano makes it easy to get a little too absorbed in her songs.
8. “Not About Love” by Fiona Apple
There's no one better to finish off this angry, emotion-riddled playlist than Fiona Apple, who can belt like no other. Each line in “Not About Love” erupts with a new insult to her significant other. At the same time, Apple adds a relatable, introspective edge. She's not in love, but she misses the happy feelings of passion that she's repressed.
Now that you've explored every emotion you thought you were capable of feeling - and some you're certain you've never felt before - studying for midterms should be simple.