2018 has given us a lot of reasons to cry. When it started we were all hopeful for a top quality year, but frankly it all turned to shit pretty quick. Luckily, the music industry didn’t so much and we were gifted with a lot of great new music.
A large amount of that great new music that came out this year was, however, quite sad. Here’s our list of the top tearjerker tracks released in 2018. We’ve also chucked them in a Spotify playlist so you can sit in your room and cry for a good half hour or so whenever you feel like it.
Maggie Rogers – “Fallingwater”
Maggie Rogers hadn’t released much music after her stunning debut EP Now That The Light Is Fading, but in June that all changed. This reflective heartbreak anthem is one of the best tracks released this year, and it also gets bonus points for this incredible live performance Rogers did on SNL. If this song doesn’t make you cry you’re either deaf or heartless.
King Princess – “Talia”
One of 2018’s breakout artists, King Princess released the hypnotic EP Make My Bed and young queer people a voice they’ve so desperately missed. Talia is a young heartbreak anthem for queer women and non-binary kids around the world. It’s also a great drunk karaoke option because you get to scream “BUT FOUR DRINKS I’M WASTED!”
Montaigne – “For Your Love”
Montaigne’s comeback is this glorious track which really hits you in the feels. Whilst it details the emotional turmoil of a destructive relationship, the end offers hope or as the singer puts it, “A lick of the red pill”.
St. Vincent – “Fast Slow Disco”
Whilst the original version of this track was released in 2017, this 2018 revamp really gave us a dance floor anthem that causes OH&S issues by putting us at risk of slipping over all the puddles of tears. Also the music video of Annie Clark feeling pure joy dancing with a bunch of bears in harnesses is impossible to hate.
Rae Morris – “Dancing With Character”
The closing track of Rae Morris’ sophomore album is just so damn beautiful. It brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it and I’m not mad. Also, the video of Rae dancing with her grandmother is so wholesome and heartwarming.
Robyn – “Missing U”
This song is a tearjerker for two reasons. The first because I genuinely cried when Robyn released her first new solo song in 8 years. The second because it takes Robyn’s trademark heartbreak pop sound which has defined the pop music genre for the better part of the past decade and pushes it into new territories.
The opening track of Robyn’s comeback album sets the theme immediately. “There’s this empty space you left behind, now you’re not here with me.” the Swedish national treasure sings. It’s another crying on the dance floor moment we never knew we needed.
Bonus points also go to Honey closer “Ever Again“
Billie Eilish – “When The Party’s Over”
An anthem for loneliness, “When The Party’s Over” is a song about loneliness and vulnerability. It hits deep. There’s not much more to say really, just listen.
Kelsey Lu – “Shades Of Blue”
This icon has worked with so many incredible artists including Solange and Florence + The Machine. After her stunning debut EP in 2017, the cellist and vocalist returned with the haunting “Shades Of Blue”. The ballad reaches peak heartbreak when Lu sings a capella, “I’m not over you, not over you. But I’m over feeling Shades of Blue.” Same to be honest.
Mitski – “Nobody”
Mitski has been releasing music for years now, but her 2018 album Be The Cowboy threw her headfirst into the spotlight with it’s simple and honest lyricism. Her incredible vocals and guitar skills are in full effect throughout, and I could have picked any song on the album to be on this list because they pretty much all make me cry.
Alex Winston – “Tourist”
This song is an anthem for everyone who is feeling a bit bitter and angry after a break up. Whilst it’s emotionally poignant and definitely worthy of this tearjerker playlist, it’s also a reminder. Don’t be bitter, just be better.
Kacey Musgraves – “Space Cowboy”
The country singer who worked her way into the entire world’s hearts this year really gave us everything with her album Golden Hour. “Space Cowboy” is an emotional ballad perfect for any time you need a little cry. It’s also very far removed from Jamiroquai’s track of the same name.
Wet – “Softens”
A few years after their debut album Don’t You, wet returned in 2018 with Still Run, a collection of beautiful, emotional tracks that are all worthy of being on this list. “Softens” however, is the standout track in terms of heartbreak. The fact that it’s a good five minutes long means you can really get a good cry in whilst listening!
Snail Mail – “Speaking Terms”
There’s no official audio/performances of this song on YouTube (probably because it’s too heartbreaking), so you’ll have to deal with this random live video. Please do listen to it in the playlist below, preferably in a dark room alone on the group whilst wallowing in a pit of self despair.
Lykke Li – “Last Piece”
Like many of the songs on this list, “Last Piece” comes from an album full of tracks that were created to make you cry and melt into a puddle of sadness. So Sad, So Sexy is an incredible album title but also my eternal mood/what I hope people use as my descriptor.
“Last Piece” is one of many emotional peaks on the album, detailing the feeling of completely losing your sense of self when someone leaves you. We’d also recommend checking out this stripped back performance of “Bad Woman” whilst you’re at it.
Ryn Weaver – Reasons Not To Die
Ryn Weaver’s first release in over three years was part of the Neon Gold Records 10th anniversary compilation Neon Gold X. The slow burning demo builds into a powerful raging bridge.
“And I get so stuck in my head
Lost in all the lies, nihilistic backslide
And when I can’t get out of bed
And I see the edge I’m slipping from the ledge
And praying to gods I don’t believe in for a sign
Some reasons not to die and there you are.”
Many tears were shed selecting tracks and writing this article, but then again many tears were shed in 2018. You can listen to the full playlist below, and let us know if we missed anything you think should be on the list!