David Byrne has been sharing themed monthly playlists for a while now (previous editions include Indie Pop, Unexpected Covers, and I Am My Own Alogirthm), and for September, he's shared some favorite songs that make him cry. He writes:

No surprise, a fair number of country and alt country songs here. But there are also some heartbreaking soul songs, some contemporary RnB, dance pop and some contemporary singer songwriters. Obviously, to have this effect on us, the song and delivery have to connect to us in ways we can relate to- a tragic accident is not affecting, but a tragic accident that happens as a vet is driving to a reunion with his wife and child, now THAT’S heartbreaking. Dreams within reach, visible, graspable, but then dashed to a thousand pieces. A small business goes bankrupt, not so moving, but the owner being a refugee who overcame impossible odds to achieve this dream -- only to have it snatched away by a rapacious landlord... Now, we’re more engaged. Maybe it’s the specifics that pull us in?

Why do we like this? Why do we luxuriate in sadness and heartbreak? I’ll bet there are way more tragic and melancholy songs than happy ones. Does it somehow paradoxically make us feel better to connect and feel the ache?

The playlist includes songs by Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Arcade Fire, Lorde, Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, Hot Chip, Patsy Cline, Lou Reed, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Joan As Police Woman, Beyonce, John Cale, Neko Case, Willie Nelson, John Lennon, Billie Eilish, Sharon Van Etten, Robyn, James Blake, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Gillian Welch, Lou Reed, and more. See the tracklist in full and listen below and on davidbyrne.com.

Made In The Dark - Hot Chip
Boulder to Birmingham - Emmylou Harris
Am I Too Blue - Lucinda Williams
Red Dirt Girl - Emmylou Harris
Heart Like A Wheel - Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Down Low - Teddy Thompson
Go Leave - Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Sweet Old World - Lucinda Williams
The Dark End of the Street - James Carr
Orphan Girl - Gillian Welch
Across the Borderline - Ry Cooder
To Cry About - Mary Margaret O'Hara
Calling All Angels (Remix Version) - Jane Siberry
That's How I Got To Memphis - Solomon Burke
Caroline Says II - Lou Reed
I Keep a Close Watch - John Cale
To Be Lonely - Joan As Police Woman
My Mom - Chocolate Genius
The Best Thing - Doveman
Home is Where It Hurts - Camille
My Body Is a Cage - Arcade Fire
Tennis Court - Lorde
Nearly Midnight, Honolulu - Neko Case
Everyone Else In The World - Stina Nordenstam
I'm Getting Ready - Michael Kiwanuka
Ya Sudan - Sinkane
River - Joni Mitchell
Love Is Everything - Jane Siberry
Green Light - Lorde
Desperately - Sam Dew
exile (feat. Bon Iver) - Taylor Swift
The Last Time I Saw Richard - Joni Mitchell
You Don't Know Me - Willie Nelson
He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
Permanently Lonely - The Little Willies
Don't Ask Me To Be Friends - Teddy Thompson
Just Walkin' Out the Door - Willie Nelson
I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton
I Threw Away the Rose - Merle Haggard & The Strangers
Why Can't He Be You - Patsy Cline
Pray You Catch Me - Beyonce
Mother (Ultimate Mix) - John Lennon
everything i wanted - Billie Eilish
Some Things Last a Long Time - Sharon Van Etten
Sad Song - Lou Reed
Older - Sasha Sloan
Paper Wings - Gillian Welch
La Vita - Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Dancing On My Own - Robyn
A Case of You - James Blake

See pictures from David Byrne's 2018 American Utopia show at Forest Hills Stadium below.

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