MY RECORD COLLECTION: Sweet Whirl’s five records to grieve to

Writing by Molly Mckew

The new album from Melbourne’s Sweet Whirl, aka Esther Edquist, is the ultimate in sad-gurl music – intimate, relatable, and heartbreaking. Edquist’s dreamy, pop-tinged songwriting touches on themes of longing, melancholy, and self-knowledge and is utterly absorbing. Her lyrics are empathetic and vulnerable, yet there’s a strength in the way Edquist narrates her life; she’s direct, honest and knows herself. The first single ‘Something I do’ tells the story of a yearning but involuntary love. Edquist is a classic songwriter, revealing all yet leaving enough room for your own narrative – there has never been a more relatable lyric than “I’ll stay home at night, make believe I’m happy by myself.” In the spirit of sad-gurl music, Edquist chatted to Ramona mag about her top five albums to grieve to.

1. Leonard Cohen – “Songs From a Room”.

When I experienced the first death of a friend, I spent a few weeks listening only to this. I had it on vinyl and as soon as one side was done I’d flip it over, for hours. It’s very somber, too sexy and somber maybe. So you’re lured back to the world of the living, while still being extremely sad. Very good grieving music.

2. Mazzy Star – “So Tonight That I Might See“

When the next death of a friend coincided with a breakup of a long term relationship, I took up smoking and sat on my sofa and listened to Mazzy Star on repeat, on my computer. All albums, but this one’s a classic. I gave up smoking after a month.

3. Roy Montgomery – “Temple IV”

This is a superlative relaxant, when you can’t deal with lyrics and most music seems trite, and you feel like you can’t connect with the world’s pace. Often in that space where you need to accept change and let go of things, a really beautiful instrumental album will help you through.

4. Maria Callas -“La Divina”

My parents had this on CD when I was growing up, and she’s one of the few opera singers I enjoy listening to. This year when my mum’s dog was dying I sat in the kitchen and played her (the dog) Maria Callas singing all the great tragic arias and cried. Opera can be extremely cathartic, I only listen to it when I need it.

5. Neil Young – “Rust Never Sleeps”

At some point in the grieving process you have to put on “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” loudly and feel it jolt you back to life. Then you can go back to the start of the album and continue to bawl your eyes out or swim deeper into your own abject sorrow, whatever suits.

Watch Sweet Whirl’s video for Something I Do here:

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Molly Mckew

Molly Mckew is a Music Editor of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She enjoys writing and music and as a teenager devoured any life advice she could find. She hopes Ramona will help to fill the void for any young people currently in the same boat.

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