What’s This Playlist All About?: The Söderberg sisters, who’ve been charming us with their angelic harmonies for a decade now, have returned with their fourth album, Ruins, a gloomy collection of vintage-hued break-up laments. Aside from devastating heartache (experienced by younger sister Klara), this is the music that inspired it.
What You Get: A delicately crafted blend of poignant baroque pop from cult heroes Neutral Milk Hotel, vintage country pomp from eccentric mavericks Tanya Tucker and Lee Hazlewood, and sweeping indie folk from quiet warriors like Big Thief. But you also get a taste of artists who appear on the album itself, including R.E.M.’s Peter Buck (on guitar), Midlake’s McKenzie Smith (on percussion), and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche (ditto).
The Track That Defines It All: The most gorgeous nihilistic breakup song of all time: Skeeter Davis’ softly sweeping “The End of the World.”
Biggest and Best Surprise: More bad-ass sister synergy with Heart’s powerhouse rocker “Crazy on You.”
Will This Leave You an Emotional Mess? Definitely, especially by playlist’s end with Songs: Ohia’s raw, rusty epic “Farewell Transmission,” featuring the late Jason Molina.