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Indie Musicians Who Lost a Parent at a Young Age (And Later Wrote About It)

Here are 4 indie musicians who lost a parent at a young age and later incorporated the experience into their music.

1. Soko

Soko’s dad died suddenly of an aneurysm when she was 5 years old.

“We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” — “I can tell that you didn’t have to face your mother losing her lover / without saying goodbye / because she didn’t have time.”

“Ocean Of Tears” — “God has a plan to kill us all / And every day I wake up from a crazy dream where I’m looking for my Daddy and I know he’s here…And I’m too aware of mortality…I am haunted now.”

2. Carolyn Berk of Lovers

When Carolyn was 15 years old, her mom died of cancer.

“Take Good Care” — “You said the best thing I could do for you / Is to take good care of myself / And you became a ghost before you wanted / And my heart is the home you’ve haunted / And every time I hear the sirens sing / I feel footsteps inside of me / Like your heart beating, like my heart beating.”

“Seven Years” — “These scars of mine are more than skin deep / And there are ghosts in the air I breathe / And these ghosts will haunt your dreams / They’ll taunt you in your sleep / Saying, ‘Oh, we know about the love you lost and need’… My darling, you’re only fifteen, but in seven years you will see.”

“Tiger Square” — “My mother said to keep away from there / from Tiger Square / But she’s been gone now for so long, so long.”

3. Robert Schwartzman of Rooney

When Robert was 11 years old, his dad died of cancer.

“Go On” — “I remember when we held each other while the world changed / I was 11, you were 13, we never seemed to act our own age / How could we know in a heartbeat things would never be the same?”

“Holdin’ On” — “I was young, I’d seen it all / A cemetery in the middle of a super mall / I went to school, I never learned / How it feels, how everything you love can burn…I don’t know what I’ve lost / And I don’t know how to get it back”

4. Molly Rankin of Alvvays

When Molly was 12, her dad (John Morris Rankin of The Rankin Family) died in a winter car accident in Canada when his car skidded off the icy road and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

“Next Of Kin”: “No color to his skin / Inform the next of kin…I left my love in the river / The only one I see / I lost his hand in the current.”

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Hologram’s cover of “Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground:

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Have you heard Soko’s cover of Donovan’s song “Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do”?

After you listen to it, try playing both songs at the same time! The tempos are a little different so it’s pretty fun.

The original:

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