Ever notice how many “haunting” new tracks exist?!
“Haunting” has become the go-to descriptor for everything – from slow, melodic electronic beats layered with indecipherable hipster countertenor vocals; to female soloists offset by a dreary piano; to brooding, nasally vocals harmonized with synths and baritone guitar.
Here’s how rampant “haunting new track” appears online (“haunting new song” generates an equally staggering ~14,000 results):
We’re sure music journalists/bloggers can think of more clever ways to describe moody songs. What about eerie, ominous, introspective, mercurial, morose, melancholy, gloomy, dark, sinister, foreboding, creepy, spooky, or nostalgic?
Here are more overused (and stereotypical) song descriptors we’d like to see re-imagined:
Emotional: (intense) adjective typically assigned to songs from female solo artists. Example: Emotional new track ‘Hello’ from Adele is hauntingly beautiful via She Knows.
Powerful: (strong) typically overused to describe songs from female R&B artists, but also (sometimes) Kesha. Example: Kesha Drops a Powerful New Track with Zedd, Makes Us Feel All the Feels via Marie Claire.
Upbeat: (cheerful) almost always used to describe tracks from Indie pop artists. Example: Bastille Go For An Upbeat Summer Anthem With “Good Grief” via Idolator.
*Please note: The usage of “anthem” is strictly reserved for upbeat songs that drop during the summer. You’ll never hear of Spring, Fall or Winter anthems.
Catchy: (memorable) overused adjective to describe songs from pop artists. Example: Listen to Lady Gaga’s ludicrously catchy new song, ‘A-YO’ via Mashable.
Killer: (awesome) typically assigned to rap songs. Example: Flo Rida Slays With Epic Medley Of Hits & Killer New Song ‘Zillionaire’ At TCAs via Hollywood Life.
Banger: (tight) overused colloquialism reserved for EDM and Hip-Hop songs. Example: Smash Mouth Just Dropped An EDM Banger And I’m Officially Naming This The Song Of The Summer via Bro Bible.
*Fun fact: “Banger(s)” is also a slang term for the following: sausages, breasts, parties, firearms, and a jalopy.
Mysterious: (perplexing) usually describes songs from Aphex Twin and xx. Example: The xx Release Mysterious New Piece of Music via Pitchfork.
Remember: the only way to feel all of the feels is to use words that evoke all of the feels. So let’s get more creative when describing bangers and anthems. (Barf).