When you think of EDM, you probably think of the huge bass drops and danceable tracks that the overarching genre became famous for. But the production quality and creativity that it allows for some of the most emotional pieces of music we have in the modern day. In this article, we’ll look at the 33 saddest EDM songs of all time.
1. Fellow Feeling – Porter Robinson
Porter Robinson is well known for the intricate themes of his music and how well he weaves emotions into those tracks. Fellow Feeling isn’t just one of his best examples of that, it’s one of the saddest and most emotionally powerful EDM songs out there.
Frankly, you could rank it among the best EDM tracks of all time. It literally feels like the voice of God speaks through the song, pushing listeners through a soundscape that quickly shifts from a vibrant and wonderful place to something sad and ugly. It eventually reconciles the two, blending the different styles of the track into one to create something truly beautiful.
2. RAMelia (Tribute to Amelia) – RAM And Susana
Is there anything more saddening than the loss of your significant other? RAMelia (Tribute To Amelia) is a tribute to RAM’s late wife who passed away unexpectedly. The lyrics are incredibly pained but astoundingly beautiful, speaking to the love he had for his wife and how devastating her loss was. Whether you can relate to the song or not, you’ll surely be able to feel the raw emotion pouring out of the track.
3. Without – Funtcase feat. Dani Poppitt
Without was a major shock for many fans of DJ Funtcase. His music usually revolves around dark and relentless dubstep that just never lets up. But Without was a different beast. Dani Poppitt sings about a relationship as it collapses over a piano that slowly blends into a pounding dubstep that sounds more like Funtcases’s typical stuff, but it has a melodic rhythm to it that keeps the heavy sadness at the forefront. Overall, it showed the musical diversity of Funtcase and remains one of the saddest EDM songs of all time.
4. Sun & Moon – Above & Beyond And John Bedford
The end of a relationship is one of the most heartbreaking and difficult things to deal with, especially when you feel like you gave everything you had to it just for it to fall apart. Perhaps better than any other EDM song, Sun & Moon captures those powerful emotions best. It speaks to the permanent mark some people leave on your life and how hard it can be to move on for many people.
5. Home – Marauda
Marauda is fairly new to the scene, only releasing his debut album in 2017. But in those few years since, he’s established himself among the best producers in the EDM scene. He’s another artist who tends to lean into dark and aggressive sounds, but Home was a major exception.
Rather than his typical booming hi-hats, it’s best described as a dubstep-infused lo-fi single. It’s a reimagining of The Cinematic Orchestra’s To Build A Home, but the melancholic sound it produces is the perfect background for Marauda’s style of dubstep. Even without a single lyric, it evokes nostalgia that will make you miss some part of your earlier life and maybe even shed a tear.
6. Collapse – Zeds Dead Feat. Memorecks
Collapse is an incredibly sad song because it talks about having to end a relationship when you don’t want to. You might be willing to work on things but that doesn’t mean your partner hasn’t already checked out and given up. This track is a reminder that in those cases, it’s better to move on, regardless of how much it hurts. But that takes nothing away from the soul-crushing feeling of having to end things, and this song sums it up extremely well.
7. Cry (Just a Little) – Bingo Players
The melody of Cry (Just A Little) has been used quite a few times. It was first used in the 1988 hit single Piano In The Dark, then was used in 2012 by Flo Rida for the song I Cry. Bingo Players took the same melody and created Cry (Just A Little) in 2011, a track that perfectly encapsulates the feeling of how awful it is to leave someone, even if you have plenty of reasons to do so.
8. LA Never Says Goodbye – Kayzo, ARMNHMR, And Kyle Pavone
Kayzo has collaborated with some pretty big names in the rock and EDM scenes during his career, and he’s experimented with every kind of electronic music there is. One of his best dubstep offerings comes alongside ARMNHMR and Kyle Pavone. Pavone was the lead singer of We Came As Romans but tragically passed shortly after the song was released. His vocal performance in the track is incredibly intense, and the melodic dubstep backing it is the perfect backdrop for one of the saddest EDM songs of all time.
9. Destinations – Alesso
Destinations is a super interesting song from Alesso’s debut album Forever. He spent a lot of time in Tokyo working on music, and the cultural inspiration in the track is very apparent. It is one of the most emotional instrumentations out there, and it doesn’t lose a bit of those feelings for its entire runtime.
10. Painted White – Illenium & Said the Sky Feat. Cristina Soto
Said The Sky & Illenium are frequent collaborators and friends, which, combined with their similar styles, makes for some great music. Just about anything they’ve released together has some compelling emotion to it, but Painted White takes this to an entirely new level.
Cristina Soto’s vocal performance in the track stands out among the sea of other sad EDM songs, and the bass shifts and slips as the story she sings takes twists and turns. Just the production quality and design of the track alone makes it a worthy entry to any list of the best EDM songs, but its emotional power also makes it one of the saddest.
11. Prayer in C – Lilly Wood & The Prick And Robin Schulz
Prayer In C is a testament to the devastating effects of pollution and corruption in the world we live in today. The planet itself is hurting thanks to people’s actions. This song specifically speaks to the ill effects going on and how we need to become more conscious of our actions or we might cause our own extinction.
12. Strobe – deadmau5
No matter why you’re feeling sad, you’re going to be able to relate to deadmau5’s song Strobe. It appeared on both his fourth album and Greatest Hits album. The feelings it’s able to evoke in listeners are universal, but not so simple that it’s possible to just ignore them.
13. Gold – Adventure Club Feat. Yuna
Gold spends most of its time focusing on the unseen wounds that words can cause. Even if you try to shake them off, people’s words can bring you to an entirely new low. The same is true when you try to hold onto someone that doesn’t want to still be with you, as that can make you feel like crap for a long time as well.
14. Life Goes On – Dubloadz feat. Anuka
Dubloadz album Dubloadz And The 9000 Ghosts is the perfect blend of lazy triplets and trap dubstep, but one song on the album sticks out like a sore thumb for how different it is. Life Goes On is near the end of the tracklist and has such a sticky-sweet vibe to it that you’d almost think you’re listening to a different artist.
Anuka sings about regrets from a prior relationship and how she fakes being okay in the aftermath of the breakup. But the glitchy sounds and chopped vocal lines add to the song’s sadness and almost mimic her crying as she lays out the story in the track.
15. Next To Me – Otto Knows
New love is all fairy tales and butterflies, but when a relationship comes crashing down, it can be the most devastating thing in the world. Next To Me by Otto Knows is about the first time this happens to you, removing your innocence and making you feel alone in the world.
16. Shelter – Madeon and Porter Robinson
Shelter is an amalgam of several different projects by Porter Robinson and Madeon. The music video uses Japanese animation, and the lyrics were pulled from another track. But the combined efforts of these pieces make for one of the best and saddest EDM songs out there. If you’ve lost someone close to you, this track will hit close to home.
17. Lights (Bassnectar Remix) – Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding’s Lights was great on its own, but the Bassnectar Remix of the song brings it to another level. It dives into the side of heartbreak that focuses on emotional exhaustion that leaves you too tired to do anything at all. She wrote it about her paralyzing childhood fear of the dark.
18. Forgettable – Project 46 Feat. Olivia
Forgettable by Project 46 isn’t a sad song on its own. It’s meant to empower listeners and help them believe in themselves. The sad part of the track is that it’s necessary because there are too many people out there who feel truly bad about themselves for no reason at all.
19. Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
Stereo Love is one of the most successful songs on this entire list, earning an eight-times platinum certification in some parts of the world and one-time platinum in the US, but the emotional side of the track was what made it so popular. It focuses on being in love with the wrong person and the toxic side of relationships that people tend to ignore. It can be hard to leave, even heartbreaking, but sometimes it’s the right choice.
20. Promises – Nero
Broken promises can be some of the most emotionally damaging things to happen in our lives, but not every situation has a clear picture of who was right and wrong. Nero’s Promises is a sad EDM song because it highlights that some people make promises they are incapable of following through on, especially when it comes to love.
21. Hometown Girl – ZHU
Hometown Girl tells the story of a musician in love with a girl from his hometown. His feelings never waver, but while he’s on the road, she checks out on the relationship. It sums up the classic trope of touring musicians, but it doesn’t take anything away from how sad the stereotype sounds in it.
22. Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix) – Flight Facilities Feat. Giselle
Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix) doesn’t tell a new story, instead, it focuses on the classic tale of a boy who falls for a girl who’s in love with a different guy, but that other guy doesn’t take any notice of her. It’s a common trope in all sorts of media, and it’s sad for pretty much everyone involved. The Australian DJ duo used the story for this song, producing one of the best dance tracks of all time.
23. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
Don’t You Worry Child is another sad EDM song about how young love, and its eventual heartbreak, can fundamentally change a person. But it also comes with an uplifting message about the nature of life and God, as turning to faith can help a person cope with their pain and find hope in a different option coming their way.
24. Daisy – Zedd Feat. Julia Michaels
Julia Michaels is the uncredited vocalist on Zedd’s Daisy. The song itself talks about a girl with a bad track record in relationships, usually trying to find love with partners who are unwilling to commit to her. It’s an age-old story, but this one comes with a twist. Daisy turns into the same kind of person and breaks other people’s hearts.
25. Gold Dust – Galantis
Sometimes, the people we love can leave us not knowing what comes next. This alone can be sad, as waiting only makes things harder. Gold Dust by Galantis not only encapsulates those feelings in its instrumentation, but it also mirrors the story by not actually letting audiences know the ending of the story.
26. Finally Moving – Pretty Lights
Finally Moving is a motivating song from Pretty Lights, but its sadness doesn’t come from the music or lyrics of the track. It’s meant to get you up and moving, feeling good about yourself, but it’s also meant for people who haven’t had something good come into their lives in a long time, which itself is sad.
27. I Remember (Caspa Remix) – deadmau5 and Kaskade
Remember (Caspa Remix) is a song that will bring up plenty of sad memories for any listener. It speaks of love that has gone away but stresses that the memories will always remain. And sometimes, those thoughts creep up on you when you aren’t expecting them, something this track will be able to make happen if you listen to it once or twice.
28. Eyes on Fire (Zeds Dead Remix) – Blue Foundation
If you’re looking for a sad EDM song that’s beautiful from start to finish, look no further than Zeds Dead’s remix of Blue Foundation’s Eyes On Fire. Even today, it’s recognized as one of their best songs and perfectly builds until the drop near the end of the track.
29. In the Dark – Tiësto
Feeling alone is one of the worst feelings in the world, and loneliness can become something that consumes people. It’s a darkness that you just have to wade through, but there’s always someone else out there in the same predicament, and finding each other can light up your world. That’s the main focus of Tiësto’s In The Dark.
30. Destiny – Markus Schulz feat. Delacey
Delacey was the voice behind Markus Schulz’s Destiny. Like most of the other songs on the list, it deals with relationships from an incredibly sad angle and has utterly sublime instrumentation that will bring a tear to your eyes.
31. Don’t Leave – Seven Lions feat. Ellie Goulding
Few things are as sad as having to beg someone not to leave you. Don’t Leave focuses on a person who has given everything to their relationship and still finds that it wasn’t enough for the other person, hoping with all of their might that it isn’t going to come to an end.
32. Goodbye to a World – Porter Robinson
Goodbye To A World is a song with several sad meanings. It could be interpreted as being about our planet and the way we pollute and destroy it, eventually causing ill effects for us too. But it could also serve as a track for someone whose world has been destroyed thanks to the loss of a loved one.
33. Room for Happiness – Kaskade Feat. Skylar Grey
Some people think that finding love, even if it doesn’t last, is better than never feeling it at all. But not everyone thinks this way despite the adage, and Room For Happiness is a song for them. It thinks of not knowing what love is like as better than losing it because there are plenty of other ways to be happy in the world.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.