Jason Isbell may be one of the most celebrated voices in Americana today, but he hasn’t let all those accolades get to his head. The self-proclaimed “Alt-Country Troubadour” pokes fun at himself and the genre’s tendency to dwell on the harder things in life. If you’re looking for a song that covers unemployment, war, broken down old trucks, alcohol and greedy bankers, Isbell has you covered.
The utterly depressing track is part of a skit featured on a recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Although it’s meant to be a joke, Isbell’s impressive vocals make even the saddest song sound kind of magical. He manages to cover almost every heartbreak-enducing subject you can think of, from dying family pets to tragic cannon accidents (yes, you read that right).
One of the best parts of the fictional infomercial comes at the end, when Isbell explains that his new album is available on triple-cassette, or the struggling online streaming service Tidal, which he credits as “the two saddest music formats known to mankind.” Ouch.
Click below to watch Jason Isbell perform the saddest song ever written for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.