Singer-songwriter Be Steadwell gets you in the mood for her live performance of soul, a capella, and folk at the David Rubenstein Atrium on Thursday, September 6.

Be Steadwell: I love sad love songs. Writing them, singing them, hearing them, and feeling a sudden urge to cry. I don't know why. Probably the catharsis. A sad love song gives you permission to feel. Here are some of my favorite sad love songs of all time. Listen to the full playlist on Spotify.


"Harvest Moon" as covered by Cassandra Wilson
Because Cassandra.


"Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver
The whole album For Emma Forever Ago is sad love on a stick. It is all fog and winter and dark.


"She Says" by Ani DiFranco
My first gay song. I was 13, it was a woman's voice talking about loving (or trying not to love) another woman.


"Gone" by Denai Moore
No comment. This song speaks for itself.


"One Last Time" as covered by Thirdstory
Initially a very cheezy, catchy pop club song by ariana grande transformed into a heartwrentching ballad.


"Little Green" by Joni Mitchell
Joni for me is the voice of my parents meeting in Berkeley in the '60s, of california generally and of melancholic love. Nostalgia for a love, a daughter, a home lost forever.


"Portrait of Tracy" by Jaco Pastorius
The inspiration for another one of my favorite songs, "Rain" by SWV, this is one of the most beautiful basslines I've ever heard.


"It Doesn't Matter Anymore" as covered by Eva Cassidy
Eva is a beloved patron saint of D.C. A brilliant vocalist and guitarist yet a shy performer, we lost her too soon to cancer in the mid '90s. I grew up on her melodies and though I've heard this one a thousand times, it's still so poignant.


"I Was Wrong" by Chris Stapleton
I love a good country song. This one is simple and plainly vulnerable. And this white boy can certainly sing a run or two.


"Speak Your Heart" by Lizz Wright
Lizz Wright. Is everything.


"Take the Night Off" by Laura Marling
From the first bent note on the guitar, this song breaks your heart. I don't always know what Laura is going on about, but I always feel so much.


"Blue in Green" by Miles Davis
I fell in love to this song. It feels like a song to fall in love to, or fall out of love to. It's so emotionally rich, it could go either way.


About the Curator

Be Steadwell is a singer-songwriter from Washington, D.C. who blends soul, a capella and folk into a genre she calls QUEER POP. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering, and beat boxing to compose songs on stage. Be's original music features earnest lyricism, and Affirming LGBTQ content.​

Be has shared stages with fellow artist-activists Big Freedia, Nona Hendryx, Nikky Finney, and Gina Yashere. In 2017 she sang at The Women's March on the National Mall behind Maxwell and Janelle Monae in Toshi Reagon's Big Lovely Band. Earlier this year she released her newest album Queer Love Songs.