Breakups are hard. We all know that. Regardless of what we want, they happen, and as misery does love company, sometimes you just need to hear someone singing, talking, or yelling about the emotional havoc being inflicted upon your life. Whether they be angry, sad, or about moving on, these songs are the tracks I listen to after I’ve worn out my Dashboard Confessional records.
Headphones – “I Never Wanted You”
This has to be my number one default breakup song, perfect for those times when you’re thinking about your asshole of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Ideal for that stage of a breakup when you’re claiming apathy and want to move past the feelings you swear you never had. While I’m not saying denial is a healthy coping mechanism, “I Never Wanted You” calmly distances the heartbreakee from the heartbreaker and allows he or she to reclaim a sense of indifferent independence. As usual, David Bazan’s eloquent lyricism is perfectly laid out and soulfully displayed with sedated keys and calibrated drums.
The Antlers – “Kettering”
Warning, this is a gusher song. “I wish that I had known in that first minute we met, the unpayable debt that I owed you.” Holy crap. The album that metaphorically compares the mourning, loss, and experience of a bi-polar relationship to cancer is not for the faint of heart, so grab a box of tissues and be ready to let it all out.
Atmosphere – “F*@K You Lucy”
Perfect for letting off some steam. Can’t find the words to express your frustration about a breakup? Let Atmosphere rant for you about how deeply the one that you love can hurt you with a pretty straight-forward message. Slug speaks to the pain of abandonment, confusion, and the overall insult of loving someone who doesn’t love you back. No need to feign passivity or hide behind a mask of faux acceptance — Atmosphere says what every dumped party wants to: “No, I’m not okay, and I don’t know what to do.” He may have sandwiched that statement between some colorful vocabulary choices, but his flow is seamless, fueled by anger and exactly what a broken heart could use.
Built To Spill – “Things Fall Apart”
“We’ve all seen enough now. It’s time to decide: the meekness of love or the power of pride? It doesn’t matter if you’re good or smart. God dammit, things fall apart.” The six-minute track is coolly crooned from the conflicted perspective of one watching something crumble before their eyes. With a sweet guitar and horn breakdown mid-song to distract from the somber subject matter, “Things Fall Apart” tackles the sobering truth that sometimes things don’t work out despite our best efforts.
Damien Jurado – “Sheets”
Victim to an unfaithful partner? First of all, I’m sorry to hear that. Second of all, listen to this. It’s all you’ll need, but take note: like “Kettering,” you may want to grab some tissues if you’re fresh out of a relationship. Jurado’s haunting guitar, voice, and lyrics make no excuses for infidelity and deceit. Never experienced a breakup? Good for you, but this song is well worth a listen anyways.