Chances are you'll be sick of being asked to listen to 100 different "the ultimate romantic playlist"s on Valentine's Day, so as a solution of sorts we asked Brooklyn band Cigarettes After Sex to make us a Valentine's Day Breakup Playlist instead.
The list was compiled by frontman Greg Gonzalez and with some brief notes on why he picked each song, plus a bonus one chosen by me at the end (also with notes).
1. 'Cry Me a River' by Julie London
What can happen if you take somebody for granted… One of my favorite musical moments of all time is where her voice becomes distant during the ending fade out, as if she’s wandering away from you.
2. 'Gonna Get Along Without You Now' by Patience & Prudence
Possibly the greatest "fuck you" song ever written.
3. 'What’ll I Do' by Johnny Mathis
Sometimes this is my favourite breakup song & there was a time in my life where it was almost too powerful to listen to. It’s truly the voice of the cosmos.
4. 'It’s Over' by Roy Orbison
“Your baby doesn’t love you anymore”. There aren’t many better first lines than that.
5. 'You Always Hurt the One You Love' by the Mills Brothers
Our song “Affection” definitely takes a lot from the line, “If I broke your heart last night it’s because I love you most of all.”
6. 'We’ll Meet Again' by Vera Lynn
“Let’s say goodbye with a smile, dear”
7. 'Mr. Blue' by the Fleetwoods
& conversely how it feels to be taken for granted…
8. 'Don’t Believe' by Vashti Bunyan
An ex-girlfriend & I decided to try taking a month off from each other with no contact one frozen January when our relationship was beyond broken.
Was obviously feeling very bitter when I first heard this song during that time, stuck in my room newly heartbroken.
9. 'All Over the World' by Francoise Hardy
I once recorded a version of this song & mailed it to the same ex-girlfriend one day in an attempt to win her back when we were broken up at a separate time. She said she had had a rough day when she got it & it made her feel better.
10. 'Past, Present, and Future' by the Shangri-Las
"I’m all packed up & I’m on my way & I’m gonna fall in love, but at the moment it doesn’t look good. At the moment it will never happen again."
11) 'Affection' by Cigarettes After Sex (Roisin's pick)
You can really hear the Mills Brothers influence on this one - the pain of a relationship that has grown toxic and the narrator's attempts to persuade himself and their lover that everything's OK; with a gorgeous melding of the steady thrum of the bass, tentative percussion, yearning guitar and Gonzalez's vocal delivery; the song has a fragile beauty that can break your heart and mend it all at once.
Cigarettes After Sex tour the UK on the following dates:
Mon 17 April - Caves, Edinburgh
Tue 18 April - Gorilla, Manchester
Wed 19 April - Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
Thurs 20 April - Koko, London
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