22 Nov 2016

VAPOUR TRAIL'S ALTERNATIVE BREAKUP PLAYLIST

So, you’re back here again. Floating adrift, somewhere between voluntary starvation and violent binge eating, the notion of lost romance prodding you in the face like a needy toddler. You think: “if only I had the energy to lift my head from this tear-stained pillow. To find some songs that exemplify my cursed, sullen predicament.”

Well, look no further, because we’ve got you covered. Shut the blinds, make a brew and plug yourself in – it’s going to be a heavy 59 minutes.


PART ONE: oh, shit. 

Glass Eyes – Radiohead 
After two decades spent crafting a soundtrack for the emotionally wobbly masses, it’s arguable that Radiohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ stands out as perhaps the most poignantly accurate break-up record, well, ever. Its crowning glory is this – a gut-wrenching glimpse into the unknown. Here, the prospect of existence as a single entity is cushioned only by a barrage of wondrous strings.

Casimir Pulaski Day – Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens is well known for his air of melancholy: after all, he is one of the few musicians to have a lengthy subreddit thread dedicated to debate on his ‘saddest songs’. This gently plucky track about deceased love is almost certain to raise a wry, watery grin before ripping your already bruised heart from within your chest with the fatal phrase: “He takes and he takes and he takes.”

Neptune Estate – King Krule 
Sometimes, it’s necessary to drift back into comfortable thoughts of those you’ve lost. King Krule brings forth an ideal combination of heavy-handed beats, skidding instrumental blips and aggressively brash lyricism to aid every step of your wallowing.

Porno – Arcade Fire
Despite the bewilderingly romantic endurance that blossoms between wedded band members Win Butler and Regine Chassange, ‘Porno’ from 2014’s Reflector strikes as a jaggedly electronic homage to low self-esteem and a love prematurely culled.

Washer – Slint
‘Washer’ has been reassuring the lonely lovelorn on their first night as singletons since 1991. With a gently ascending melody that gathers pace into a crashing, grandly orchestrated sense of dread, the cacophonous humdrum will leave you feeling oddly cleansed, if not a bit tuckered out.

Ocean Rain – Echo & the Bunnymen
Worse things probably don’t happen at sea. Grand tones of gently rolling percussion and illustrious strings immerse Ian McCulloch’s theatrical vocal to create this poetic, seafaring metaphor for heartbreak.

you're probably feeling a bit like this

PART TWO: begrudgingly accepting that things can only really get better (or, at least, they can’t get any worse). 

Regret – Fiona Apple
After the initial haze of terror passes, most will begin to realise the somewhat extensive list of their ex-idol’s faults. In the sheer strength of her chokingly tremulous tones - alongside a thumping piano accompaniment - Fiona Apple declares war on the idea of putting the happiness of others before her own in three small words: “leave me alone”.

Tinder Surprise – Towel
Many of us have experienced the various horrors of tinder. Thankfully, the brutally honest and ever-brilliant trio Towel has ensured that this contemporary dating-app hell is forever enshrined in a flurry of brief, furious punk.

Back to the Middle – Deerhunter
Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox recently revealed to Pitchfork his belief that “capitalism and sexuality are inherently linked”. In a similar vein of slight hopelessness, this aptly cyclical track ventures into the aggression provoked by broken promises, seared with trickles of intricately screeching guitar.

Dogs – Sun Kil Moon
The devastatingly talented (and generally devastated) Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon reveals what can only be described as a journey into the depths of his romantic failings with this echoingly emotive masterpiece. Aside from the small note that romantic love is essentially a lie, the intoxicating pierce of his infamous guitarwork cuts deeper than any of the words on display.

Since I Left You – The Avalanches
It’s difficult not to feel just a little wonderful whilst being gently bombarded with this 2000 sample-heavy hit from the Avalanches. Take the opportunity to bask in newly-found freedom and peppy electronica – hey, maybe you could even manage to have a shower today.

Home – LCD Soundsystem
It is a truth universally acknowledged that LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is the wisest man alive. With a generous helping of hopeful optimism, singalong lyrics and the inclusion of many tiny percussive instruments, ‘home’ single-handedly stands as a reminder that there’s plenty of things to feel good about. It’s not all doom and gloom; who knew?

(Words: Emily Ingram)