Songs to Soundtrack this Current Break-up Season

Tis’ the season of break-ups. It seems everyone I know is going through some sort of relationship kerfuffle. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that Sydney’s nightlife is finally opening up again after two years of lockdowns, or that Mercury is about to be in retrograde. 

Whatever the case may be, hearts are being broken, couples are splitting up, friend groups are shattering, and we all need music to help us get through these trying times.

Let this article serve as your guide through this break-up season.

Changes – Black Sabbath

So, you’ve just been broken up with. It could be the same day or mere moments ago. You’re filled with a sudden shock and pain, tears are flowing onto your pillow. You’re devastated, and not sure how it happened. An emotional love ballad for the broken-hearted, ‘Changes’ is aching in its vocals and lyrics; the pain in Ozzy Osbourne’s voice, coupled with its beautiful piano melody, perfectly captures the shattered heart you feel crumbling in your chest. “I feel unhappy, I feel so sad / I’ve lost the best friend that I’ve ever had.”

Cellophane – FKA twigs

You are still upset, the break-up is recent. You feel like it is just hitting you, the reality of what a life without this person will be. You don’t want to share this love that you had with another person, you don’t want to move on, or for them to move on from you. They were your lifeline, your confidant, the person you told everything to, but now that they’re gone you have no one to tell. These feelings are overwhelming and all consuming, it’s all you’ve been able to think about. ​​”But I just want to feel you’re there / And I don’t want to have to share our love.”

Good 4 u – Olivia Rodrigo

The sting of the break-up is still fresh in your mind. Your pain and sadness turns to anger as you see them post on their Instagram story. ‘Who’s this?’, you think to yourself, as they’ve tagged someone they never mentioned before. You do a little stalking and find they’ve moved on. ‘Already?!’ Your blood boils, your rage hits the ceiling, and you pop on ‘good 4 u’. Rodrigo’s vocals perfectly sum up the sarcastic and bitter feelings towards your recent ex, how you might have helped them through thick and thin, and yet they were still able to move on so quickly. “Well, good for you, I guess you moved on really easily / You found a new girl, and it only took a couple weeks.”

Vad hände med dem? – The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Fuck it. They’ve moved on, it’s time for you to do the same. You’re in your promiscuous era, your party era. You’re going to fuck anything and everyone that moves. You’re going to do everything that you couldn’t do when you were with them. You’re going to do a high dive into as much alcohol and drugs that you can think of with all your friends. You’re going to dance to shitty music at Scary Canary, you’re going to go to gigs and throw yourself into the mosh pit, you’re going to scream out your friend’s car window as the incandescent lights pass overhead, you’re going to try ketamine for the first time in Victoria Park. Drinks will be spilt and the good times will roll on.

While the lyrics for this song don’t quite match up to the experience, their fast paced nature mimics the feeling of flying by the seat of your pants. Let go, experiment, get fucked up – but there is a tinge of sadness to all this as you rush from one dopamine hit to the other, just trying to forget.

“Nothing is right, nothing is good, nothing is the way it should / Something went wrong so long ago, something broke inside because of all those things we said / But I hope the winter will come soon and shut this whole town down / The snow will cover everything, every mistake we’ve ever made.”

Crying – Roy Orbison

It’s been a few weeks. You think you’ve gotten over it. You’re starting to feel better and move on. Next thing you know you’re at a party, you look across the room and there they are, and all the emotions come flooding back. They look happy and thriving, and they don’t realise that you’ve been crying. “Oh, you wished me well, you couldn’t tell / 

That I’d been crying over you.”

So Long, Marianne – Leonard Cohen

A few months have gone by. These feelings that once overwhelmed you have dulled down. You could be in a new relationship or not, either way it doesn’t matter. You’ve finally built up the courage to flip through the old memory folders, camera rolls and photographs. You can laugh and cry and feel these feelings without it being overwhelming or upsetting. You are at peace and it is a cathartic release of everything that had been lingering beneath the surface for so long. You are finally able to fully let go. “Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began / To laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.”

Hello, How Are You? – The Easybeats

Years have gone by now, and you run into each other on the street. These feelings have dissipated. You’ve both moved on with your lives. It’s awkward, you have some brief small talk, discuss what you’ve been up to, and go about your day. An exchange of smiles ricochet between you two, but nothing more than that. There is no ill-will, no lingering feelings; not to say there isn’t love, but not one as profound as when you dated, merely just a warmth. The break-up is finally over, and you will most likely never see one another again. “And suddenly I see her face / Coming through the crowd / Hello, how are you / It’s good to see you here.”

You can listen to the full playlist here.

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