What’s that Frank Ocean quote? “When you’re happy, you enjoy the music. But when you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.” Music fuels my day, it helps me focus, helps me work, helps me think, its a major part of my life. But when I’m down, I really need music. I have it playing always. No one understands like a good song.
This is even more true of breakups. Since the dawn of time there have been breakups, and there has been breakup music. Nothing expresses the sadness, the frustration, the anger and the acceptance than a good song. Bieber’s, Sorry is a belated tribute to Selena, Jenny Lewis announced she was over Johnny with Breakin Up. Karen O knows “They don’t love you like I love you.” Ella just Can’t Get Started. There are so many. Lately, dealing with my own heartache, and being less eloquent than Fitzgerald I have been bringing back my favourites to soothe my bruised soul. To help you cope with the one who got away, here is my list of top picks for indie breakup music.
Bon Iver – For Emma
From the moment I saw Justin Vernon do this Black Cab Session (see video) I knew I would forever love his music. This album has the power to make me want to cry and instantly makes me feel better.
Stars – Set Yourself On fire
Coming up on it’s 10 year anniversary, this album will forever be iconic to me. While I hate Trap Door, and lots of their more recent work, this album will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Tobias Jesso Jr. – Without You
You’re saying to yourself right now, ‘I have never heard of this guy.’ But what you don’t know is this Polaris Prize short-lister just co-wrote Adele’s new song When We Were Young. So, you know him now, and when you click on this link you won’t forget him. I had the pleasure of catching him live at the Mod Club in Toronto and it was both cathartic and moving.
Band of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You
“We are the ever living ghost of what once was.” An often misunderstood song, this seems like it could be a love song but really it’s the ultimate break up song. I saw them do an acoustic set and I will never forget it. Oddly enough, I heard tell that this was the song Drew Barrymore and her husband danced to at their wedding, but there’s no denying that it’s beautiful.