Sick of hearing about achey-breaky hearts? Want to actually experience the pain of breaking up without having to put all your CDs in boxes and fight over who gets the blender? Look no further than this list of break-up songs you've probably never heard, but definitely should.
Josh T. Pearson - Woman, When I've Raised Hell
Traditionally, country singers are the kings of heartbreak and Texan Josh T. Pearson has probably suffered more than most. Hounded by the devil for many years (according to him) and plagued by alcoholism, he's wandered the earth for the last decade collecting life experience before releasing his first solo album - the most shocking song from it being this. He's no angel, obviously, and lines like "Don't make me rule this home with the back of my hand" make it difficult to love, but boy is it effective.
Wilson Pickett - If You Need Me
More potent than the Solomon Burke version that you're probably more familiar with, this ode to separation and desperation will ring true with anyone who's laboured under an 'LDR'. Listening to this certainly beats weeping into the socks she accidentally left in your top drawer. Worth it for the spoken-word interlude section alone.
Grizzly Bear - While You Wait For The Others
This is a real male empowerment, take the moral high-ground, be the bigger person sort of a song, and in that respect it's totally unrealistic. Still, it's nice to imagine that while Daniel Rossen sings "I'll ask you kindly to make your way," he might petulantly be thinking "Jesus, I can't wait to ask that girl from work about naked fondue Tuesdays."
Camera Obscura - Country Mile
It's a fairly singular experience to miss someone because you're on tour in a Scottish pop band, but somehow Traceyanne Campbell's doleful vocal makes it a universal one. The tyranny of distance informs this beautiful string-hung epic, as sad as it is true.
Omar Souleyman - Hafer Gabrak Bidi (I Will Dig Your Grave With My Hands)
It's not all about broken hearts, obviously. Sometimes it's about wanting to kill someone and being prepared to dig their grave with your hands. Omar Souleyman, Syria's most famous dabke musician and wedding singer for hire, certainly makes his feelings clear with this clattering strut of a ditty - the final phrase of the song translates as "My heart won't forget you until death". It's pretty clear whose death he means.
Hefner - Good Fruit
Another boys' one, this. The frustration of having decided to leave a relationship to suddenly have second thoughts forms the base of singer Darren Hayman's brutal work, all set to parping brass band and mouldy-sweet harmonies. The musical equivalent of punching yourself in the thigh for an hour through sheer self-loathing.
Dirty Three - Everything's Fucked
Sometimes words aren't necessary to convey exactly how distressed one is upon exiting a relationship, so Australia's Dirty Three sought to combine the world's saddest music with the world's moist explanatory title. Desperate, meandering sounds that manage to sum up exactly what it's like to be aimless and angry after a break-up.
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