Songs for the lonely hearts of Durham

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Songs to scream at your ex

  • get him back! – Olivia Rodrigo

Pop sensation, Rodrigo, has a knack for writing breakup songs and slating her exes. In this song she reminisces over her toxic ex, torn between her desire to rekindle the relationship and her yearning for revenge (“I want sweet revenge, and I want him again”). Infectiously catchy with a shoutable chorus, this track has all the elements of a Jimmy’s anthem.

  • Poison Poison – Renée Rapp

If you like Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Feather’, you’ll love this song. The melody almost feels too pretty to scream out, but where the melody may not express anger, the lyrics definitely do! “You’re the worst person on Earth” and “I hate your guts” (and more explicit lyrics) do not shy away from expressing hate to that ex-friend or ex-lover.

  • MUTUAL FRIEND – Jessie Reyez

‘Mutual Friend’ has the perfect amount of gritty anger in the vocals to scream to that ex that hurt you and never gave you closure. The anticipation for a build-up in the instrumentation feels like this bubbling of anger, until the chorus after the bridge reaches a climax where all anger pours out. “And if you died tomorrow, I don’t think I’d cry” perfectly summarises this resentful feeling.

Single, but make it ‘aesthetic’

  • Like the Movies – Laufey

From the 21st-century Bossa Nova Jazz artist, ‘Like the Movies’ relates to all the singles who are waiting for that picture-perfect love. Being single at university can feel isolating and as if there is no one for you, but this song will remind you that maybe you just haven’t found someone who is ‘good enough’ for you yet.

  • Tear You Apart – She Wants Revenge

This punk-rock song tells a story of intense, almost obsessive, physical attraction. The vocalist, driven by raw passion, fantasises over his crush – “I want to hold you close, skin pressed against me tight”. The heavy bassline, synths, and provocative lyrics create a dark and haunting mood, perfect for all those late night library crushes.

Long-distance blues

  • All Night Parking Interlude – Adele

This song is for those who are living different lives, but still loving each other as each night comes to an end. “But everytime that you text, I want to get on the next flight home and dream next to you all night long” beautifully encapsulates the longing that long-distance partners may experience during this time.

  • Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls

The opening line ‘And I’d give up forever to touch you’ is up there as one of the most romantic declarations. The vocalist sings about sacrifice, confessing that he’d give up everything to be with his lover. The melancholy acoustic guitar reflects the singer’s vulnerability and loneliness, revealing the depths of his love.

For that failed situationship

  • Will I See You Again? – Thee Sacred Souls

This neo retro-soul tune blends the old and new of RnB around the world. ‘Will I See You Again’ provides that ultimatum to that person who can’t decide if they want to be with you or without you; friendship or relationship. For those who are struggling to get clarification from their situationship, take comfort in this song.

  • Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift

Although many Durham students take pleasure in listening to Taylor Swift’s mega-hits, this tune shouldn’t be forgotten underneath the success of her staple songs. This song perfectly puts into words the feeling of ending a relationship that is failing to move forward. Lyrics like “Remind myself the more I gave, you’d want me less” will definitely put your feelings into perspective to help you move forward on your own.

  • Always on My Mind – Pet Shop Boys

Originally a country song from the 70s, ‘Always on My Mind’ is a cover made famous by Elvis Presley after his separation from his wife, Priscilla. The Pet Shop Boys fuse their stylistic uptempo electronic beat with lyrics of longing, telling a tale of regret over lost love. The vocalist sings, “Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died, give me one more chance to keep you satisfied”.

Single, but not so ‘aesthetic’

  • I Hate Boston – Renée Rapp

Back with another Renée Rapp recommendation, this song will make you want to cry. Point blank. For the singles who have been rejected, lyrics like “It’s not its fault that you don’t love me” really hits you where it hurts. For those who just want to scream and cry your feelings out, listen to this song. Everything will be okay.

  • Feel Again – Jovan Perez

This RnB-soul ballad sings about the pain of having to let go. From making promises to each other and building ideas of the future, to having to accept that those promises will never happen. The heart-felt lyrics and silky vocal delivery will get you feeling all the emotions. For those who want to opt for a slightly less depressing version of this song, I’d recommend the ‘huck rework’ version.

  • Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths

Nothing screams sad and lonely like The Smiths. This track is a typical Morrissey song with lyrics which reflect his self-loathing and pity. He questions the point of love when no one cares whether he lives or dies. He perfectly sums up how many of us will be feeling on Valentine’s as we see couples walking hand in hand to Spags – “Two lovers entwined pass me by and heaven knows I’m miserable now”.

Illustration: Hayleigh McLean

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