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Songs for Haters

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Sun Feb 18 2024

For those of you who aren't as on board with the whole Valentine's Day thing, WSUM's Music Journalism Club has put together a list of the best anti-love songs.

Neil Young, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” 

GENRE: Folk, pop 

RIYL: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell 

STANDOUT MOMENT: 

The assembly of vocals, piano and guitar make it beautifully powerful and emotional. The lyrics read like poetry and the chord progression matches it wonderfully. This is my favorite album from Neil Young and this is the song that got me into it. 

— Evie Erickson

Phoebe Bridgers, “Motion Sickness”

GENRE: Indie rock

RIYL: Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker, Boygenius

STANDOUT MOMENT: “You said when you met me you were bored. And you, you were in a band when I was born”

“Motion Sickness” is a timeless song that reveals the pitfalls of relationships with large age differences. Written about Ryan Adams, this song delves into the things that he did to Phoebe and the emotions that gave her “emotional motion sickness”. 

Jordon Stangland

The Magnetic Fields, “I Think I Need a New Heart”

GENRE: Indie Folk

RIYL: Elliott Smith, Belle and Sebastian

STANDOUT MOMENT: The vocal inflections when he sings “heart on the hook”

Have you ever felt numb? Have you ever felt like you arent exactly feeling things the way things are meant to be felt? Well this is the song for you! I love this song for the way its instrumentation is assembled, a simple acoustic guitar and an occasional lick of percussion that feels a bit like a samba beat, they lay a foundation for the deep rumbling voice of Stephin Marritt. He tells a story of a person who just can never say the right thing and wishes he could feel things differently, and he makes it ever so catchy. Very quickly you'll find yourself singing along with him, sending your pitch every which way as you linger on the word heart.

Kian Murphey

Jeff Buckley, “So Real”

GENRE: Alternative rock, blues

RIYL: Radiohead, Elliot Smith, feeling heartbroken and sad

STANDOUT MOMENT:

“Love, let me sleep tonight on your couch and remember the smell of the fabric of your simple city dress.”

What makes love real? This is the question that Jeff Buckley begs to ask on one of the greatest tracks off of his timeless 1994 LP Grace. While other tracks off of this album like “Lover, You Should've Come Over” and “Lilac Wine” take nearly hopeful stances on the concept of lost love, “So Real” takes a different, despairing approach. On “So Real,” the emotion of Jeff Buckley's voice and stunning songwriting tangibly express heartbreak in a way that no other song can achieve. While seemingly lyrically incomplex compared to his other tracks, Buckley's incredibly powerful delivery of the phrase “that was so real” stings with every hit and the song's two verses are beautifully and poetically written. The song descends into madness upon the conclusion of the second chorus- interrupted by a noisy guitar solo that perfectly expresses the dazed and angst-filled mental state of the song's protagonist. “So Real” is the perfect anti-love song; a brilliant display of the human emotions we feel in the absence of love.

— Quentin Holle

Neutral Milk Hotel, “Song Against Sex”

GENRE: Indie folk

RIYL: The Microphones, Elliott Smith

STANDOUT MOMENT: 

For our abstinent crowd. 

— Cole Smith

Sarah Kinsley, “The Giver”

GENRE: ant/indie pop

RIYL: Boygenius, Matt Maltese, Rayland Baxter, Faye Webster

STANDOUT MOMENT: “I'm a giver, or am I a fool? He forgets the words, so I teach him to say, ‘I love you'”

Addie Fielding

FLETCHER, “Lead Me On”

GENRE: alt-pop/pop

RIYL: The 1975, Lorde, Chappell Roan

STANDOUT MOMENT: “I was made to find you but your heart is constantly runnin', just never toward me”

— Samantha Markus

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HATER MJC MUSIC JOURNALISM CLUB STAFF PIECE VALENTINE'S DAY

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