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11 Songs For The Perfect Alternative Anti-Valentine’s Day Playlist

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[Photos via YouTube]

For many, Valentine’s Day is a celebration. A chance to let the one you love know just how deep that love goes. A day for taking chances on those you’re crushing. Even popping the question to the person you used that crush. Hearts will flutter, dreams will come true, absolutely millions of kisses will take place, and music will most definitely be the soundtrack to them all. Cutesy pop, sexy hip-hop, romantic rock—every genre has let love guide the way for decades.

But what about those who find the day insufferable? For those who can’t stand all the hearts, teddy bears, and lovey-dovey sentiments? Well, there’s a soundtrack for that as well.

So, in celebration of those who are anti-Valentine’s Day, idobi has put together a collection of songs from the alternative universe for anyone who wants to escape from Cupid’s gaze.

“Go To Hell” —  Go Radio

Jason Lancaster just has a knack for penning a romantic masterpiece. With choice cuts such as “Goodnight Moon” and “The Truth Is,” Go Radio has always been where he has placed his best and brightest first dance options. Though it’s for this very reason that when he turns things around, his break-up anthems are just as sharp and savage.

Honestly, “Go To Hell” is as on the nose as it gets. It’s a song delivered as a letter to the one that broke your heart, featuring everything you have ever wanted to say but never known how to find the words. Reminding them that their bedroom still smells like you despite them lying with someone else in it. That just because they’re saying heartfelt things to someone else doesn’t mean that they haven’t already said them to you in the past. And that all those things don’t matter now because they left you, and you want nothing to do with them.

Going straight for the jugular and not holding back is the perfect farewell to a part of your life you want to forget. It’s also a reminder to never get on the wrong side of Jason, as he will read you to filth.

“I Don’t Love You” — My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade is still revered 18 years after its world-altering release for a very good reason. It’s because despite existing in the fantastical realm of a parade that takes you to the afterlife, it is still immensely human. Through the repenting of sins and facing off against family that makes up the rest of the sprawling tracklisting, “I Don’t Love You” is the most heartbreaking and honest of looks into this life flashing before our eyes.

So much of that humanity comes from the vocal performance of Gerard Way. You can feel his soul splitting into shards with every word uttered, the tears ready to race down his cheeks. The intimacy of this relationship breaking down in the most violently cruel and starkly honest way, all centered around the idea that love is something that can be ripped away in the space of just 24 hours, is enough to make you want to close the curtains and sit in the dark for the next week.

Such masterful control over deep feelings that still hit like a battering ram almost twenty years later? That’s the work of legends.

“The Only Thing You Talk About” — D.R.U.G.S.

Now, there is an interesting story behind the origins of this D.R.U.G.S. classic. It started as a demo for Chiodos in 2009 called “Thermacare.” Shortly after, Craig Owens left and formed Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, so the song elements were split in two between him and the remaining members of Chiodos. That’s why this brutal character assassination will always be associated with “Stratovolcano Mouth” from the 2010 album Illuminaudio.

But enough of the history lesson. Let’s just say that Craig didn’t hold back in his brushing down of a past relationship here. From knowing that he would be instantly replaced the moment he left to speaking candidly about how selfish this particular person’s interests are, it’s not for the faint of heart. And let’s just hope that you never get sent it as a parting gift.

“If You Wanted A Song Written About You All You Had To Do Was Ask” — Mayday Parade

Now, we have already mentioned Jason Lancaster’s work with Go Radio. But there is still space to honor what he did alongside Derek Sanders and co. with Mayday Parade. As an album, A Lesson In Romantics felt like a rollercoaster through every ebb and flow that falling in and out of love can have. Though the most profound ebb comes in the form of this track which details the process of figuring out who you are without that significant other.

It plays out like a montage in a movie. Vividly describing taking photos off the wall so you don’t have to look at them again. The harsh emotion of looking back on those memories and knowing that they ultimately mean nothing now is apparent. But the realization that you are the only one you need to feel happy in this life is even more potent.

It perfectly expresses how the mind can change with the flick of a switch. That you can wake up one day and feel okay about everything you have experienced. There’s a reason why so many still turn to the band as a vital part of their recovery

“Everybody But You” — State Champs

State Champs were really pulling from the school of mid-00s middle finger-throwing with this one. Musically they are channeling The All-American Rejects at their most damning and detailed. Though in terms of message, “Everybody But You” is plain, simple, and damning in all ways. There’s a party happening, and you’re not invited by any stretch.

The song is another case of coming to your senses after pulling Cupid’s arrow out of your behind and realizing what sort of oblivion you have been walking toward. All of the passions you have put to one side to please someone else. All of the things you have missed out on because it’s different from what they like to do. It’s a song that brings you back to reality. Remembering what it means to have a good time without being told whether you’re going too far.

 “Enough is enough. What the fuck was I thinking.” Yeah, that’s it summed up perfectly.

“Scott Street” — Phoebe Bridgers

We are sure that if you have gone through a break-up, at least one Phoebe Bridgers song speaks to precisely what you were going through. Her talent for expressing sadness and hurt in a way that feels as personal and powerful as possible is quite the ointment. However, what else makes her tear-stained storytelling so visceral is how she pulls that emotion out of the most normal of moments.

Enter “Scott Street,” a song that in recent memory has soundtracked many an emotional TikTok. Though when you peel away the downtrodden horns and wistful atmospheres, this is basically a song about a conversation. Catching up with someone who you once knew everything about in a chance meeting. Checking in on a sibling, asking how the band is going, anything to fill the silence.

The intimacy of this interaction and the poetic way that Phoebe delivers it is enough to crush your spirit for a good few hours. And in the final utterance of the statement, ‘Don’t be a stranger,’ an invite to still be friends but one that comes with more complications than you can count, it feels like the final blow to end all blows.

“My Friends Over You” — New Found Glory

At the end of the day, your friends are the people who make you who you are. They are the ones who will still be there with you when the sun bursts into flames. The ones who will always hold you accountable for what direction you are heading. They will also be on hand to lift you up when you’re let down by the one you thought was the one.

That’s the sentiment that New Found Glory has dished out for just over 20 years now with “My Friends Over You,” and it still fills dancefloors to this day. Though the song is as infectious as it gets—crossing that bridge between pop-punk brightness and hardcore intensity—it’s impossible not to get wrapped up in the fun and fury of it all. It’s such a pitch-perfect display of companionship that it’s a song that rightfully gets held up as one of the genre’s absolute best.

So if you’re going through it, call up your closest, wrap your arms around each other, and scream these words into each other’s faces. It’s everything that you will ever need.

“Romance Is Dead” — Parkway Drive

Now, you know we had to get some metalcore in here. And is there a better example than a song that boasts the lyric, “You wouldn’t know love if it crushed your fucking chest”? No, we think not.

You have to return to 2005 to find Parkway Drive delivering this curb stomp of a break-up track. Yet, nearly 20 years on, the depths “Romance Is Dead” dives into are immense. Emotions are running high, especially as Winston McCall utters the statement, “So cry me a fucking river,” and poses the despair of “You are everything that’s wrong with me/You are everything that I despise.” Set against a backdrop of circle pit-spinning aggression, there are feelings of remorse for reconciliation here. Only jet-black hatred.

So, if you’re feeling cheated, betrayed, and let down, stick this one on. We guarantee that you will feel much better after those five minutes and 18 seconds of purging your demons.

“Exile” — Taylor Swift

There are plenty of different strands of heartbreak that Taylor Swift has created tapestries out of. From the blunt force honesty of “Dear John” in 2010 to the intimate unraveling of “You’re Losing Me” in 2023. Her career is built on being held up and pulled back down again, easing the heartache of millions.

There’s something about “Exile,” which appeared on her cabin in the woods-ready epic Folklore, though. Something about the atmosphere that inspired the record—of walking through the woods, surrounded by the trees—that adds to the heaviness of it. It actually has a lot to do with the fact that it features Bon Iver, as Justin Vernon has also always had a penchant for the powerful. The two play out the song like it is a conversation at the end of all things. Overlapping their admissions that there were signs that this was coming to an end before their eyes. Neither side apparently let the other get their reasonings in. This contrast of perspectives, of hearing both sides of the story in parallel, is nothing short of timeless. Timeless but terrifying real.

There’s a reason that Taylor Swift is such a worldwide sensation. It’s because she has the capacity to create songs like this.

“I Hope You’re Happy” — Games We Play

When a song about a break-up goes as viral as this one did for Games We Play, you know that everybody is going through it. Though, once again, it’s coming from a different angle.

In the case of this story that Emmyn is telling, it’s one where he realizes that the person who has replaced him may look like an upgrade on the surface, but below the surface, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. And it’s with this in mind he is reminding this particular ex that they better not be thinking about him and what they lost because they had their chance.

Of course, there’s heartbreak at the center of “I Hope You’re Happy.” But taking such ownership of the situation and moving on with life with a smile on their face. That’s how healing happens. It’s also a song where self-worth is at the forefront. You’re better than this, you deserve more, and there’s a whole world out there waiting for you. That’s much more positive than returning to where you just came from.

“Rory” — Foxing

Foxing has been celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut album, The Albatross, over the last few months. It’s an album that represents a very particular period in their lives and, hand with that, a very particular set of emotions. In the case of “Rory,” those emotions are utterly soul-crushing.

Like watching a break-up take place on a misty moor at the break of dawn, it’s a track that delves straight into the heart of what it means to have your life flipped on its head. Contrasting the harsh elements of nature with the tender intimacy of a heart splitting into two, it is as ravenous as it is revealing. Poetic and polarizing, the way that vocalist Conor Murphy howls as he begs the question, “So why don’t you love me back?” before pressing his lips to his trumpet and letting out a mournful toot is about as affecting as it gets.

To have captured such feeling in just under four minutes of swelling sound is why emo as a genre continues to thrive. It’s even more epic to have captured it in a way that will now soundtrack the falling apart of relationships from now until eternity, which is another kettle of fish altogether.

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