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Tuesday Ten: Valentine’s Day Edition

Whether you’re forever alone or have managed to find happiness with someone, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Valentine’s Day is the worst. For couples, it’s a mess of pressures and unfulfilled expectations; for the single, it’s an endless barrage of crushing reminders that you’re probably going to die alone with ten cats. Thankfully, for those of us who are flying solo this Valentine’s Day, at least there are plenty of amazing songs to keep us company, and our writers have compiled some of their favorites for this week’s Tuesday Ten. Without further ado, here are our top ten songs to listen to while alone in your bed eating ice cream this Valentine’s Day.

Say Anything – Total Revenge


We’re nearing ten years of this song’s ability to produce some pretty intense post-break up feelings. Max Bemis, depressing wordsmith that he is, lets the lyrics take precedence in this slow acoustic song as he details his fragile mental state: “There’s a man assigned to me / And he checks on my stability / We discuss you every week / Then I rinse and rinse, repeat.” It’s the perfect song for when you just can’t get that one person out of your head. But who needs real therapy when you’ve got your two best bros, Ben and Jerry, with you?(Alyssa Dempsey)

Brand New – Last Chance To Lose Your Keys


No other band has managed to capture our inner teen angst and anxiety as accurately as Brand New. Out of all the strong contenders for this list, “Last Chance To Lose Your Keys” is especially effective in expressing its universal anger towards that one person who forced us to get up, shower, and put on pants all for nothing. Although Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, it’s probably better to take Brand New’s advice and stay in your room belting out, “Home on a Saturday night / With all my doors locked up tight / I won’t be thinkin’ about you, baby,” as you scroll past the same lyrics on your Tumblr dashboard. (Catherine Yi)

Dashboard Confessional – Ghost Of A Good Thing


A compilation of songs about loneliness, love lost, and lying in bed alone just wouldn’t be complete without the sound of Chris Carabba’s heartbroken voice and the heavy, intricate lyrics that define Dashboard Confessional. From 2003’s A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, “Ghost of a Good Thing” represents chasing something that no longer exists – at least not in the way it once did. Carabba sings, “But you’re chasing the ghost of a good thing / Haunting yourself as the real thing / It’s getting away from you again / While you’re chasing ghosts,” reminding us that we are all probably chasing our own ghosts. So, cuddle up with a gallon of your favorite frozen dessert – it’s going to be a long night. (Alyson Stokes)

Lydia – Now The One You Once Loved Is Leaving


As if the title isn’t self-explanatory enough, Lydia’s “Now The One You Once Loved Is Leaving” portrays heartbreak with pure magnificence. This closing track to their acclaimed 2007 record Illuminate features Mindy White taking on a lead vocal as frontman Leighton Antelman responds to her desperate calls. The contrast of the vulnerable male and female crooning their heartbreak gives a whole new feeling and meaning to losing someone you truly care about. The end of the song will break your heart as Mindy cries, “Now the one you once loved is leaving” and a wash of noise and old voicemails collide and clash into pure emotional dissonance. The song ends with a gunshot-like noise that pans from left to right, as if you were shot in the head. Depressing? Yes. Cathartic? Absolutely. Whether it’s Leighton and Mindy or Ben and Jerry, these non-romantic couples are always good company for a broken heart. (Ethan Rose)

Jimmy Eat World – 23


We couldn’t have a list like this without Jimmy Eat World, could we? If you’re alone with Valentine’s Day, go buy a whole new box of tissues and sob along to the undisputed kings of the heartbroken. The irresistibly melancholic melodies of “23” – one of the most powerful songs in the band’s expansive discography – will pull at that hollow ache in your chest for a beautifully painful seven minutes (which is about how long a tub of ice cream would last when listening to it). This is a song all about saying goodbye, and the desperation in the words, “What are you hoping for?” over echoing riffs is the perfect recipe for that complete heart-wrencher. If the chorus doesn’t make at least one tear run down your cheek, then we just have to ask…are you human? (Alex Bear)

Ludo – Manta Rays


When it comes to heartbreakingly beautiful love songs, it’s pretty hard to beat Ludo. Take “Manta
Rays,” for example, a song that features a chorus so crushingly lovely that it could melt even the coldest heart with its gorgeous, crooning vocals. There’s something utterly tear-jerking about this song. Is it the poetic lyrics? The earnest voice calling out, “All I want is to know your name and whisper it in your ear”? Is it the underwater imagery? Who knows – just have tissues ready and waiting. (Taylor Lima)

Mayday Parade – Three Cheers For Five Years (Punk Goes Acoustic)


Choosing just one sad song out of Mayday Parade’s repertoire is a feat in itself, so if you’re going to sit alone with ice cream and your stereo, you won’t be disappointed with any of the carefully-crafted heartbreakers they have to offer. However, the dramatic piano ballad “Three Cheers for Five Years” should easily top the list. Or maybe that’s “Miserable at Best”…or “Stay”…well, the point is, “Three Cheers” is as good a choice as any. The intensely emotional dual vocals of Derek Sanders and Jason Lancaster as they belt out wrenching lyrics and tender harmonies will have you crawling back for more of their irresistible brand of melancholy while you mumble the forlorn verses in between mouthfuls of chocolate. So don’t worry – even if there’s no one around to break your heart on Valentine’s this year, Derek and Jason have you covered. (Hannah Pierangelo)

The Maine – Raining In Paris


“Raining In Paris” takes a different approach to being brokenhearted. Rather than crooning about the last person to wreck his heart, vocalist John O’Callaghan weaves a tale of simple loneliness on the lullaby-esque track. Sweet vocals highlighted by a soft acoustic guitar make “Raining In Paris” the perfect accompaniment to your melancholy mood. Wrap yourself in the despair of “having a heart of gold with nobody to share it with” while you curl up under your blanket this Valentine’s Day. And maybe, just maybe, by the end of the night you’ll find yourself coming to the same revelation O’Callaghan declares in the final seconds of the track – “I think I like being alone.” (Emillie Marvel)

Yellowcard – Only One


With its dramatic string arrangements and forlorn lyrics, it would be simply unacceptable to leave out “Only One” from a playlist of songs to cry to on Valentine’s Day, as it brings on emotions of heartache in a way that’s impossible to avoid. The theme of apology resounds clearly throughout the song, with lyrics like “Made my mistakes, let you down / And I can’t, I can’t hold on for too long” fitting for lost loves and having to let go. Thankfully, a tub of Häagen-Dazs won’t be quite as easy to let go of, and it can be your “only one” this holiday. (Emily Yee)

The Get Up Kids – Valentine


The indisputable king of sad Valentine’s Day songs, this classic from The Get Up Kids will be there by your side as you mourn all the constants that aren’t so constant anymore. The sounds of gentle guitar and piano weaving in and out of one another over subdued drums create the perfect soundtrack for+ heartbreak, giving way to Matthew Pryor’s unmistakably earnest voice as he pleas, “Will you be my Valentine if I’m a world away?” The midwestern emo veterans manage to perfectly capture the spirit of everyone’s least favorite holiday in just over four minutes, making it the perfect choice for your February 14th sadness this year…and next year…and the year after that too. (Eleanor Grace)

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