With the gradual decline of consumer-friendly physical music-listening formats, one could be forgiven for calling the art of the mixtape a lost one. In fact, however, playlist-making thrives in the digital age, continuing to give hopelessly romantic music nerds an outlet for their thinly-veiled emotions. Alas, February 14 is not typically quite as kind to those who find themselves sans sweetheart, so if V-Day has you down on love as a concept, why not instead use that newfangled technology and throw together a playlist to show someone in your life how much you dislike them?
- The Mountain Goats – No Children
The Kicker: “I hope when you think of me years down the line, you can’t find one good thing to say / And I’d hope that if I found the strength to walk out, you’d stay the hell out of my way”
A time-tested, bitter classic, this jaunty John Darnielle joint has it all: deceptively pretty acoustic guitars, a singalong chorus and some of the most palpably pissed-off lyrics ever committed to record. If your goal is to make (painfully) clear that you want someone to drop off the face off the earth, this is an ideal opener.
- Go Sailor – Fine Day For Sailing
The Kicker: “I’ve become quite adept at pretending you’re nice / If you don’t believe it, pretending will have to suffice”
Adorable, right? Listen closer. Throw this one in between your classically cute twee pop love songs to let your mix’s recipient know they “ruined your life, no big deal.”
- Of Montreal – Advice From A Divorced Gentleman To His Bachelor Friend Considering Marriage
The Kicker: “As years drag on when you wake up next to her / You’ll wish that in your sleep you had died”
A similarly insidious vaudeville melody belies a tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless snarky vignette from the point of view of someone who’s Seriously Done With Love. Recommended for those trying to break off their engagements.
- Momus – I Want You, But I Don’t Need You
The Kicker: “If your pleasure turned into pain / I would still lick for my personal gain”
The musical equivalent of spending a pleasantly breezy summer day in the park with your partner as a bird somehow poops on their face repeatedly, and all you can do is crack up.
- Jim O’Rourke – Memory Lame
The Kicker: “Looking at you reminds me of looking at the sun / And how the blind are so damn lucky”
Similar to #1, this track is recommended if you want to make it abundantly clear that you never want to see this mix’s beneficiary ever again (with an added reminder that their appearance would make that part pretty easy).
- Marianne Faithfull – Why D’ya Do It?
The Kicker: “You had cobwebs up your fanny, and I believe in giving to the poor”
Seven minutes of unbridled rage and acidity, this notoriously blunt post-punk classic is an anthem for those who have (literally) been screwed over one too many times. Best played for your S/O whilst setting their sexiest article of clothing on fire.
- Carissa’s Wierd – Sofisticated F**k Princess Please Leave Me Alone
The Kicker: “Saying sad things that don’t make sense / Can just make you look like a liar”
This one’s seething slowness fits the lyrical subject matter a little more closely than this playlist’s previous picks, but it certainly gets the job done as far as conveying the frustration and dread created by spending too much time around the obnoxiously mopey.
- Björk – 5 Years
The Kicker: “You think you’re denying me of something / Well I’ve got plenty / You’re the one who’s missing out / But you won’t notice”
This classic 1998 cut solidifies Björk’s justified (and apt, considering her home country of Iceland) reputation as a master of shutting exes down.
- Leonard Cohen – Avalanche
The Kicker: “The crumbs of love that you offer me / They’re the crumbs I’ve left behind”
The palpably ominous fingerpicked guitars and storming strings act as a fittingly menacing backdrop for that pained, indignant growl, one that only the late, great Maestro of Melancholy could deliver.
- Another Sunny Day – You Should All Be Murdered
The Kicker: “I’m going to murder all the people I don’t like… / The people who broke my heart so bad it never mends / The people who wrecked my life & all my so-called friends”
Does your anti-intended dig the bouncy whininess of the Smiths? Try this jangly near-soundalike on for size — it covers pretty much all your bases as far as shots at those who’ve wronged you. Just don’t let them see the title first.