PLAYLIST: Leah Capelle's perfect breakup songs
Alt singer-songwriter Leah Capelle "know me better" is the perfect breakup song. Reflecting back on the stages of grief and inevitable mourning when losing someone dear to your heart, Capelle crafts an all too relatable coming-of-age tune.
She elaborates: "It felt as though my apartment had been sliced in half – only half of the art, instruments, and books were missing, but our place – now my place – which had once been a safe haven, felt like an unbalanced prison… I wrote the first iteration of 'know me better' alone at the table, with nothing but the gut-wrenching feeling that I had been abandoned... The song evolved as I healed, and I came to terms with my contribution to the pain... 'know me better' is a breakup song for the hurting, for those trying to put the pieces back together, and for those who might need to just dance-cry the pain away."
To go along with the theme, we asked Leah to give us her top 10 breakup songs. Here’s what she came back with:
Georgia - Vance Joy
"Now you've come and gone, I finally worked it out, I worked it out." I laid in bed with my long-time high school boyfriend on our last night together. After a tormented year of long-distance and constant fighting, the relationship was finally over, but I didn't want to leave because I knew it would be the last time. Our relationship was dysfunctional, broken, and somewhat emotionally abusive, yet I still refused to get out of the bed. He put on some music to calm me down as I tried to fall asleep. Every time I hear "Georgia," I remember the subtle the light reflecting from his phone off the springs of the upper bunk in the dorm room as he half-heartedly spooned me to sleep.
Leveler - Half Waif
"If I'm gonna lose you, there's nothing to do but lose." I was on a train from Amsterdam to London. It was June, and the sun shone brightly on the buildings and rolling hills of the countryside. I had a sinking feeling that my nearly four-year relationship would end the moment I returned from Europe. I began to silently cry in a car full of strangers, as Nandi's lovely voice begged the question, "if there's no more motion, then how do I move, and be happy that I knew you?" This song will live forever in me as the perfect, powerfully sad embodiment of last summer.
Watching From A Distance - David Ramirez
"Don't you dare think that I don't think about you...Like a ghost, like the moon, like a god, like a truth - I'll be watching from a distance." One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists and human beings, this is a song that has stuck with me since it came out in 2017. Over the course of time, it has healed many parts of my being - in relationships, letting go of the past, breaking bad habits. It's hard to accept that there are parts of your life you want to invest in that no longer want you to do so, and this song has helped me come to terms with that.
Navy Blue - MUNA
"Seems like you somehow turn up when I'm at my weakest." Breakups can take a long time to heal from. Since the new MUNA record came out a few weeks ago, it has been an act of catharsis for me to listen and sing along to these words. There are so many harmful patterns I keep close to my chest, feelings that I suppress, memories I dig up for the sake of reminiscing that end up creating an aching sadness I still try not to feel. Being "navy blue" over someone is an acute yet slow and peaceful pain.
She Always Takes It Black - Gregory Alan Isakov
"You search the world for the milk of the pearl, she always takes it black." One of my favorite songs by Gregory Alan Isakov, a songwriter I've loved for years. This song isn't explicitly about a breakup, but leaves me with a serene sense of melancholy every time I sink in. It is a reminder of a dear friend who confessed feelings for me many years ago, but the timing was all wrong and I deeply let him down. He said once that this song always makes him think of me.
We Talk all the Time - The Japanese House
"We don't touch anymore, but we talk all the time so it's fine - somebody tell me what I want, 'cause I keep changing my mind." The first time I heard this was in winter, while I was trying to study for my final exams. My roommate pulled me out of my room, insisting that I "need to hear the new Japanese House record." I begrudgingly got up from my desk and curled up on the couch as she sang and danced along to the whole album in our living room. Within minutes, I was completely lost in the music. As I relived my own heartbreak, I ruminated on how difficult it is to remain friends with people that you've lost in one way or another. This song still transports me to that place with every listen.
Someday - Glorietta
"Someday, someday I won't recognize you - you won't recognize me." One of the most heartbreaking songs I've heard in a long time. David Ramirez and Noah Gundersen teamed up for the band Glorietta, a raucous supergroup born out of a love for mezcal and music. But this song is special - it stands out on the album as a simply arranged, powerful duet. I still cry nearly every time I hear it. The idea that one could ever forget the face of someone they love is a sad one, and something I sincerely hope to never give in to.
Annie & Alistair - Flyte
Flyte is a band that my ex and I were obsessed with. In my mind, their album, "The Loved Ones" is the soundtrack to the end of the good parts of our relationship. This song in particular has always hit me super hard. It's a song about Alcoholics Anonymous and unintentionally reverting back to bad habits. Before my ex and I broke up, I was struggling a lot with mental health issues and substance abuse – I think I was looking for ways to find some sense of deeper purpose, but it backfired on me and I spiraled out of control. "Annie & Alistair" has become a reminder to stay strong, and a song I keep coming back to.
Be On My Way (Full) - H.E.R.
"We both had our own motives, never told him that mine was to stay alone - and you don't belong to me." After my relationship ended, I went on a dating spree. I knew I needed alone time, space to heal - but perhaps I don't really know how to be alone. I didn't treat the people I was dating with a lot of care. I was flaky, inconsistent, and couldn't give straight answers about what I wanted when asked. I wish I had had the courage to be clear, but I was a coward then. I'm doing my best now to communicate exactly how I feel when I feel it - transparency is a tool I didn't always carry before, but I'm working on it.
First Defeat - Noah Gundersen
"Honey, this will be the last time you take me." It can be really hard to let go of people who have an inexplicable hold on you. Whether in relationships or as friends, sometimes the unhealthy things are the hardest to shed. It takes a lot of strength to release, to be soft, to be vulnerable, to be honest. This song has been by my side through all of that.