encore mix tape ~ volume one ~ heartbreak

Today Encore NI launches a new feature named simply 'Mixtape', where we bring you different playlists of songs, (both from these shores and abroad) to ease you through the trials and tribulations of modern life.

This feature is purely to broaden the mind and shine a light to music of all genres that can help in different periods of existence. Volume One takes a look at the inevitable heart shattering pain of the heart and the soundtrack that may give you some comfort in getting through it.

Suggestions for new themes and songs to fill them are always welcome!

Volume One | Heartbreak. 

Phase 1 | Denial.

No one ever wants to admit the end of a relationship (unless of course, you've ended it yourself). How could something so wonderful and pure ever end? It's inconceivable. It's wrong. It hurts. It's surly not real and so the mind will struggle to comprehend the information. Scientific research proves that after the death of a loved one, the brain begins to semi-shut down, in a self defense mechanism to avoid going insane. When this mechanism fails, it leads to feelings of desolation, melancholy and overwhelming emptiness - it is widely accepted that a similar thing occurs after the end of a relationship. 

1. Snow Patrol ~ 'How To Be Dead' 

An anthem for loss from our very own wordsmith Mr Gary Lightbody, 'How To Be Dead' feels like the sound of the very fabric of everything you loved falling around you. A desperate plea from one lover to another, 'please don't go crazy if I tell you the truth', it's as heart rending as imaginable and conjures a scene of serenity in a moment of turmoil. Like the calm before the storm, the opener from Snow Patrols third studio album is the sound of loneliness on a sun-set spring evening.

2. Morrissey ~ 'You Have Killed Me'

No stranger to tales of the melancholic, it's impossible to create a list like this without a word from the former Smiths frontman, who's own admission of 'Going to a club on your own, leaving on your own, crying and wanting to die' touched the lives of millions of 'outsiders'. Here, Morrissey tells of how the breakdown of one relationship left him dead, even as he lives and breathes. It's a poetic sentiment we can all relate to, as the heart leaves us as ghosts - though we walk around...somehow.

3.Damien Rice ~ 'Rootless Tree'

Cascading like a waterfall of pure pain, Damien Rice's stunning 'Rootless Tree' captures the very essence of inner turmoil in this tragic masterpiece. The chorus must surly be one of the most touching pieces ever composed on the subject. The shouted 'Fuck you! Fuck you, fuck you and all we've been through" as haunting, as it is touching. What may bring goosebumps to the skin is the soul destroying subtle lyric change in the final screamed chorus - 'Fuck you! Fuck you! I love you and all we've been through". If you're not listening attentively, you'll miss it. Though believe me, if you need to hear this song, you'll cling to every lyric. 

4. Tired Pony ~ 'Blood'

Another beauty from our Gary, this time with his merry band of Tired Pony's. The driving drums of 'Blood' will have you grasping on to the foundations of your old relationship for all it's worth. "It's alright, it's alright, a love like ours is easy found...Is it fuck! Is it fuck I chopped through blood and bone for you!". Though you may not have literally chopped through blood and bone for your former relationship, the sentiment is the same. It's a plea doomed before a word has been uttered. Yet that doesn't stop you from trying and try you might. 

Phase 2 | Pain

Sadly inevitable. You're wondering mind, most likely sleep deprived, dazed and confused, will soon begin to feel the emotional scars left behind by you're former flame. Side effects may include crying, constant visualizations of 'what might of been', fighting the urge to call them, crying, an inability to discuss anything other than the void in your soul and crying.  

5. Say Anything ~ 'A Walk Through Hell'

A fictional trip through a metaphorical landscape of horrible beasts, perilous mountains and generally bad things. In reality, it's a clever love song, hidden within this playful world that perfectly encapsulates the lengths love will lead one person to go for another. "And I'd hold you, in my weak arms and remind you who you are" being particularly potent. Despite the fact Say Anything most likely wrote this in a positive, romantic fashion, I've only ever heard it in a tragic context, and as such the overwhelming feelings of desire and utter devotion remain prevalent. Being honest with yourself, you'd still walk through hell for them.

6. A Day To Remember ~ 'You Had Me At Hello'

A complete spanner in the works from a band known for their screaming and heavy riffs than love soaked balladry, yet this is exactly what A Day To Remember perfected with 'You Had Me At Hello'. The acoustic guitars are jangling with sadness, while lyrically it's brutally honest enough to leave you on the edge of nothing. For anyone who doesn't believe in love, that feel it's a miserable lie or perhaps have forgotten the ecstasy of a held hand, this song may seem false and cliched. For the romantics amongst us this is a testament to defy everything.

7. Smashing Pumpkins ~ 'Today'

Apparently written in a void of near suicidal darkness, 'Today' is one of those songs to let yourself go and scream to the heavens at. Filled with enough darkness to feed your injured spirit, but sparkling with enough delicacy to allude to previous joy, 'Today' will not be the greatest day you've ever known, but rest assured, nor was it Billy Corgans when he wrote it. For the first time, you may have a feeling you're not alone. 

Phase 3 | Recovery +

As difficult as it is to imagine at the earliest stages, soon time and the support of loved ones will lead to the final stage ~ Recovery. As you're mind slowly adapts to it's new surroundings you'll soon find yourself distracted by things that didn't seem all that important a few months ago. Be it school work, a job or something as simple as exercising, you'll begin to want to better yourself and your mood will lighten as a result. You'll soon want to venture into the big bad world again and leave the confines of a tear stained pillow. The importance of this stage is vital and the music even more so. Though you may continue to feel fragile for a long time afterwards, you will be a stronger person for it. As mentioned by the ever lovable Dave  McLean (from the film 'Hot Rod' ~ a must see) "He who is resistant to change, is destined to perish". Once you begin to embrace it, you will finally begin to feel better.

8. Oasis ~ 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out'

Is this piece of utter genius from the Manchester legends the most comforting song ever written? It has to be up there. From the orchestral backing, to Liam's emotive screech behind the microphone, 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' is there to give hope and love back to a world in desperate need of it. "Take what you need and be on your way and stop crying your heart out". This song may remind you to start living again.

9. The Streets ~ 'The Escapist'

Lyrically, Mike Skinner wrote a masterpiece with the closing track on his penultimate bow as The Streets in 'Everything Is Borrowed'. It's a gentle reminder to whoever will listen that nothing is real and anything is possible, because what are the chances of anything happening at all? This is Mike's admission that we are all part of something much bigger than ourselves and though we may not know what that is, we have to make the most of it while we're here. 'I blink my eyes, this is reminding me, life flies in the blink of an eye'. Listen to this song and fall into natures arms. You'll begin to see the world for what it's not and that, is a beautiful thing indeed. 

10. A Plastic Rose ~ 'Build From The Ground Up'

Just as the title suggests, the final stage to any emotional recovery is to "salvage what you can and build from the ground up again". The explosive sound from the adopted Belfast lads will fill you with the desire to not only recover, but better yourself. It's one final, pain induced scream to the heavens. It's not allowing yourself to be beaten and it's starting from ground zero. It's about giving yourself the desire to carry on and the strength to do so. It could be the pick up, you so desperately need.

Taylor Johnson

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