My Top 5 Worst Breakups - Los Campesinos!

© Kirsten McTernan

Gareth, of Los Campesinos!, told us the tragically beautiful details of his worst breakups ever.

We’re all big, unabashed fans of 'High Fidelity,' the movie where unreasonably neurotic record store clerk and music snob John Cusack mopes about in his dark, angry, hilarious post-breakup stupor. There’s something so soothing about letting someone else’s poetry or music borrow some of life’s pain and euphoria, and that’s something 'High Fidelity' understood perfectly.

In tribute to 'High Fidelity,' and to quell our endless thirst to understand every little thing about the musicians we love, we’re starting a series at where we ask some of our favorite artists to talk about their top five worst breakups and the songs that correspond to them.

First up: Gareth Campesinos! of Los Campesinos! His band released a wonderful album earlier this year titled 'No Blues.' These are his top five worst breakups.

5. Modest Mouse - 'Tundra/Desert'

"The week following my first breakup, I got an iPod for the first time. There's no poetry or 'music saves' sentiment in this; it just happened like that.

Buses only ran twice a day from my town to her village and so I arrived, as I always would, midway through morning television, generally the ITV chat-show, 'Trisha.' In the week since we'd separated, she'd moved a portable television into her bedroom. I, 18 years old, surveyed the room for any indication that a male other than me had been there watching TV in her bed. She was dressed neatly, like she never usually would be at that time.

I let her listen to a song on my new iPod. I chose this song and I wanted her eardrums to burst when Isaac screamed 'AWWW SHIT' at 1:40 and the guitars wailed in."

4. Electrelane - 'Birds'

"It was supposed to be a quick farewell and I'd not banked on getting past the doorway. But momentum took me upstairs and, as usual, I shimmied along the landing, breathing in deep to pass the stepladder that stood in place to allow easy access to the weed growing in the loft.

My friends waited, parked up at the Sainsbury's around the corner. It was a 10 minute walk away, and it was cold and frosty and 1 a.m., but they didn't want to drive me any closer and get stuck in the one-way system and they had a football they could kick around on the expanse of the tarmac.

Afterwards, I spoke the sort of emphatic, rushed goodbyes that sound more like apologies as I wriggled my jeans back up my legs and this song playing from her CD player in the background. I ran against the tide of students headed home from their nights out."

3. Comet Gain - 'Alseep On The Snow'

"The snow caused the delay of the landing and, subsequently, I missed my last train out to Connecticut from New York. She was happy to involve me in her birthday plans and I arrived at her apartment for a place to stay.

Her bedroom was on the ground floor and had a door opening on to the shared outdoor space. Her flatmates passed through the room to smoke as we laid on the mattress on the floor. She carried on her side of our dialogue unconcerned that anyone might hear whatever secrets we were sharing.

I didn't know it was her birthday, so I wrapped the CD I had in my luggage inside a brown paper Kiehl's bag and said that she'd like it even though I'd never listened myself."

2. Smog - 'You Moved In'

"We sat cross-legged on her bed playing cards, listening to this album with the TV on mute. Every channel was a news flash as reports on the July 7 bombings of London rolled in.

The cards were adorned with images of cartoon frogs dressed in blue dungarees. Frogs in crowns, or holding love hearts, or red diamonds. She excused herself to leave to the bathroom and came back undressed. The music continued to play, the TV still on mute as we went to bed in the middle of the afternoon, with the curtains wide open.

Months later she'd visit me unannounced, a surprise visit 200 miles down the country. As soon as she arrived, it was clear she shouldn't have come. As she turned straight around to go back to the train station, I played this song, one more time."

1. Drake - 'Shut It Down'

"She said she wanted to sleep on the stairs. I'd got the last train from my house to her city and met her at a bar where she'd been drinking since the early evening. I had my luggage in tow, on my back, and as I tried to navigate my way around the bar, I wetted the wrist of every person who had a nearly full but now slightly less full glass.

She lived a five-minute walk away but insisted we get a cab. We tried, but nobody was interested in taking us, either because the distance was too short or because they were wary of vomiting. Likely both.

I persuaded her we could get chicken and chips on the way if we walked. We sat on the carpeted stairs of her flat and she ate chicken and I ate chips and then she said she wanted to sleep on the stairs. I went to bed and she slept on the fucking stairs."

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