20 Anti-Valentine’s Day Songs for Your Inner Anti-Commercialist
Posted: by The Editor
Valentines Day. A holiday brooding with romance all tinged in pink and reds. There are roses. There are chocolates. There are overpriced stuffed animals squeezed between arms as significant others whisper, “cuddle this when I’m not here.” Yet, there’s more to the holiday underneath its sugary sweet surface. There’s the deeply ingrained commercialism that reeks from its pores- the exploitation of love under the guise of affection. The designated day to show you care as you burst through the door holding a superficial expression of love, equating dollar signs to worth. Or, perhaps, it’s the heteronormative relationship structure that is pranced around, and the sappy LifeTime movies that are too frivolous to take seriously. I wonder what Valentines would be if it weren’t for the media’s persuasive tone and the capitalist’s agenda to profit off the back of people’s emotions? Would it even exist at all?
Hi, I’m that obnoxious friend who criticizes this made up holiday. Nice to meet you. I don’t think we’ve formally met. If you’re anything like me and object to the mushy, sentimental babble that revolves around Valentines, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. I made an Anti-Valentine’s Day playlist of 13 tracks that feeds off the inner cynic that lives inside. Buckle up, get mopey, and enjoy:
Happy Being Miserable – New Found Glory
“I don’t want to know you or someone who’s so focused on themselves. I’ll save my best for someone else.”
This earworm of a tune by pop-punk natives, New Found Glory, will have you channeling your inner angst to any ex that’s done you wrong. Following a soured relationship, it’s a good riddance anthem that is a staple to any anti-love playlist.
Pot & Kettle – The Sonder Bombs
“When I lay my head to rest, I’m just another damsel you’ve distressed. You’re not the first but by far the worst to take a chunk from my chest.”
A simple acoustic track that doesn’t seem as powerful as it is from the soft strums that jumpstart the song. But, the longer you listen the more you resonate with the bubbling red that envelopes the lead singer’s tone as they directly address a past lover that will not stop orbiting around them. Sometimes, you’re just sick and tired of seeing someone’s face, and maybe one day that’ll change, but until then? Not a chance.
Locked Up – Muncie Girls
“Debit cards and overdrafts. Valentine’s day and push-up bras. Under pressure, glamorize self-harm. Mass consumption from the factory farms.”
This fun and breezy tune is easy to bop around your room with. Recounting everything that is fucked up and superficially constructed in the world that we’re all prisoners in, it is the perfect song to scream at the top of your lungs on a holiday that perpetuates just that.
Trash Bag, Baby – SWMRS
“I’m sick of being your trashbag, baby. I wanna see you fall down. I can’t wait until you’re not around.”
Tired of feeling like someone’s dumping ground? Roll the windows down, crank this poppy speed-demon, and feel the chains break free. This song has an empowering energy about it, and its best to drink it all in at once.
DeadCrush – Alt-J
“Unknown artist took your likeness. Henry Tudor left you lifeless. You’re my DC.”
Having crushes on two long-deceased historical women isn’t exactly what someone would be flipping on during their romantic dinner is it? Soak up the smooth synths and travel to the underworld with this track. I can promise you, there’s nothing stranger or more fitting for our list.
Toxic Valentine – All Time Low
“Sex and white lies. Handcuffs and alibis. She lays her halo on her pillow where she sleeps. Her heart beats red wine, my toxic valentine.”
This All Time Low deep cut is a banger for anyone who is over the traditional, conservative media representations of what Valentines couples look like. This spicier side of passion exists too, and you don’t have to be in love to experience it.
Crush Culture – Conan Gray
“I don’t care what you’re saying. I don’t want to participate in your game of manipulation. And, no, I don’t want your sympathy. All this love is suffocating. Just let me be sad and lonely.”
Try to sit still while Conan Gray complains about how stressful and unnecessary the world of dating and love is over-top a dream-synth landscape. I bet you can’t. This song is catharsis for all that mushy nonsense you might be subjected to. You can thank me later.
Have you Encountered the Soft Boy – Coping Skills
“You’re not entitled to my affection to cure an erection. I won’t sit by like some toy to be played by a soft boy.”
There’s nothing I love more than songs that call out the bullshit of pretentious men. This track is a fun and pointed message that is invigorating to chant until your voice gives out. Get a group together and perform the tune the way it’s meant to be experienced: LOUD. Because we’ve all had the displeasure of meeting a soft boy. Besides, like Coping Skills sings, “How could I like someone who loves Morissey?”
Only Obvious to You – Queen of Jeans
“Love will always fuck you over. Love will always fuck you over. Love will always fuck you in the head.”
There’s nothing more cynical than that declaration about love. And, that’s all you really need to know about this song being featured on this list.
Sadie – pronoun
“No one’s coming to your pity party. God bless the people that don’t have to meet ya. God bless the people that I’m meeting on the side of the road, because they don’t have to know you like that.”
Another raging anthem to stick a dagger in your ex and all the damage they did to you. Except this time, it’s a featherlike, dream that you’re wading through with the artist as they almost whisper the track’s words. It’s calm, it’s collected, and it really reflects on those around you that picked you up when that person put you down.
Not About Love – Fiona Apple
“It doesn’t make sense I should fall for the kingcraft of a meritless crown. No, it doesn’t seem right to take information given at close range for the gag, and the bind, and the ammunition round.”
A deeply stoic and defiant work of poetry describing the regrets of having a chatterbox as a one-night stand. Spilling secrets, the morning after, of someone’s private dialogue is tasteless and deserves poisonous words. Feel the building tension in the lead singer’s voice as the track moves like a ballet, hurdling towards its dramatic ending.
Everything I Once Had – The Honorary Title
“February, Valentines Day. Did my best to avoid the red clichés. So, you dumped me on the subway on my way to work at 9 in the morning. Everybody else is holding bouquets. Now, I’m holding my face in the basement scratching away any trace of affection you will leave.”
This song just spirals into a depression as lead vocalist Jarrod Gorbel narrates the story of being dumped on Valentines Day. It’s sad and desolate, but it is all the proof needed that allowing yourself to open your chest to love sucks, and you’d probably be better without it, especially on the day that celebrates it.
Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
“When routine bites hard, and ambitions are low, and resentment rides high, but emotions won’t grow, and we’re changing our ways, taking different roads… Then, love will tear us apart again.”
One of the most honest representations of love there is, this song details the less romantic side of a lovers’ relationship. Documenting two people who have known each other and loved one another so strongly that they have actually grown apart in the process. Their love caused them to recognize each other’s flaws, and they have realized how different they are. Isn’t exactly something a person wants to think about, but if you want to plant seeds of doubt into every potential relationship you have, this song is the soundtrack.
These Four Words – The Maine
“I can’t take my heart some place it won’t go. Show me to the door. As if a plane crash were timely, there’s no good time for bad news. And these four words don’t come easy. ‘I don’t love you.”
Can’t think of anything more anti-love than a track that melancholily sings about not loving your significant other over a haunting piano melody. It is absolutely a Valentine’s Day’s worst nightmare to end the night with your lover admitting that they don’t love you. If you’re looking for a level 10 Mope Session while still standing firm against the holiday, lie on the bedroom floor and press play on this sad tune. It’ll definitely do the trick.
Hope Ankley / @Hope_ankleknee
The Alternative is ad-free and 100% supported by our readers. If you’d like to help us produce more content and promote more great new music, please consider donating to our Patreon page, which also allows you to receive sweet perks like free albums and The Alternative merch.