You’re Gonna Miss Me: 18 Breakup Anthems by Austin Artists

by Nick Hanover

No matter which end of a breakup you’re on– the breakee or the broken– it sucks. But fortunately for you, the Austin music scene has a plethora of breakup anthems going all the way back to the city’s pioneering psych heyday on up to now, and even more fortunately for you, we’ve compiled 18 of our all time favorite tried and true classics into a feature, complete with a Spotify playlist you can stream here

or wait for the repeated embed at the bottom. So get those tissues and vice items of your choice ready as we dive in…

13th Floor Elevators “You’re Gonna Miss Me”

Key lyric: “How can you say you miss my lovin’/When you never needed it?”

Who it’s for: The breakup initiator

Why it works: It may have taken a few decades for the 13th Floor Elevators’ psych classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me” to find its true place in the breakup pantheon thanks to its inclusion in ultimate music lover breakup film High Fidelity, but it’s not hard to see why the trailblazing single still hit home more than 30 years after its release. “You’re Gonna Miss Me” is a righteously savage blast of an ex who never appreciated what they had until the narrator got out, with the late Roky Erickson’s anguished howling cutting through the woozy stomp of the instrumentation to make it clear he’s not above some peacocking to drive home to his former lover what a catch he was.

Okkervil River “Calling and Not Calling My Ex”

Key Lyric: “God knows I’m feeling really stupid now/For ever having said ‘goodbye'”

Who it’s for: Suitable for either the breakup initiator or the broken up

Why it works: A rare breakup anthem that provides a relatively sympathetic light to both parties of a breakup, Okkervil River’s surprisingly jaunty and crisp “Calling and Not Calling My Ex” is told from the view of a boyfriend watching his ex-girlfriend succeed as a tv star after their breakup. The narrator is quick to point out how his envy of her success while he was failing was partially to blame for the failure of the relationship, but there were also understandable issues with her general unavailability and the expanding gulfs between their worlds. Most of us don’t know the specific feeling of a partner all of a sudden becoming a star, but many of us definitely know the sensation of feeling like a loser in comparison to a partner who is wildly succeeding at their career while we struggle, and similarly we know how tempting it is to call them back after we’ve split up, begging to be welcomed back. The best advice, of course, is always “DON’T DO IT.”

Willie Nelson “You Wouldn’t Even Cross the Street to Say Goodbye”

Key lyrics: “Once you said you’d go to any lengths to be with me/Today you won’t even cross the street to say goodbye”

Who it’s for: The broken up

Why it works: Willie Nelson has no shortage of heartache anthems in his catalog, but “You Wouldn’t Even Cross the Street to Say Goodbye” remains one of his most classic entries in the grand breakup canon. In his trademark yearning drawl, Nelson sings of seeing an ex out with her new beau and getting the cold shoulder from her, prompting him to remember all the lofty promises she made about the depth of her love for him, including the somewhat extreme promise to tear out her own tongue before telling lies about Willie. We can probably all agree self-maiming isn’t necessary amends but a courteous greeting isn’t too much to ask for, right?

Bonnie Montgomery “No More”

Key lyrics: “Well, you think I can go all out on the town/Wearing my best dress/And the gentlemen they won’t call, no, not at all/Baby, that’s where you’re wrong/I’ve got a string five miles long”

Who it’s for: The breakup initiator

Why it works: After that initial anxious, terrifying phase of getting out of a relationship, if you’re lucky, the next phase is realizing how much better off you are. That’s exactly what Bonnie Montgomery explores on the rousing barnstormer “No More,” wherein a mistreated woman tears apart her worthless ex while driving home how desired she is by far better lovers. There’s no cold shoulder here, just an incendiary kiss off to some piece of trash in a cowboy hat and pearl snap shirt.

Lucinda Williams “Can’t Let Go”

Key lyrics: “Feel like I been shot and didn’t fall down/Well it’s over, I know/But I can’t let go”

Who it’s for: The broken up

Why it works: The boozy hootin’ and hollerin’ of Lucinda Williams’ “Can’t Let Go” is an ideal companion for the recently heartbroken who are still in the wallowing in their own misery phase of relationship grief. The lyrics are just vague enough to make it unclear who was most at fault in the relationship– Williams sings of feeling like the relationship was “a big chain” around her neck while also expressing dismay that her lover won’t take her back– but that’s a benefit of its own. When you’re bawling in front of your local bartender, you’re likely to waver back and forth between kicking yourself and whoever dumped you.

Charlie Faye & the Fayettes “Delayed Reaction”

Key lyrics: “Heartbreak hurts more/When you already think you’re over the worst of it”

Who it’s for: The broken up

Why it works: Modern day girl group Charlie Faye & the Fayettes have a whole catalog of breakup anthems to choose from but “Delayed Reaction” is a standout for its clever sound– a merger of the worlds of the Shangri-Las and “Help!” era Beatles— and how well it portrays that terrible feeling of running into an ex just when you think you’ve gotten over them. To make matters worse, in the case of “Delayed Reaction,” it’s while heading to the local dive bar to find a distraction prompting a whole new wave of anxiety and melancholy.

Go Fever “Surprise! I Never Loved You”

Key lyrics: “My embraces were beneficial/I gotta tell you they were all artificial/I’m a good actress and you were used to getting your way”

Who it’s for: The break up initiator

Why it works: Go Fever leader Acey Monaro has the sharpest pen in the Austin music scene, so if you need some particularly venomous post-breakup music that you can dance rather than sob to, look no further. The pinnacle of Monaro’s withering songwriting might just be “Surprise! I Never Loved You,” which immediately draws blood with the title and never lets up from there, the band playing a Byrds-like chimey instrumental while a crackling Monaro details an escape from a relationship with a person who was so into themselves they never recognized the person they were wooing never had any affection for them anyway.

Belcurve “Hot Mess”

Key lyrics: “Your maid can’t clean up your mess this time/Your maid can’t clean up your mind”

Who it’s for: The break up initiator

Why it works: Though it’s ambiguous enough to not necessarily be strictly a breakup anthem, Belcurve’s irresistible indie pop track “Hot Mess” is equally hard to resist applying to the feeling of getting out of a relationship with someone so entitled they expected other people to clean up all their messes for them, whether they be hygiene or emotion related. The insistent beat and rousing vocals make it especially fun to sing along to while you’re throwing out mementos of the expired relationship. Not that we’d know from experience or anything.

Janis Joplin “Cry Baby”

Key lyrics: “Honey, I know she told you she loved you/Much more than I did/But all I know is that she left you”

Who it’s for: The friend of a recently broken up person who can definitely do better, and the broken up

Why it works: Janis Joplin’s psych-soul classic “Cry Baby” is a relatively unique breakup anthem in that it’s from the perspective of a woman a man comes running to after his partner has left him. Joplin’s ability to shift from tearful sweet nothings to larynx shredding cries of need drives home how the protagonist knows this man will never love her the way she loves him, but she also knows no other woman will ever love him like she does, and she’s gonna make damn sure he knows that latter truth right now. Many of us have been in that position of hoping another person’s breakup is the start of our own relationship, and even though we know that will likely only end in even worse heartache, we can’t help ourselves from diving in anyway. So go on and cry, baby.

Sweet Spirit “I Made Up My Mind”

Key lyrics: “When you say it’s done for sure/It makes me want you even more”

Who it’s for: Anyone wavering back and forth on whether or not to end a relationship

Why it works: The only feeling that rivals a breakup for sheer panic and stress is being unable to decide whether or not it’s time to break up, particularly since, as Sabrina Ellis testifies in the early Sweet Spirit classic “I Made Up My Mind,” that indecision can become its own addictive feeling. Over a glammy girl-group production, Ellis flips back and forth between having made up her mind and not having made up her mind about what to do, while her partner does the same, causing her to admit that their own indecision is just making her want them even more. On paper it’s easy to say that if you’re ever stuck deciding whether or not to continue a relationship, it’s already dead, but in real life nothing is ever that easy, is it?

Molly Burch “True Love”

Key lyrics: “‘Cause when it was nice/It was so nice/When it was not, well, I still know it was/True love”

Who it’s for: Suitable for either the breakup initiator or the broken up

Why it works: The smoky, Parisian pop style of Molly Burch is a perfect playground for a thoughtful and poignant relationship post-mortem, particularly for a relationship where nothing dramatic happened, the two parties merely grew apart. It’s unclear whether that was a mutual decision in this case, but even if it was, Burch admits that there’s still ample heartache, causing her to not go out too much for fear of seeing her ex and remembering how nice the relationship was and how true the love they had for each other was, and the came simply because they didn’t fit together as people anymore.

Tele Novella “Fruits of Misery”

Key lyrics: “I tasted fruits of misery/It made sick and I blamed the tree/But you blamed me/I’ll do better this time”

Who it’s for: The breakup initiator

Why it works: The music of Tele Novella has a haunting, eerie quality more often than not, usually with lyrics exploring the supernatural and macabre. That brings an interesting twist to the relationship drama of “Fruits of Misery,” giving it the heavy, tragic air of a Greek myth as Natalie Ribbons sings of trying to “leave without a trace” from a hurtful relationship, promising herself she’ll do “better this time,” pondering how her future self will judge her actions as she harvests the “fruits of misery” of ending things.

Socha “Let’s Regress”

Key lyrics: “Don’t you dare think I’m not hurting/Don’t you dare think I’m not walking slow/I’m sorry we have to be strangers now”

Who it’s for: Suitable for either the breakup initiator or the broken up

Why it works: One of the many thrills of Socha’s voice is how swiftly she can turn from sounding like she’s in the middle of a nervous breakdown to sounding like she has just defeated an entire horde of inner demons. “Let’s Regress” is an especially remarkable showcase of that, starting with a breathy, hiccupy performance that eventually builds to a raw and cathartic outpouring of emotions. “Let’s Regress” would be a delight even with a less ambitious vocal, thanks to the charmingly slack beat and a cascading lead guitar that recalls David Bowie’s “Heroes,” but Socha’s voice makes the song a goddamn necessity for anyone on either end of a breakup who’s righteously angry about how quickly the other party seems to be recovering.

Kady Rain “Lonely One”

Key lyrics: “Now you’re thinking we can always make amends/That’s really funny, ’cause you’ll never break my heart again”

Who it’s for: Suitable for either the breakup initiator or the broken up

Why it works: The best post-breakup revenge is always to live life well, showing off how much better you feel without your ex. And few artists live life as flashily as Kady Rain. On “Lonely One,” she positively revels in that, informing an ex they were never that exciting to begin with, and now that they’ve split, she’s got no shortage of excitement in her life, prompting her to ask “now who’s the lonely one?” That bold vivaciousness is on peak display in her acid tinged delivery of the brilliant line “Bad men make for great art,” but what really sells it is the display of vulnerability that immediately follows, as she tells herself “Maybe you’re not as helpless as you thought.”

Walker Lukens “Heard You Bought a House”

Key lyrics: “I heard that he won’t get married/Diamond in the rough/But you’ve got the touch/He thinks he’s unique/He’s kind of like your dad”

Who it’s for: The broken up

Why it works: Few things suck as much as someone leaving you to focus on their need to acquire material goods and then seeing them together with some schlub with no ambition and a blank slate of personality. But as Walker Lukens shows on the funky and razor sharp “Heard You Bought a House,” you’re more likely to get the last laugh, as that shallow ex soon realizes buying a house they could only afford with the help of wealthy parents and trying to sculpt a lump of a partner into someone worthwhile isn’t going as planned. Even if that’s too specific of a scenario for you to directly relate to, the basic sentiment of “Buying things to avoid your own failings is never going to work out” is pretty damn relatable to most of us.

fuvk “Glasses”

Key lyrics: “You always gave me the last bite/But never the last say”

Who it’s for: The broken up

Why it works: All of fuvk’s music has a devastating intimacy to it, but “Glasses” is one of the most heartwrenching examples, seemingly told from the perspective of someone who realizes they’re about to be broken up with, and is trying to latch on to those fleeting feelings of love before they’re replaced by something sadder. “I loved you, in the slightest of ways/You always kept me going for days/I think I know what you’re going to say” she sings in a near breathless coo, a distraught guitar line filling the space after, clarifying what’s about to be said in feeling if not in words.

Kathryn Legendre “Sit Here & Cry”

Key lyrics: “Words only fail/When you’re going through hell”

Who it’s for: The broken up

Why it works: There’s inevitably a point in a breakup where all you want to do is mope and be miserable. Or as Kathryn Legendre puts it on “Sit Here & Cry,” you just want to sit there and cry until you’re all out of blues. You know it’s not going to help anything and you’re going to look like a pitiful mess while you do it, but it’s a necessary exorcism of all that bottled up grief. And “Sit Here & Cry,” with its classic country structure and Legendre’s powerful yet vulnerable voice, is as good a friend as you could ask for in that moment.

Daniel Johnston “Some Things Last a Long Time”

Key lyrics: “Your picture is still/On my wall/The colors are bright/Bright as ever”

Who it’s for: The broken up

Why it works: The worst breakups never go away, lingering in your heart for years or even decades after the initial split. Most songs understandably stick to the build up and immediate aftermath of a relationship’s demise but Daniel Johnston’s “Some Things Last a Long Time” is a heartbreakingly beautiful classic that masterfully brings to life the grief of any kind of loss of a loved one. The song’s central image is a picture of someone who’s no longer around, the memory remaining bright as ever in its physical incarnation regardless of how faded the mental memory now is, the title flexible enough for the “some things” to fit both the relationship and the healing process for its dissolution. The production is sparse and airy, the instrumentation mostly comprised of simple, reverb heavy piano and bass with occasional bursts of noise, allowing Johnston’s declaration that “some things last a long time” to ring out in imperfect beauty, proving that raw simplicity is sometimes the best salve for heartache.

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Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover