The Splendid Chaps are running a new Kickstarter to fund the creation of the second season of the fabulous Comedy SF adventure, Night Terrace. I’ve already pledged to support it – having loved the first season so much! The Splendid Chaps have already talked to me about love songs on my Adventurous Hearts blog – and now they’re talking about Anti-Love Songs
The Splendid Chaps team know a lot about sound. They ran the smash hit podcast Splendid Chaps in 2013, and then span that off into the audio science fiction comedy series Night Terrace, in which Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy, Neighbours) plays a grumpy Doctor-Who-like figure who is annoyed to find her house can travel in time and space.
They know how sound can affect others, but how does it affect them? We asked them to choose their favourite anti-love songs, the ones that best summed up the feeling of NOT being in love.
Ben McKenzie (producer, writer, “Eddie”)
Torch songs always get me, and for many years my favourite was Paul McCartney’s The Lovers That Never Were from his 1993 album ‘Off the Ground’. It’s a melancholy reflection of a lonely narrator who has found someone who brings them out of their shell, but their love is rejected and the narrator can’t let go.
It was something of an anthem for me in my late teens and early twenties but I’ve come to think of it now as having an unfortunately “friendzone” tinge to it (“if we can’t be lovers we’ll never be friends” is how the last chorus ends). But it also speaks of someone being kept on the hook and desperate for a sign either way, with the last verse pleading “you must tell me something, I love you – say goodbye or anything” being particularly heartfelt.
Lee Zachariah (co-creator, writer)
Strange Currencies by R.E.M.
There’s a real sense of yearning and longing in this song that speaks to you as a lovesick teenager. And then you grow up and listen more carefully to the lyrics and realise it’s actually a song about a stalker. It’s R.E.M.’s Every Breath You Take, essentially, from the point of view of a creep who can’t stop harassing the object of his affection. Which speaks volumes to how teenagers (I’m deliberately generalising here to spare myself the embarrassment) see love.
Petra Elliott (co-creator, “Sue”)
Jazmine Sullivan Bust your Windows
As a scorned lover, I’m quite creative in imagining schemes for revenge. But I’m also smart enough to not implement them, so a song like this helps to sing out the rage when one is feeling the anti-love! It’s up there with Kelis Caught Out There and it was hard to go past Alanis with You Outta Know.
And now you know why I’m single!
John Richards (producer, writer)
I love the storytelling and drama of A Little Time by The Beautiful South. A man wants a break to reconsider the relationship, a woman thinks he has ulterior motives. Eventually he decides to commit to the relationship but she has moved on. And the music itself is surprisingly breezy under a song about some very raw emotions.
In my head the song and the video are inextricably linked too, a glorious clip showing the aftermath of an enormous fight, that feeling of the calm after the storm (to quote a recent Eurovision runner-up). One of the memorable images is of a disembodied teddy bear head stuck to a wall by a kitchen knife.
And isn’t that what love is all about?
David Ashton (writer, sound designer)
Anti-love song: Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me by The Smiths
When he sings “No hope no harm, just another false alarm,” Morrissey’s not just singing about the end (or failure to start) of one love, but closing off the very possibility of love. Like all the best Morrissey lyrics this song uses very few words to perfectly sum up a feeling. In contrast the music is ridiculously/gloriously over the top. From a lonely piano intro to the sweeping violins of the fade out, via the crashing drums and guitar, it’s the Lawrence of Arabia of heartbreak songs.
Night Terrace is currently crowd-funding a second season. You can find out more – and hear the entire first episode for free – by going to Kickstarter: Night Terrace.