If ever there was a band that could claim the happy-sad balance the current generation of pop-rock songwriters seem to be embracing with their anthemic tunes about heartbreak, it’s Canadian four-piece The Beaches. After their viral single “Blame Brett” made them hard to ignore earlier this year, the Toronto group followed up their 2017 debut by recording a more polished take on their grungy sound with the cathartic post-heartbreak collection Blame My Ex. And then the band members were imminently plagued by breakups.
Fortunately the success of the record since it was released in September has kept them busy touring the world in support of it, with a slate of European dates kicking off next week followed by a month-long trip across the US in mid-February. Additionally, and more importantly, they have each other to see them through the heartbreak, with the post-breakup playlist they’ve made for us demonstrating that the band’s tight on-stage chemistry isn’t an act, but rather a reflection of the stability of the friendships the project was initially built upon.
“After my bandmates and I were all dumped alongside the release of our album, it only seemed fitting to dedicate this playlist to our summer shenanigans and the anthems that helped us get through our heartbreak,” shares guitarist Kylie Miller, who provides commentary on each of their picks—which cumulatively paint a compelling portrait for summer 2024 as another period of rat-girl behavior.
Find the playlist and Miller’s writeups below, and browse all of The Beaches’ upcoming tour dates here.
Charli XCX, “Speed Drive”
This song was on constant rotation all summer. We blasted it in the car, at the pre-game, at the bar—you name it. There’s something incredibly infectious about the beat and the hook. We’re all obsessed.
The Cure, “Boys Don’t Cry”
When we were making our record, the girls and I listened to a lot of ’80s music. We became obsessed with the idea of songs that sounded “happy-sad,” meaning the lyrics are heartbreaking but the music is upbeat and fun. “Rat girl summer” means partying through the pain.
The Knocks feat. Dragonette, “Slow Song”
I kid you not, while going through my breakup I listened to this song on repeat. There’s something so catchy about the bass line and the beat. Heartbreak does some weird things to the body and the mind, but good music really helped get me through.
Olivia Rodrigo, “bad idea right?”
I really wish we wrote this song. It feels like “Blame Brett”’s problematic little sister. I love that Olivia is bringing rock ’n’ roll back.
ThxSoMch, “SPIT IN MY FACE!”
The tones in this song were such an inspiration for us while making Blame My Ex. It’s so cool how the chords never change but it just slightly shifts. The hook goes crazy!
The Aces, “Girls Make Me Wanna Die”
We first met these girlies at Austin City Limits a few years ago and have been besties with them ever since. This whole album is a masterpiece, but this song really encapsulates the rat-girl lifestyle.
G Flip, “The Worst Person Alive”
OK, this song is my current hyperfixation. It really explores the pain of a breakup and losing touch with someone in such a heart wrenching way. As rat girls, we are definitely the worst people alive.
New Order, “Age of Consent”
This is the song I always wanna have playing when I pick up the girls to take us on a night out. There’s something very hopeful-sounding about it.
Wolf Alice, “Don’t Delete the Kisses”
This is the rat girl summer hangover track. Soft and chill but also somehow moody and haunting. It’s the kind of track that makes you wanna scream the lyrics at the top of your lungs. Wolf Alive never misses, in my eyes.
Valley, “Have a Good Summer (Without Me)”
This is another perfect example of happy-sad. We’ve been so lucky to become friends with this band, and they’re all so sweet and talented. Their drummer Karah actually co-wrote a few songs on Blame My Ex.