The Civil Wars announced an “indefinite hiatus” back in 2012, but news broke yesterday that the beloved folk duo – comprised of singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White – have officially called it quits. Breaking up with each other is one thing, but as the flood of sad social media posts, hashtags and tear-riddled emojis has indicated, fans are taking this as if the band broke up with them, too. That’s a lot of broken hearts.
In response, we’ve concluded that a quick romp through The Civil Wars’ catalog would add the perfect soundtrack to making this unfortunate news even more tragic. So here are five songs to get you through the morning. Get the tissues ready.
1) “Poison and Wine”
With the “I don’t love you / but I always will” hook, perhaps the duo’s breakthrough track foretold their eventual demise?
2) “20 Years”
More potential foreshadowing here : “There’s no reasons, no excuses / There’s no secondhand alibis.”
3) “Between the Bars”
Ok, it’s an Elliott Smith cover, but Elliott Smith songs are mostly sad anyway. So, like, this totally fits.
Ahem – “Please, please tell me you know / I’ve got to let you go / I can’t help falling / Out of love with you.” This is tip-toeing close to premeditation.
5) “The One That Got Away”
One of the pair’s final videos, this was recorded from the studio sessions for the 2013-released self-titled album. This is some serious stuff: “Oh, if I could go back in time / When you only held me in my mind / Just a longing gone without a trace / Oh, I wish I’d never ever seen your face / I wish you were the one / Wish you were the one that got away.’
But take heart – there is a silver lining here. The Civil Wars have made their somewhat dark take on the ol’ familiar “You Are My Sunshine” available for free download: