this is how you spell hahaha we destroyed the hopes and dreams of a generation of faux romantics

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This Is How You Spell, “HAHAHA We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics”

This song is ostensibly about a relationship gone sideways but, really, it’s about people in the way I think most Los Campesinos! songs are about people and living and all those living experiences. Ash and I have different takes here, focusing on the life versus the death of it, but it all boils down to the experience in the end.

This is How You Spell “HAHAHA We Destroyed the Hopes and the Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics” is, first of all, a very long song title, but also suggestive of the song itself. We’re in the early works of LC!, so the sounds are a little grittier, a little noisier, and – while I wouldn’t want to lie to you and say their music becomes more hopeful as time goes on – there’s that younger, rougher edge of cynicism to Hold On Now Youngster. This is how you spell / ha ha ha I’ve destroyed the hopes / and the dreams / of a generation of faux-romantics / and I am pleased / I am pleased.

It’s soft, though; the song and this album are a mix of rough and soft, trying so hard to not care about anything that you end up caring very much. It’s a breakup song filled with digs at the person being broken up with, but then the bridge comes and it’s evident that there was love there, once. I noticed the goosebumps on your arms / millions / and whether it’s because of the number of hours / spent laid face down on my bed listening to white noise / or, well, obviously it’s not / I somehow manage to translate them from Braille.

Of course, any tenderness is quickly cut off by the loud chorus and the biting refrain, but it’s there nevertheless. I listen to this song for the refrain all the time, bopping along to the rest of it and growing very quiet to listen closely to the quiet moment, relishing it. Not a lot about LC! is quiet in these early years, so you take what you can get.

Some days I listen to this song and really identify with the loudness, though. What right do you have to have nightmares about me / when all I wanted was to sleep? What right do you have to bring me into your problems when all I wanted was some peace and quiet? We were something once but we aren’t anymore so leave me alone.

Always, though, back to that moment of tenderness. We were something once.

- Taelor

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you walk in from yr mothers balcony, panda eyes, freezing cold; you bury yrself in my chest to warm. i notice the goosebumps on yr arms, millions, and whether it’s because of the number of hours spent laid face-down on my bed listening to white noise (or, well, obviously it’s not,) I somehow manage to translate them from braille. the trails on yr skin spoke more to me than the reams and reams of the half-finished novel you’d left lying around all over the place, and every quotation that dribbled from yr mouth like a final, fatal life journal entry: I know. I am wrong. I am sorry.

los campesinos!//this is how you spell, “HAHAHA, we’ve destroyed the hopes and dreams of a generation of faux-romantics”

as very neatly inscribed on my arm because I have the attention span of an earthworm

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Hold On Now Youngster… came out in 2008, two years after the band got together, and one thing I love about the album is that you can tell it came out then. On ‘This Is How You Spell “HAHAHA, We Destroyed The Hopes And The Dreams Of A Generation of Faux Romantics”, there are lyrics like “a final fatal livejournal entry”, their song titles are long and sprawling. Los Campesinos! have progressed since this album, and in some ways have tried to shake the impression it gave them. It also produced their most famous song, You! Me! Dancing!, one of their cheeriest songs, and one that celebrates and indulges in youth culture the same way the whole album does. If most Los Campesinos! Albums are about death, than this one is about accepting life in death, about living while you’re young, about being doomed but carrying on anyway. It’s a very Los Campesinos! Album.

I’m not the longest fan of the band, and have only been listening to them since maybe 2013, so this was 5 years before I started listening to them, but it’s an album I love all the same. I remember walking around the town in Essex I lived, in listening to this album on repeat, and finding joy in the clashing noises, the shrieking and yelling, the sheer human joy of it. Hold On Now Youngster… finds joy in the stupidity and meaninglessness of life. They reference other bands proudly, sing about the internet, and scream out into the world about their lives. It may not be for everyone, but for the people who needed it? This album was everything.

Ash