Valentine’s Day is around the corner. On one hand, it is a holiday for couples everywhere to have a special day of romance to strengthen their bond. On the other hand, it is a time for everyone else to wish they weren’t under the covers watching “(500) Days of Summer” for the millionth time waiting for the Valentine’s Day chocolates to go on sale. I am not projecting, you are. Luckily, I have five artists with five songs to cry to as you slide down the shower wall and another five songs to soundtrack an embrace with a partner.
“Friday I’m In Love” by Phoebe Bridgers
The Cure had something special with “Friday I’m In Love,” but Phoebe Bridgers turns an upbeat and high energy pop song into an intimate and beautiful piano ballad with this cover. Everything about the song apart from the lyrics is turned on its head to create a touching piece of ethereal music. The layered vocals that grow progressively more powerful with every passing moment are a perfect backdrop for a night of stargazing under moonlit skies with your other half.
“Lovesong” by The Cure
The name may be a bit on the nose, but I do not say it lightly when I say this is the greatest love song of all time. Robert Smith wrote it for his wife as a wedding gift and you can tell because every word on this record is so simple but incredibly sincere. If you want to commit yourself completely to someone this Valentine’s Day, if you need a song that expresses all the warmth your partner makes you feel, if you love this person more than life itself, dedicate “Lovesong” to them.
“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths
The thought of dying next to someone due to a car crash may not seem like the most romantic idea imaginable, but Morrissey sure does make it sound lovely. Jangly guitars, wispy woodwinds and some lighthearted drums accompany an incredibly catchy melody that just makes you want to run into the arms of another and just be grateful to feel their heat next to yours. You would be hard-pressed to find a more amorous song in The Smiths’ catalog.
“Everybody Here Wants You” by Jeff Buckley
Love at first sight seems so unrealistic, maybe even foolish, but is it really? Jeff Buckley’s passionate and slow groove makes it seem natural to fall in love with someone you’ve barely met. This song bleeds passion, it exudes it even, every word that Jeff Buckley sings makes you want to set your heart ablaze and commit yourself to that person you’ve been eyeing from across the room. Who knows, maybe Buckley has it right, go talk to them.
“Something About Us” by Daft Punk
Overthinking is the enemy of a good love story. Playing the “would of, could of, should of” game is only ever going to result in you losing. This funky and bouncy Daft Punk song throws caution to the wind. The ever-catchy synths and ever-present robotic vocals are enough to make you walk up to your hallway crush and tell them that you are the person they should be spending Valentine’s Day with. Who cares if this isn’t the right time, just let the moment take root and live in it.
“ICU” by Phoebe Bridgers
At some point, almost everyone has felt the pain of a breakup and the feeling of estrangement that comes with it. Having someone who you were inseparable from being reduced to a ghost who was once a part of your life can feel like you’re drowning under the weight of your own insecurities. Phoebe Bridgers conveys this sentiment in a beautiful swan song to a previous relationship where she had to learn how to pull through the hard times to eventually heal and put herself back together, even with her self-worth at rock bottom.
“Trust” by The Cure
Feeling so sure in your heart of hearts that you and someone are meant to be, but not having the sentiment reciprocated is never something that will be easy to accept. In this song by The Cure, Robert Smith’s melancholy vocals float over a gloomy instrumental as he details his feelings of love for someone who cannot say the same words back to him any longer, they have lost their connection. Smith feels due to this, he is now destined for a life of cold solitude, with only himself to blame.
“Well I Wonder” by The Smiths
Feeling forgotten is synonymous with dread and anxiety. An inescapable sadness can fill a void where love once blossomed and grew when you become someone’s afterthought instead of the first and last thing they think of in bed. The Smiths paint a morose and realistic depiction of all of those feelings. Morrissey’s velvet smooth vocals are meant to sound like a desperate attempt at holding out for someone who is not going to extend their arm back toward you. The song is a stark image of a man who has lost the one they love.
“Last Goodbye” by Jeff Buckley
On occasion, there comes a time when you have to see someone for the last time for better or worse, in Jeff Buckley’s case it is for worse. Feeling someone’s fingers run through your own for the last time, seeing the shimmer in their eyes fade away as you explain the love that once was has turned into nothing but a memory. Powerful vocals ride a harrowing ensemble of strings and drums that align with the frustration Buckley feels toward their former partner to create a whirlwind of emotion.
“The Game of Love” by Daft Punk
You are floating out in the middle of space, among stardust and heavenly bodies, staring at the only picture you have left to hold on to as time passes you by. The sentence prior is the only way to convey the emotions and scenery evoked by “The Game of Love.” Slow rhythmic drums accompanied by the saddest synths two robots can make as they sing their little hearts out. Daft Punk are known mostly for songs that will get you grooving in a matter of seconds, but their ability to make heartfelt and emotionally open music is often overlooked.