No matter your plans on February 14, there is a song out there that can probably describe how you feel. There are many ways to love, and music is a perfect vehicle for expressing those emotions. For example, Serena Ryder’s “Oh What I Wouldn’t Do” always reminds me of a dearly beloved high school buddy. So wherever you are this Valentine’s Day—with romantic partners, among family and friends, relishing some time alone, or meeting someone for the first time—enjoy a few tunes about love that might be just what you need.
Disco might be dead, but love songs survived into the 21st century! To begin, enjoy these contemporary tunes:
“Bloom” by Paper Kites: This song layers gentle harmonies around sunset imagery and quiet moments. Can I be close to you?
“The Weather” by Lawrence: A loved one moving away is a familiar feeling—especially once estranged. What to do with all this melancholy?
“Stoned on You” by Jaymes Young: “My fingertips / On your lips / Are racing hands / Down your hips.” Oh my.
“This Side of Paradise” by Coyote Theory: “If you’re lonely, no need to show me / If you’re lonely come be lonely with me.” Simple and a bit sad, yet the drums rush like an exhilarating heartbeat.
“Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees: Spilling with enthusiasm, this certified bop was released a decade ago and only improves with time.
“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe: This riot serves in the shower and on the dance floor.
Funky, fresh, with a healthy dose of self-love and maybe the sexiest chorus ever.
Performed by the most skilled vocalists in the world, the following musical theatre love songs grab our heartstrings and hold on tight.
“You Matter To Me” from Waitress: A simple sentiment can be so impactful, but how often do we hear it said? Or say it ourselves? You are important, and you matter. Performed beautifully. 10/10.
“Only Us” from Dear Evan Hansen: A karaoke go-to, Ben Platt and Laura Dreyfuss beautifully encapsulate the tentative sweetness of new young love.
“Not Alone” from A Very Potter Musical: Switching from Broadway to the shit-eating parody musical that threw Starkid Productions into the limelight, this song highlights how theatre can have comedy and heart.
“Halfway” from Amélie: The UK production of this whimsical and heartfelt story includes a song about wanting to share the beauty of the world, how we see it—and finally feeling awake after sleeping through our lives.
“Sunrise” from In the Heights: Some things are easier to say in another language, and at this moment the characters learn how to say what they mean together.
In honor of the tunes our parents listened to, may we continue the tradition with the ‘golden Oldies’ they passed on:
“(They Long to Be) Close to You” by The Carpenters: This cover by the late Karen Carpenter is slow and adoring. Many of us can relate to the fierce longing she sings of.
“How Deep is Your Love” by The Bee Gees: A passionate slow-dance song for a romantic partner.
“Somebody to Love” by Queen: No matter your relationship status, whether you have it, need it, or want it at all, there never was as triumphant a singer to belt to as Freddy Mercury.
“Mamma Mia” by ABBA: The disco queens still reign supreme at the club. Who can resist grooving along to this song about that helpless feeling?
“I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner: Do I need to explain? Iconic.
“I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston: The late legend herself, Houston’s voice is second to none. Incredible song.
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli: This ‘67 song still makes its rounds online, and for good reason. The chorus is dazzling and upbeat!
Finally, some folk, indie, and country love:
“Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton: ‘Nuff said.
“Kraft Dinner” by Lisa Leblanc: Love can be cringey. And awkward. An Acadian ditty full of emotion, university kids can relate to this tune. At worst, we laugh, maybe eat Kraft Dinner. Who needs more?
“Song For a Winter’s Night” by Gordon Lightfoot: In honor of last week’s cold snap and the hours Campbell Hall spent powerless, I offer this lovely winter tune.
“Annie’s Song” by John Denver: At home, we had no record player, yet a vinyl of Denver’s greatest hits sat proudly on the bookshelf. Sweeping and grand, “Like a storm in the desert / Like a sleepy blue ocean / You fill up my senses / Come fill me again.”
“Fil de téléphone” by Les Hay Babies: This lovely local francophone band knows the feeling of loving someone yet feeling your bond fray with distance. Translated, “Our love is held by a telephone wire.”
Happy Valentine’s Day, readers. Never take love for granted.