Valentine's Day is tomorrow and that means one of two things. You're spending the day with the person you love, infatuated and amazed that you're lucky enough to have a person like this. Or, you're sitting in your bed watching 50 First Dates and eating chocolate. Happy or sad, you're listening to love songs. And I've got some top tier love songs to add to that Valentine's playlist.
Clairo - Softly
The entire Immunity album is about Clairo's first experience with a woman, and it's a gorgeous album. The entire thing. But this is the best song. It just fills you with that bubbly feeling, that feeling that makes you want to hug someone and dance in your room at the same time.
It discusses the anxieties of her new love, her fantasies, her imagination of this new crazy relationship. It's a great song with an addictive chorus and a sweet message. What more could you want?
ASAP Ferg ft Brent Faiyaz and Salaam Remi - Dreams, Fairytales, Fantasies
Dreams, Fairytales, Fantasies is a track about the beauty of the female form. The simple hypnotism of being that in love with somebody, that somebody could really be that perfect.
A$AP Ferg delivers some lovely bars in between Brent Faiyaz' hypnotic voice on the hook. These are two dudes that were meant to make a song together. Faiyaz' soft and suggestive tone perfectly juxtaposes with the
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get it On
I am sick and tired of this song being a joke. Look, Mike Myers, you are a comedy hero of mine, I love you. But that one scene in Austin Powers completely ruined this song. Totally wrecked it. This song has been memed into the grave and then some. But it is so much more than that.
This is one of the most beautiful songs ever made. Marvin Gaye is one of the greatest vocalists of all time, and this song is a pure, raw expression of love. It'll make your heart skip a beat, your soul sing with joy.
This is a song about letting go of inhibitions, and letting yourself drown in love, in joy. And, yes, it's also about sex. It's really about sex, but my point is give it a chance.
Miguel - Come Through and Chill
Miguel has long operated in this odd space of being incredibly popular without much widespread acclaim, and I am sick of it. This song with J Cole is one of his biggest, and there's a reason why. It's gorgeous. With Cole's classic penchant for storytelling at Biggie-esque levels (you know what, better than Biggie, I said it) and Miguel's honey-like vocals, a love song was bound to happen.
This song is about longing for someone you lost touch with, wanting more out of a casual encounter, whatever emotions they were feeling. It's beautiful. So, you know, come thru and chill.
Otis Redding - Try a Little Tenderness
This is a classic love song. Sampled on the Jay-Z and Kanye collab Otis, this is the epitome of what Otis Redding has to offer. In the form of advice, he tells you exactly how he treats women. How women should be treated, with love, respect, and you know, tenderness.
Otis may have left this world too soon, but he left us with more beauty than we know what to do with.
Amy Winehouse - Cupid
Speaking of people who left this world too soon, British icon Amy Winehouse covered the classic Sam Cooke written R&B gem in her last album.
She does it perfectly. Listen to the Sam Cooke version, too, if you want some music history. This is one of my favorite Winehouse covers ever. Her interpretation is heavy on the horns, heavy on the vocalization, heavy on the beauty.
This song is about unrequited love, someone begging for someone to be shot by cupid in an effort to gain their love. Unrequited love is painful, and Winehouse manages to make it something more.
i wanna be your girlfriend - Girl in Red
Largely in thanks to TikTok, Girl in Red has become an LGBTQ icon in the past year. The Norweigan indie-pop phenom has many amazing tracks for you to sample, but this is one of her best.
It's got instrumentals that make you want to dance and lyrics that make you want to cry. A masterpiece.
Daniel Caesar ft HER - Best Part
This is the track that made Daniel Caesar who he is today, with H.E.R. delivering vocals I can only describe as angelic to boot. This isn't the original track, this is a cover they did on NPR's Tiny Desk series, but if for some reason you haven't heard the original, I'm gonna have to demand that you close this article and listen.
Ok, fine, don't close the article, but listen. Listen as you read. That would probably a mutually beneficial decision for the both of us.
This song can teleport you to another dimension. It makes me feel like I'm sitting in a quiet kitchen, in silk pajamas, looking at the person I love, feeling content as I could possibly be. Don't ask why I'm in silk pajamas.
Finneas - Let's Fall in Love for the Night
Surprisingly, Billie Eilish's older brother is more than just Billie's older brother. I don't know about that, but I'd be perfectly content just being that. Apparently, not Finneas, who not only produces all of Billie's songs, but has his own music to boot.
Anyways, this perennial overachiever made this beautiful acoustic melodious harmonious delectable three minute godsend for us last year. Was that enough adjectives for you?
A song about finding a deeper meaning within a quick fling, Finneas delivers his own sound, unique to his sister's and every bit as good.
Moon River - Frank Ocean
If you've read any article of mine since I started working here, you'll know I have a huge man crush on Frank Ocean. He's the greatest artist of the last decade.
But the question remained, does he actually have any love songs? Many of them are about love, but the entanglements and complications within, not being in love. However, his cover of Audrey Hepburn's song from the film Breakfast at Tiffany's definitely counts.
Frankie Ocean makes this song something greater than even an icon like Hepburn could produce. It invokes complicated emotions, as Frank always does. A sense of longing, a sense of love, a sense of intensity. It's the perfect Valentine's track, and was actually released on the day itself.
Joey Bada$$ - Love is Only a Feeling
Forget the beat, forget the hook, sampled from the Homeshake song of the same name, forget the point of the song for a second.
I love her curves, but what's more preferred, is the way she articulates words
Can't help observe and stare, when she in the mirror, maskin her massacre while she fixin her hair
Genuinely one of my favorite rhyme schemes ever. It just hits the ear in such a satisfying way. Anyways, this song juxtaposes Joey's intense love and commitment to his partner with his inner monologue that love is only a feeling.
It's the story of a man overcoming his inner demons to accept his love and infatuation with this woman. And it comes from one of the best rappers in the world.
Kendrick Lamar ft Zacari - LOVE
Coming from Kendrick Lamar's Pulitzer Prize winning DAMN, this track with vocalist Zacari is a full externalization of Kendrick's commitment, love, and loyalty to his fiancé, who's been with him since high school.
This entire album is a vocalization of different aspects of Kendrick's mind (according to this entertainment writer's interpretation) and this is the love side. Enjoy it.
Mac Miller - ROS
This track sounds like Mac Miller is performing this in a crowded restaurant. It feels like that too, it feels personal. Like he's talking to you.
No one could really convey emotions like Mac, so when he made a love song, you'd better pay attention.
This song makes you feel serene, like everything is alright, and the only thing that matters is them. It's perfect for Valentines.
Shiloh Dynasty's Everything
Shiloh Dynasty, if you don't know, is one of the most mysterious cases on the entire internet. They made incredible music on Vine, music that got so popular and stayed with so many people that it was widely sampled throughout hip hop, and became the basis for the genre of lo-fi hiphop. All we have left of this person are the vines I've linked above. Despite extensive reddit searches, investigative reports, etc, no one knows Shiloh's real name, gender identity, even their full face.
So what makes this mysterious human so compelling? That voice. That is the voice of an angel. A compilation of six second clips is more than enough, we didn't even deserve that. The uniqueness, the tone, the incredible, mysterious, nature of Shiloh, is captivating. Go get captivated yourself.
Tyler, the Creator ft Kali Uchis - See You Again
How could I forget Flower Boy. I couldn't. This was both the album in which Tyler the Creator came out as bisexual (we think, he isn't very clear on the topic, because it's not anyone's business but his own) to the entire world and became an international superstar.
This track in particular evokes love. The entire album is about the complications of loneliness, love, identity struggles, and more, but this track is about love. Zayn Malik was actually supposed to sing the intro of this song, but according to Tyler, he flaked, so Tyler just did it himself. Hilarious, and completely on brand for Tyler.
Like many people my age, I grew up idolizing and loving Tyler. His antics, his provacatism, his harshness. But from Goblin to Wolf to Cherry Bomb to Flower Boy, we all matured alongside Tyler. This is where he found himself.
BENEE - Soaked
New Zealand pop phenom BENEE is a lot more than her TikTok mega-hit Supalonely. In particular, her latest album Hey u x and her pre-Supalonely mixtape FIRE ON MARZZ are incredible.
Every track from FIRE ON MARZZ is unique and catchy in its own way, but if you're talking love songs, look no further than Soaked.
Speaking on the hold a lover can have on one's mind, BENEE delivers a catchy, insightful, head moving track to kick off the mixtape that made her one of the best new artists in the world.
Anderson .Paak - Heart Don't Stand a Chance
The second track of Anderson .Paak's Grammy nominated album Malibu, which is mostly about love, Heart Don't Stand a Chance remains a favorite. The name says it all. Your heart won't stand a chance when you hear this.
It's everything Paak is. Lighthearted, sensual, fun, and rhythmic.
Other amazing love songs on this album are Room in Here, Waterfall, and Am I Wrong.
Forrest, Biskwiq - Your Soul
Forrest is on the come up at the moment, with this and Why Not Me being his biggest hits to date. He made this collaborative project with fellow artist Biskwiq, and their fans ate it right up.
His music makes you feel like you're lounging on the beach, your hot piece of he/she/them in tow. This music can bring summertime to the coldest day. I may be spending Valentine's Day in Maine, but during these three minutes, I'll be on a quiet, warm beach. At least in my head.
The Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
The original song by Roberta Flack is absolutely timeless and transcendent, but giving no respect to Miss Education, THE Ms. Lauryn Hill herself would be out of line.
This is a soul classic, sung by one of the greatest voices to ever grace the planet earth, earned the Fugees a Grammy in 1997, is a love song staple.
Dominic Fike - Wurli
What Could Possibly Go Wrong was not the best Dominic Fike can do. We've seen much, much better from him, from his Kenny Beats collab Phone Numbers, to the smash hit 3 Nights, this album kind of let a lot of people down.
However, recently, it's grown on me, specifically this track, Wurli. The high pitched vocalizations throughout the song, the melodic, almost mumbly lyrics, the content of the control this woman has over Fike, is frankly quite enticing. It's a great track on an album that, while not great, wasn't horrible either.
Marc Wavy - Daydreaming
While Marc Wavy isn't showing up on too many radars, expect that to change soon. Daydreaming is one of the catchiest songs I've heard in a very long time, and this guy has nowhere to go but up.
A song about a man unable to get his head out the clouds but perpetually desiring physical intimacy, this song will make you fall in love all over again.
Colbie Caillat - Bubbly
This is one of the biggest hits from 2000s singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, and it's just so pretty. It makes you feel all tingly and happy inside.
The acoustics, the vocals, and the overall simplicity of the song give it a gentle, nurturing, loving feel that we all need every once in a while.
WASTE - Brockhampton
The traditional end to the pop-rap boy band's Saturation trilogy was giving their quiet, Irish, angel-voiced singer Bearface the spotlight to wrap things up. The line eyes are but a pain, roses in my veins will stay with you, for absolutely no reason.
This is song is full of passion. It's as emphatic as it is lowkey, loving as it is painful. It speaks to the low sense of self worth one feels after losing the one they love.
Counting Crows - Accidentally in Love
It's upbeat, fast paced, catchy, addictive, and will fill you with all those warm feelings of love and happiness.
Michelle (Remastered 2009)
The Beatles are of course, never short on a love song. A song about falling in love with a French girl, Michelle, and only knowing a small portion of the language, it's a song that captures romantic desperation and longing, despite barriers.
Michelle, my belle,
Sont les mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Tres bien ensemble
In case anyone is curious, that means, "Michelle, my love, those are words that go together very well" in French. That translation is the first time the five years of French I took in high school has translated to my professional life. Thanks Madame Laclef.
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