Valentine’s Day playlists: Songs for the lovesick and the brokenhearted
These two clashing playlists capture the perfect love and heartbreak songs for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to not only indulge in flowers, chocolate and candy conversation hearts, but also in good music. Whether you celebrate the holiday or loathe it, these two playlists represent the many moods you may be feeling on this special day.
To start off, this playlist consolidates the perfect love songs to play as students celebrate the love they have for their significant others, friends and self.
For the romantic:
“Kiss Me” – Sixpence None the Richer
Opening with nostalgic guitar instrumentals, this classic love song plainly yet perfectly describes the feeling of being smitten. Whether you’re trying to swoon a campus crush or simply want to romanticize Valentine’s Day as you walk across campus, this is the perfect song to play.
“Freckles” – Kevin Atwater
Atwater’s gentle love song illustrates the process of falling for someone through various small moments. Through his lyricism he articulates the beauty of a new relationship beginning and the butterflies you feel around someone you care about: “Cause you're becoming the only one I want to see/I don't want to force it out or put pressure down/About what you really want from me.”
“Presumably Dead Arm (617 Sessions)” – Sydney Gish
Gish perfectly articulates the experience of denying your feelings for someone. Her song sounds like a stream of consciousness shifting from singing “Honey you are nothing to me” to “I wanna know your passwords/Without changing them in preferences.”
“La Vie En Rose” – Lucy Dacus
Dacus’ distinct vocals and music production brings this infamous French love song into a new light. As Dacus sings “When you press me to your heart/I’m in a world apart,” she illustrates the all encompassing nature of being in love.
“Acolyte” – Slaughter Beach, Dog
In this upbeat indie tune, lead singer Jake Ewald declares his love plain and simple: “Try to smirk but you’re smiling /Know I’ll stick with it/Annie, I want you to marry me.” There’s something entracing about this outright declaration of love for another that makes this the perfect song to listen to on Valentine's Day.
For those who hate Valentine’s Day:
On the other side of this, for many, Valentine’s Day can be a time of complicated emotions. For anyone not feeling the love on Valentine’s Day, this playlist is for you.
“Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish
Feeling angry this Valentine’s Day? There is no better word to describe Billie Eilish’s “Happier than Ever” than cathartic. This two part epic undresses a terrible relationship, with the simmering opening section eventually exploding into unbridled rage as Eilish eviscerates her ex for every time he ever wronged her.
“4:44” – Jay-Z
“4:44” is a song for anyone who has ever ruined a relationship and has no one to blame but themselves. Over a Hannah Williams sample, Jay-Z painstakingly recounts and records his own misdeeds, apologizing to his spouse for his shortcomings as a husband and a father.
“Sparks” – Coldplay
“Did I drive you away?” Chris Martin coos on “Sparks,” a shimmering ballad practically made for lonely nights and rainy days. Over muted guitars and a hazy instrumental, Martin sings to an old flame, longing to rekindle the “sparks” he once felt between the two of them.
“XO” – EDEN
Not every relationship has to end in misery, and on “XO,” EDEN is just celebrating being free of a toxic partner. Full of biting sarcasm, EDEN informs audiences, “I’m not singing for an ex though/I’m just singing ‘cause it’s over.”
“Solo” — Frank Ocean
“Solo” is a masterclass in lyricism and songwriting. Accompanied by an organ, Ocean explores the various meanings of the word “solo.” “It's just me and no you/Stayed up 'til my phone died / Smoking big, rolling solo” Ocean sings, touching on loneliness and fleeting love affairs through a wistful vocal performance.
“We Find Love” – Daniel Caesar
For anyone in need of a more optimistic outlook, Daniel Caesar’s anthemic “We Find Love” offers a more nuanced version of breakups. Caesar learns how to make peace with a failed relationship, recognizing that it is part of a larger cycle of growing and learning. He reminds audiences that heartbreak is inevitable, but every bad experience makes the good ones even more special.
From romantic indie tunes to sorrowful ballads, these playlists encompass all the emotions one may feel on Valentine’s Day.