We asked the WRVU blog staff to share their essential Valentine’s Day songs – here are their responses:
“Hurt Less” by Julien Baker
As with most Julien Baker songs, “Hurt Less” makes you pause, take off the headphones, and let out a deep breath before being able to proceed with your daily activities. Where other songs on Turn Out the Lights start and end with helplessness and yearning, “Hurt Less” progresses to a profession of love and openness, albeit one of complex and broken circumstances. “Because when I’m with you / I don’t have to think about myself / And it hurts less” certainly isn’t the most intricate of Baker’s lyrics, but it doesn’t have to be – making the song all the more striking and memorable.
– Keiji Chan
“Don’t Delete the Kisses” by Wolf Alice
I chose this song because it represents what love means to me; it’s hopeful. Hopeful even when you don’t know what they’re thinking or feeling. Deleting kisses at the end of a text because you’re scared to show your true emotions or take things too far. Childish crushes can be funny but deep down aren’t we all just giddy and excited when we meet someone new? Wolf Alice is a great band and I’d encourage any WRVU listeners to give them a listen on Valentine’s Day – they put a specific emotion into this song that I can’t describe.
– Safa Shahzad
“What Dreams Are Made Of” by Evann McIntosh
“What Dreams Are Made Of” by Evann McIntosh is emblematic of Valentine’s Day. Despite the song’s dreamy nature (McIntosh literally says “baby…you are what dreams are of”), there is an undertone of inaccessibility. She can only see her crush in her dreams. Perhaps this song presents the darker side of Valentine’s Day—solitude. The song ends after repeating “the most dangerous weapon is a wonderful woman.” Though the two concepts of the song, loving someone you can’t have and empowerment seem unrelated at first glance, they unite in the last lyric: “I’m gonna lose myself and you, baby.” Evann McIntosh may have trying to say that loving someone unreachable makes you lose sight of your own power. That solitude is the choice weapon for a “wonderful woman.”
– Eva Cherasi
“Yellow” by Coldplay
“I wrote a song for you and all the things you do.” Writing a song for your significant other can be challenging. Share “Yellow” with your loved ones, whether they are your friends, family, boyfriend, or girlfriend to show them how much they mean to you.
– Olga Konstantara
“Love On Top” by Beyoncé
I’ve been loving this song for this year’s Valentine’s Day for the ecstatic lyrics and the joy and power in Beyoncé’s voice. This song feels like a triumphant celebration of love, and the satisfaction and happiness that come from it. A couple close seconds are “Cariño” by The Marías and “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
– Caterina Tian-Svobodny
“Mama You’ve Been on My Mind” performed by Jeff Buckley
The fortunate few celebrate Valentine’s day with a special someone. This song is for those who previously had their Valentine and can’t shake the thought of them on the Hallmark Holiday.
– Daniel Tierney
“Golf On TV” by Lennon Stella and JP Saxe
My favorite ~love song~ would probably be “Golf on TV” by Lennon Stella and JP Saxe. The lyrics refer to Lennon finally finding a relationship that is healthy and safe to her. She explains how watching Golf on TV is a common occurrence that she’ll never understand, much like modern day casual relationships that don’t last. I love that the listener would never guess what the song was about from the title, but upon listening to the lyrics you can see how the metaphor she uses uniquely portrays how much she appreciates the other person she’s finally found to stay in her life.
– Natali Lanfir
“Ivy” by Frank Ocean
“Ivy” by Frank Ocean is my Valentine’s Day pick because it talks about growing up and trying to look back at old loves and memories with less anger and resentment. I appreciate the nostalgia of the song and how it values the past for what it was while trying to move on. Sometimes that’s needed on Valentine’s Day.
– Sam Josephson
“Once I was” by Tim Buckley
I chose “Once I was” by Tim Buckley because I have never heard a song that captures love so beautifully. Although Valentines Day is often seen as a corporate holiday, it is what you make of it and I like to think of it as a day of love in whatever form that may be. The opening lyrics express the depth of love in that it is not bound by time or space. I love how it is not completely literal because I feel that a song describing love could not be to properly convey such an intangible emotion. The song also touches on the other emotions love can bring and leave in its wake. To say love was always perfect would be a lie. This being said, the beauty of the love described in this song makes it all seem worth it!
– Victoria Travassos
“Tattoos Together” by Lauv
“Tattoo’s Together” definitely represents the sporadic and free spirit of Valentine’s Day for those not in a commit relationship. It’s about taking a risk and being in the moment like Lauv getting “Tattoos Together” with a girl he had just met that weekend. Although I personally wouldn’t recommend getting matching tattoos with a one week fling, this song hits the risk taking nature of Valentine’s Day.
– Nathan Park
“Someone Who Loves Me” by Sara Bareilles
“Someone Who Loves Me” is a deep appreciation for love in the worst of times. It speaks to the value of having someone there for you in moments of struggle, even if being there is all that they can do. Sara Bareilles’ sweet melody and clear voice are contrasted by her heart breaking lyrics as she sings about finding refuge “in the deep end of someone who loves me.” It isn’t a happy song by any means, but it expresses a deep appreciation for the people who are always in your corner. Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love and “Someone Who Loves Me” does just that, celebrating love that isn’t easy, happy, or sappy, but is just as important.
– Amanda Maeglin
“Gotta Have You” by the Weepies
This song is my perfect Vday song because everything the Weepies sing is warm and honeyed the way the best love songs are, and the lyrics of this particular song are both silly and earnest the way the best loves are! Give Samia’s cover of it a listen, while you’re at it (-:
– Sophie Kaiser
“Hey Lover” by Blake Mills
It’s the only song I know that is sweet and evocative but also features the phrase “white spread asshole on a sofa bed”
– Henry Morrissette
Listen to WRVU’s Valentine’s Day playlist here: