If you're looking for a song to soundtrack your Valentine's Day then we have the answer for you right here.
If you're struggling to express your feelings, finding it difficult to choose a gesture, a gift or even a card for the object of your desire then music always has the answer. Whilst Steve Wright's 'Sunday Love Songs' may have you running to dial up on God's white telephone, and Radcliffe and Maconie's 'Sunday Glove Songs' might be just an amusing stretch too far for the apple of your eye or the target of your affections, there's many other routes to explore. Whilst the schmaltzy, saccharine sweet, Hallmark moments can be pink and fluffy and work if you're wooing your primary school sweetheart they don't necessarily have the same effect as you get older. Now, you can try flowers and you can try chocolates (or both) but I guarantee you that a special song will live longer in the memory than either Interflora's best bouquet or Fortnum & Mason's best selection box. You don't want to be too obvious and you want it to be memorable but most importantly you want it to convey your feelings, so here's just a few alternative tracks for your consideration.
Nick Cave, Berlin. Photo credit - Britta Pedersen PA Images.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Babe You Turn Me On.
There's surely no better way to start a Valentine's Day playlist than with the undoubted master of the love song, Nick Cave. He's written some absolute gems over the years including The Ship Song and Into My Arms but today we've gone for a track from his double album release of 2004. 'Babe You Turn Me On' is just an exquisitely expressed song that aches with love, "Like an idea, Like an Atom bomb, We stand awed inside a clearing, We do not make a sound, The crimson snow falls all about, Carpeting the ground". Another flawless lyric from Mr Cave.
Julie Feeney - Aching.
The anguish and inner turmoil that is caused by overwhelming feelings of love has never better been conveyed than by Julie Feeney's song, Aching. Her want and desire is almost tangible as you hear her sing, there's not a sinew of her body that isn't completely and utterly absorbed.
Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me.
"Shut up, kiss me, hold me tight". Who at some point in their life has not wanted to say just that? You may not have actually done it, it's one thing to want to and a whole other thing to actually have the kahooners to go through with it. Either way, Angel Olsen says it perfectly in a power-pop song that gets your adrenalin going as well as your heart racing.
Mark Lanegan - This Game Of Love.
This Game Of Love sees Mark Lanegan performing with his wife on a song that is filled with love and honesty. The autobiographical track may not be an obvious song to communicate your feelings of love but it hits the right notes with it's unflinching truths and terrific lyrics.
A Fine Frenzy - You Picked Me. "Like an apple on a tree, Hiding out behind the leaves, I was difficult to reach, But you picked me. Like a shell upon a beach, Just another pretty piece, I was difficult to see, But you picked me, Yeah you picked me." It says it all really. Actress and singer-songwriter Alison Sudol excelled herself on her debut album One Cell In The Sea.
Lykke Li - Little Bit.
Lykke Li is in a playful mood as she imparts her feelings in this brilliant oddity that is both tentatively romantic and sexually suggestive at the same time. Li's childlike vocals coupled with the joyous soundtrack make for an irresistible combination.
The National - I Need My Girl.
I Need My Girl is a near faultless love song from The National delivered with such tenderness by lead singer Matt Berninger. The minimalist instrumentation and softly sung vocalisation draw you in and make you listen and the story that unfolds is just wonderfully told. If you can't win someone over with the help of this one, there's no hope.
Flowers - If I Tell You.
Flowers, a woefully under appreciated band made a hand full of terrific records in their time, all of which deserve far more recognition than they got. If I Tell You is from the band's 2014 debut album Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do that also contained the equally romantic, I Love You. The trio haven't made a record since 2017 but here's hoping they will.
First Aid Kit - Shattered And Hollow.
The finest sibling vocalists of their generation made a stunning record when they made the heartbreaking ballad Shattered & Hollow. The lyrics are devastating at times but the song is such a wondrous combination of harmonious voices, cinematic soundtrack and great storyline.
Sarabeth Tucek - Hey You.
For the one's that got away, the one's that didn't work out but were good, however fleeting. For the moments of reflection, the moments of sorrow and the thoughts of what could have been Sarabeth provides the perfect song by why of 'Hey You'.
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