Valentine’s songs for all relationship statuses
Hit Valentine’s Day armed with some good tunes. If you’ve got a Valentine, I’ve got you covered with 10 songs from my music library that will make you and your special person melt all over each other like microwaved butter.
If you’re miserable and alone, don’t worry: Turn to the second list and see my picks for songs about heartbreak.
The good side:
Breanne Duren – “Daydreams” (off of Sparks EP)
Breanne Duren, who you might better know as the songstress on various Owl City songs, released an EP in 2011 full of gushing, positive songs. “Daydreams” is the best on the album, a no-shame ditty of all the good things in a person that make you feel overwhelmingly positive. “Everything you are is my reverie.”
Frank Sinatra– “Let’s Fall In Love” (off of Ring-a-Ding-Ding!)
This list could just be 10 Frank Sinatra songs, but “Let’s Fall In Love” is one of the standouts. Written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler in 1933, Sinatra puts that signature swing on the piece. It’s a fun song about carefree, young love, carried by a big band beat.
Echosmith – “Bright” (off of Talking Dreams)
All-sibling band Echosmith’s first record features a lot of booming alt-rock pieces, but “Bright” is a stripped-down acoustic song about the glow that being in love gives you. We’re talking about planets and constellations aligning to make someone happy. Sydney Sierota’s cooing in the pre-chorus sets it apart as a delicate, simple song.
LIGHTS – “…And Counting” (off of Siberia Acoustic)
Written about her then- boyfriend Beau Bokan (now husband, of the band Blessthefall), this song is about the stress of not being able to see the person you are in love with, leading you to painstakingly count down the days until you see them and dreaming every night about him/ her. The acoustic rendition is more powerful than the electronic one, as LIGHTS’ vocals shine when contrasted only to her piano and subtle string backup. Plus, Blessthefall’s album Awakening released the same day as Siberia, with a song called “40 Days…” with the same chorus as LIGHTS’. Together, they are “40 Days And Counting.” Don’t tell me that’s not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard.
We the Kings – “She Takes Me High” (off of Smile Kid)
In this chorus of this song, We the Kings’ Travis Clark rescinds complicated phrasing and just belts “She take me high/She wakes me up/She breaks me down/She’s got me 10 feet off the ground/ She takes me high.” It sounds elementary, but the way the music blasts makes it work.
Archie Star – “Let’s Get Married” (off of Carry Me Home)
This song is about finally making the decision to pop the big question, regardless of whether it’s the best idea. Is it a smart move? Who knows. Is it romantic? Sure it is. The vocals are a duet between brother and sister Pat and Maria D’Andrea, so there’s a nice lyrical dialogue that plays out in the song.
Sleeping With Sirens – “Scene One: James Dean & Audrey Hepburn (acoustic)” (off of If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack)
Vocalist Kellin Quinn’s legendary voice shines on this song more than any other Sleeping With Sirens song. In it he sings about “how the hell did you ever pick me?” and the vulnerable admission that she is his everything. Quinn’s R&B influences play a part, which when combined with the strings in the background, gives it some ear- melting composition.
He Is We – “Forever And Ever” (off of My Forever)
He Is We has always been about overwhelmingly happy songs, and the first track off of My Forever sets the stage. Like “Daydreams,” this about appreciating what the other person does to make you feel good. “You’re my air when I feel I can’t breathe.”
The Ataris – “Takeoffs And Landings” (off of So Long, Astoria)
This one’s for the travelers out there. “Takeoffs And Landings” focuses on the struggle of being away from the person you love while on the road. It’s about the very real and ironic situation of traveling to a population center surrounded by humans yet feeling completely lonely.
The Boys After – “The Break- Up” (off of The Break-Up)
If you’ve heard the profanity-laden “Happy Holidays, You Bastard,” by Blink 182, this song is essentially the same, but shorter and about breaking up with someone and hating “the other guy” that replaces you.
Pierce the Veil – “Caraphernelia” (off of Selfish Machines)
A four-and-a-half-minute sonic teardown of the narrator’s former lover. The chorus hits hard, featuring guttural screams from A Day to Remember vocalist Jeremy McKinnon: “What if I can’t forget you?/I’ll burn your name into my throat/I’ll be the fire that’ll catch you.” Vocalist Vic Fuentes asks the question on everyone’s mind: “What’s so good about picking up the pieces?”
Bring Me the Horizon – “Can You Feel My Heart” (off of Sempiternal)
Vocalist Oli Sykes absolutely bears his soul in this haunting, synth-driven piece. It’s guided by the repetition of four important questions: “Can you hear the silence?/Can you see the dark?/ Can you fix the broken?/Can you feel my heart?” When the song transitions into the bridge, he tackles the dark subjects he faces: the numbness of losing love, hating loneliness and drowning it all in alcohol until you reach the point where “I can’t drown my demons/ They know how to swim.”
Man Overboard – “Rare” (off of Man Overboard)
Man Overboard have a handle of describing all the little things that come with drifting apart from someone, and “Rare” is a highlight of that.
Mayday Parade – “Stay” (off of Mayday Parade)
Mayday Parade have always kind of had a patent on sad songs, but “Stay” is one of their saddest. It’s about being reminded of everything you and the other person did together, while knowing that it’s all just a memory now. For the narrator, that means sleepless nights and drinking away feelings.
The Story So Far – “Roam” (off of Under Soil & Dirt)
Parker Cannon tears into his ex-lover with his characteristic pop-punk, spritely vocals. “I know where you’ve been/You’re ruining men.”
Bayside – “They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns” (off of The Walking Wounded)
Backed by a droning guitar melody, Anthony Raneri calls out how much of a negative influence his ex-lover was, calling her a termite.
Blink 182 – “I Miss You” (off of Blink 182)
If you somehow missed this song in your teen years, you’re sorely lacking some culture. It’s a staple of alt-rock. Sing with me: “Don’t waste your time on me/ You’re already the voice inside my head.”
The Wonder Years – “Woke Up Older” (off of Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing)
In his typical fashion, vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell crafts the tale of a break up by describing all the little things that comprise day-to-day life, but recognizing it’s all gone now. What’s left is the realization he’s “carrying two years in the bags under my eyes.” Life has worn him down.