Falling in love is a wonderful thing.
And while you don’t need an artificial construct like Valentine’s Day to let someone you love, or someone you want to love, how you feel, it is, like all these sorts of days, a great time to take stock, think about why you love them and not only tell them but make them feel how important they are to you.
Our lives, if we stop to think about it, would be nowhere as luminously lovely as they are without our beloved, and whether we have them or are trying to get them, these songs by five very talented music artists or groups celebrate all the awestruck majesty and wonder of love being expressed and felt and enjoyed … and everything.
It’s a giddy, joyous trip and these songs are your romantic soundtrack.
So throw yourself on a bed of roses, listen closely and remember that today is but a reflective springboard – you have the rest of your life to make good on the deepest, most heartfelt parts of your lovestruck soul.
“Old Wounds” by PVRIS
Hailing from Lowell, Massachusetts, PVRIS (who were named Paris until legal forced a moniker change on them) have a lot of fun diving into a whole gloriously fun potpourri of genres including electropop, synth-pop and even some alternative rock.
And as it turns out in “Old Wounds”, they are also dab hands at exploring vexing affairs of the heart, the kind that don’t have a place in any kind of Hallmark movie.
Shakespeare through the character Lysander remarked in A Midsummer Night’s Dream that “The course of true love never did run smooth” and you suspect PVRIS members Lynn Gunn, Alex Babinski, and Brian MacDonald would be apt to agree as “Old Wounds” ponders what it is like when the right kind of love comes along at the wrong time.
“I think I could love you ’til the day that you die
If you let me love you when the timing is right
And if they said I had to, I swear I’d wait my whole life
I think I could love you ’til the day that you die.”
Setting to achingly melancholic music and with Gunn’s exquisitely emotionally-resonant vocals channelling all the longing regret in the world, “Old Wounds” is a love song tempered with the cruel mistiming of life’s harsh realities.
“Outta My Mind” by Monsune
We’ve all had that feeling – you meet someone, they really get under your skin and into your heart and all you can do is think about them in a way that subsumes everything else.
Monsune, a Chinese-Canadian singer-songwriter from Toronto, knows exactly what that feels like and distills it with luxurious R & B ease into “Outta My Mind” where all his lust and longing finds a luminously smooth home.
He admits to being unsure if they’re right for each other and by extension where it could all go, but is desperate to give it a shot anyway.
The song is filled with lyrics like “You’ve been haunting me for forty days and forty nights” and “I’ve been looking for you all of my life” which beautifully articulate how it feels to have met someone off-the-charts wonderful who is everything you think you’ve ever wanted and be almost begging the universe to do something with all this life-changing romantic attraction.
It’s Valentine’s Day so I would think it’s time that the universe answered, in the affirmative,naturally …
“Lover Chanting” by Little Dragon
Little Dragon, who formed in Gothenburg Sweden in 1996 have always had both a transcendent way with words and with music.
Case in point is “Lover Chanting” from the group’s 2018 EP of the same name, which reflects the group’s ethos of writing “music for people to escape into” (Pitchfork) and which celebrates what lead singer Yukimi Nagano describes as “the force of love”.
With a chanted call-and-respond that asks “Do you wanna be my girl?” and answers “I wanna be your man”, “Lover Chanting” possesses what NME calls “[a] gentle house bop [the] persistence [of which] is hypnotic, with deep bass synth grooves punctuating the hook.”
How persistent is the intent of the song? Try these determined lyrics on for size …
“No hurricanes nor the best cocaine
Will steal my love
No Cold black rain or the darkest days
Will keep me from your love.”
That’s some full-on super glue-quality love going on there, all set to music that belies the urgency and passion of the task at hand and yet which complements it perfectly.
“Honeypie” by Johnny Utah
It seems the musical language of love is gloriously chilled R & B.
There’s a woozy languid loveliness to songs like “Honeypie” by 23-year-old Philadelphia producer Johnny Utah aka Jacob Sullenger which contrasts rather nicely with the intensity of the artist’s longing for the girl who has captured his heart.
Described by Earmilk as “a big bang of glittery funk guitars and twinkle-toe beats”, “Honeypie” is all gorgeously-expressed lovelorn longing …
“Oh girl don’t you stop, don’t you stop ’til you get enough honey
Oh honey, honeypie, honey, honey, honeypie
Oh girl don’t you stop, don’t you stop ’till you get enough honey
Oh honey, honeypie, honey, honey honeypie.”
It’s a paean to longing and the fulfilment of that longing, all bundled with the fervent dream that none of the song’s passionate wishing and hoping will stop “’til you’re my girl” and hopefully, not even then.
After all, love is best when it’s forever right? And if there’s pie, of course.
“Hugging You” by English singer-songwriter and composer Tom Ronsethal is utterly, heart-capturingly beautiful.
Laid across a sparsely gorgeous musicscape that is as intimate as the relationships depicted in the accompanying heartfelt video, “Hugging You” (sung with Billie Marten)is a lovesong to the way the presence of that one incredibly special person can absolutely transform your life for the better.
Look at these lyrics and tell me your heart doesn’t leap a little or a lot in recognition.
“I don’t know if you know, but I just want to tell you so
That you’re the wisest funny one that I will ever, ever know
I don’t know about you but, oh, I love us as a two
Find me a wild road and I will name it after you.
“You took all the lonely days and made them sing
You turned off the alarms so they don’t ring
I don’t know where we are in the grand scheme of things
But I just want to be hugging you tonight.”
It’s exquisitely lovely, taking a profoundly moving deep dive in the very heart of what it means to be with someone, to truly be with them and have your lives so entwined that life without them in every respect is unthinkable.
‘Hugging You” is love’s essence in a song, the soundtrack to everything wonderful that happens when you fall truly, wholly, mutually, desperately and self-sacrificially in love.