Love Songs We Love—A Playlist for Valentine’s Day

Bob Dylan — “Simple Twist of Fate”

In “Simple Twist of Fate,” Bob Dylan captures one of the weirdest aspects of the love game: the dance-around. Everyone has been there — you don’t know whether the other person feels the same about you, so you play it cool, and it is pretty likely that they’re playing it cool, too. Sometimes this ridiculous game works, and the two of you find each other amidst all of the mixed messages; however, sometimes it doesn’t, and you’ve lost them. As stated by Dylan, you may tell yourself you don’t care, but you feel “an emptiness inside” to which you can’t relate, and sometimes you just have to walk away and chalk it up to a simple twist of fate. Emily Scherzinger

Keaton Henson – “10 AM, Gare du Nord

Many of Keaton Henson’s songs reflect the unsettling duality of love and pain that comes with being in a relationship, and “10 AM, Gare du Nord” is no exception. Henson’s folky, emotional vocals take centre stage on the track, on which he simultaneously declares his love for an unnamed subject, and expresses his fear that he will be hurt. Jesca Hoop’s subtle backing vocals enhance the song’s simplicity, which makes the cynical, yearning lyrics even more potent. Though in the middle of the song Henson pleads with the subject, “please do not break my heart,” he ends the song promising, “I will not tire of you,” perfectly representing the bittersweet nature both of the song and of love. – Lakota Rich

Alex Turner — “Stuck on the Puzzle”

This track comes from Richard Ayoade’s debut film, Submarine, which is based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne. Arctic Monkeys leading man Alex Turner provides the soundtrack, which I personally endorse as the most swoon-worthy background music for any kind of Valentine’s plans.      Just in time for Valentine’s, I have been brought back to reminisce about teen love and the supplementary nostalgia that comes along with it, after finding the novel in a used bookstore. “Stuck on the Puzzle” is an excellent slow dance/montage pick if you so desire to turn your romance into a movie scene. I don’t consider myself a hopeless romantic by any means and yet somehow, Alex Turner turns me to mush with this track. Like the Grinch, my heart grows three sizes every time I hear “Stuck on the Puzzle,” and I temporarily go into a dreamlike state. This year, music is my Valentine, and I have Alex Turner to thank for that. – Samantha Capaldi

Mac DeMarco — “My Kind of Woman”

Falling in love is the most utterly beautiful and confusing thing you can experience in your life; “My Kind of Woman” is about exactly that. Mac has found someone who’s exactly what he needs, and he’s humbled by this experience.  He’s asking her to show him the ins and outs of her life because she’s all he wants to know. She sticks with him through thick and thin, and this perplexes Mac because he doesn’t know why anyone would want to stay with a broken down person such as he. The overall feel and melody of the song makes this arguably one of Mac’s most beautiful works. So if you’re feeling very in love and think you’ve found the one for you, this could be the song that helps strum your heartstrings. – Sayem Khan

Interpol — “Obstacle 2”

Off their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights, Interpol’s “Obstacle 2” is a song for anyone spending Valentine’s Day in a dark and dingy dive bar, searching for someone to bring meaning back into their life. Through the haunting voice of Paul Banks, and one very catchy baseline, a grittier version of love is portrayed. A version where intimate words are a currency, and the length of a relationship is determined by how well your partner builds up your shattered self-confidence, “Obstacle 2” is needed for any sad Valentine’s Day playlist. – Arman Adel

Diana – “New House”

Synths are for lovers, or at least that’s how I feel about any song with a nice synthy feel. It’s funny how something so mechanical is capable of eliciting such strong human emotions. It’s a song where you can not only hear, but feel a whirlwind of emotions. This is a song that nails it when it comes to describing initial stages of a relationship that’s very new.

When I listen to “New House,” I feel like it’s capturing a very specific stage in a new relationship. It’s the moment when the butterflies are gone and you’re trying to find steady footing, but there’s something that gives away. You want to make sure that you’re both on the same page and you’re in the constant process of asking questions (“What do I gotta say to make you wanna stick around? Is it coming on too strong to let you know I loved you right away?), and maybe you’re not getting the answers you want to hear. Or, you’re not getting any answers at all.  It’s a song that captures the anxiety and sadness you might experience from the desire of wanting to open up your life to someone new. – Sofia Luu

UGK – “International Players Anthem (I Choose You)” (ft. Outkast)

I haven’t given much thought to what my wedding would be like, but I do know that when I get married, I’m going to play this song. I could talk about how this track represents the union of the three all-time greatest Southern rap crews: UGK and Outkast rapping together, with Three 6 Mafia on the beat. Alternatively, I could talk about the gorgeous Willie Hutch sample, or André 3000’s legendary flow and wordplay on the first verse. It’s a technically impressive rap anthem, but what speaks to me is how André describes his wedding day – his friends aren’t sure about his decision, but they stand by him once they realize that he’s in love. And then Pimp C delivers an uplifting best man’s speech that’s entirely about expensive cars and pimping. Amazing. Keep your heart, Three Stacks. James Li

Beyonce – “Single Ladies”

Who cares if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Beyoncé certainly doesn’t. And anything Beyoncé does is sacred (including her Destiny’s Child days), so we think you’re in the clear here. Take some notes from “Single Ladies” and make sure you’re being appreciated this Valentine’s Day. Maybe university students can’t afford to “put a ring on it”, but you should at least be getting some old-fashioned respect every once in a while.

If your significant other isn’t treating you right (or you don’t have a significant other to begin with), no need to panic. You’ve got a convenient alternative from Beyoncé herself, and you certainly don’t need anyone’s permission to have a good time. Don’t be afraid to embrace singlehood, because if Queen B can do it, so can you.

(For the record—every Beyoncé song is an anthem. Do with that advice what you will.) – Teodora Pasca

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