Despite this Valentine’s Day being so different, we can still find wonderful things to share with our friends and romantic partners. Here’s a playlist for the day, to be played together on a socially distanced walk, over zoom, or just thinking about the important people – however far they are. Enjoy!
The Archer – Alexandra Savior
The loveliest opening song you could ask for – while the love theme is tainted within the lyrics of this track, the slow beat and relaxed, marching tone feels like settling down around people you love. The structure is steady throughout, inviting whoever is listening to celebrate any form of love you hold.
Spitting Games – Snow Patrol
A more upbeat track to get the playlist fully in motion; after the previous song’s gentle introduction, the exciting riff and more built-up structure in ‘Spitting Games’ brings back the childish, almost fantastical idea of love which many of us held when we were younger. Listen up for the section beginning at 1:59 – the dip in texture gives the lyrics even more power, and adds meaningfully to the overall theme of adoration.
Each Coming Night – Iron and Wine
I’m constantly stunned by the simplicity and beauty of Iron and Wine’s songs. This one provides an image of such incredible love that it can easily stop in your tracks, with its repetitive acoustic sequence and moving harmonies. Sam Beam isn’t depicting much more than is achievable in a life of love – the lyrics are vague, full of anticipated nostalgia, and depicts a connection which is both simple and lovely. “Your father’s body was judgement day – we both dove and rose to the riverside” hits me the most, as part of an abstracted story of love across decades.
Deathproof – Graveyard Club
Many of my friends know much I praise this album – all throughout, Graveyard Club represent themes of love and death, mixed with plenty of upbeat tracks and beautiful technicalities. ‘Deathproof’ is the perfect example, showing us a bond which transcends living itself – it makes me think of my friends, who I can’t imagine being without forever, whatever happens for the rest of this year. My favourite part of this track begins at 1:53, the speaking voice being repeated throughout this album and adding a sense of transcendence to the soundscape of this song.
Il Mondo – Jimmy Fontana
I made myself pick only one non-English song for this playlist – ‘Il Mondo’ was the clear choice. Moving from romantic love within the lyrics, this song contemplates the far-reaching power of the world itself, giving love instead to the people who have come and gone before. I particularly love the way the track fades towards the end, while the vocal strength and height of structure is maintained. The captivating vocals make for a warm and emotional song (due, in part, to my own ignorance as to what the lyrics mean), to pass this day however you wish.
Francis Forever – Mitski
With a slow build, a louder finale and Mitski’s beautiful vocals, this track looks back with nostalgia at what once was. My favourite part comes in at around 1:15, with the line “I miss you more than anything” paired with the characteristic introduction of heavier drum patterns and guitar riffs. It’s important to accept that all forms of love can come with the hurt ‘Francis Forever’ shows to us – on Valentine’s day, don’t forget that your love was there nonetheless, and that’s what matter the most.
Just Like Heaven – The Cure
Love verging on madness; The Cure gives us a track so structurally well-built that it would be plausible for the lyrics not to matter at all. Yet, we’re drawn back in by a quick retelling of love between flawed people, with clear adoration which many of us yearn. Combining these elements makes for an exciting and beautiful song – I could dance to it forever. The descending riff between verses feels like spinning out of control, mimicking the very theme of the song and giving the listener an incredibly well-rounded song.
Archie, Marry Me – Alvvays
To finish off, ‘Archie, Marry Me’ is not only musically beautiful, but packed with thoughtful lyrics, as is characteristic of Molly Rankin – “During the summer, take me sailing out on the Atlantic / I won’t set my sights on other seas, there is no need to panic”. Another springtime song to welcome the quick oncoming of the new season, filled with refreshing riffs and Rankin’s unique vocals, this track is both a realistic image of wistful thinking in romantic love, and an upbeat song to end this playlist on a high.
Thus closes my playlist, entitled ‘the glow of our night’ – you can find it through this link. I hope it brings you what you were looking for this Valentine’s Day.