Loveless or love-stricken, lovesick or sick of love, these are your jams for this Valentine’s Day. Eat some chocolate, send some flowers, and listen up.
1. “Everybody Here Wants You” by Jeff Buckley
This song is sexy, no way around it. The lyrics are Shakespeare: “Twenty nine pearls in your kiss, a singing smile,/Coffee smell and lilac skin, your flame in me.” I’m blushing.
2. “Whole Wide World” by Bahamas
Awww. Cutesy-sad, cuddly, and relatable as fuck. Singer Afie Jurvanen is tired of looking for his soulmate: “Why am I hanging out in the rain out here/Trying to pick up a girl?”
3. “Don’t Explain” by Nina Simone
…woah. Haunting and slow, this one wins most unique. Simone croons forgiveness to her unfaithful lover, lost in adoration for him. Love makes fools of us all, doesn’t it?
4. “Dry Your Eyes” by The Streets
This is four minutes and twenty-nine seconds of pure heartbreak. The entire song is literally a narrative of a couple splitting up, in the form of…acoustic British hip-hop? Amazing. “Tryna pull her close out of bare desperation/Look into her eyes to make her listen again/Please, please, I beg you, please.”
5. “Baby” by Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso
The refrain of this song by Brazilian legends Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso is straightforward: “Baby, I love you.” Its beauty lies in the simplicity. The blend of Portuguese and English lyrics is flowery, melodic, and oh-so-beautiful.
6. “Smile” by Lily Allen
Cheated on? Ghosted? Dumped? This vengeful ballad is a crazy bitch’s anthem. The video will downright freak you out, but also give you a strange urge put on hot pink eyeshadow.
7. “My Baby Just Cares for Me” by Nina Simone
When I was playing this out loud, my roommate said, “This makes me want to put on tap shoes and a top hat.” Playful, jazzy, and smooth, this song proves Nina Simone can do it all. Pro tip: Google the vintage Chanel commercial that used this song as its soundtrack.
8. “Purple” by SAUCITO
This is simply one of the happiest songs I’ve ever heard. Bringing to mind warm breezes and car windows rolled down, this is the musical equivalent of a summer fling. Blast for immediate endorphins.
9. “Just One Look” by Doris Troy
This one-hit-wonder from 1963 is probably what your Grandma and Grandpa fell in love to. It’s perfect, nostalgic, bouncy 60’s era soul. Sing into your hairbrush.