Gabriella DePinho & Nicole Rodriguez, Senior Writer & Production Editor
While Valentine’s Day is only one day, celebrating and experiencing love is a year-round thing. Though the candy hearts will now be on sale and the seasonal aisle in Rite Aid won’t look like pink and red threw up all over it, the lovey-dovey feeling doesn’t have to go away. However, if you’re like us, you know that Valentine’s Day is not just for romantic love, but for all kinds of love. We’ve got songs to help you celebrate your relationship (whether it’s new or you’ve been around the block for a bit), to celebrate your singleness and your friends, and even to celebrate (or cope with) the situationship you’ve been stuck in for weeks now.
If you’re happily coupled up
Honesty – Pink Sweat$ (Nicole’s Pick)
I remember discovering this song by the underrated artist and immediately adding it to my playlist- leading me to keep the song on replay constantly. The song follows the format of a conversation between two individuals interested in each other, but one of them expresses reluctance in giving love another shot. Like the title suggests, the song presents the honest doubts, fears, and regrets surrounding love that anyone in a relationship or situationship can relate to. While the effortless tune addresses issues regarding commitment and insecurities, Pink Sweat$ reassures his love interest that there is nothing to be afraid of and the importance of learning to trust again in order to experience love fully, regardless of any baggage you carry on your person.
Best Part – Daniel Caesar (feat. H.E.R.) (Nicole’s Pick)
Any Daniel Caesar song is iconic in its own right, but “Best Part” featuring H.E.R. is next level. The two artists have equally angelic voices that complement each other perfectly. Although the song sounds like the honeymoon stage of a relationship by comparing your lover to the best part of the movie that is your life, it also works if you find yourself particularly smitten for your special someone. The song exemplifies not only an appreciation for your partner, but also a need and desire for them as your other half. If you’re on the hunt for a song to dedicate to your significant other, this is the one.
I Want You Around – Snoh Aalegra (Nicole’s Pick)
Aalegra cites Stevie Wonder as one of her major inspirations and within the song makes multiple references to his album Innervisions in addition to referring to her love interest as two titles of his songs “Higher Ground” and “Rocket Lover.” Beyond the mention of his discography, one can note her admiration for Wonder by the smooth, groovy, sultry, and hypnotic tone of the song. The song details the first butterfly experience of meeting someone exciting, wanting to spend every waking moment with them, and falling head-over-heels for someone. Anyone who is an authentic sucker for love and not afraid of getting all lovey-dovey needs to give this song a listen.
Don’t Wanna Be Without Ya – Penny and Sparrow (Gabs’ Pick)
Penny and Sparrow is a musical duo from Texas who have been making and releasing music together since 2011, making this year their tenth year together. Hailing from Texas, they’re classified as folk artists and even though the pandemic stopped them from touring their 2019 album “Finch,” they’re still making music with new releases expected soon. This song is from “Finch” and tells the story of the couple that’s attached at the hip — or the couple that is so destined to be together they’d find each other in any life, even when one is stuck in the form of a hairpin.
The Bones – Maren Morris with Hozier (Gabs’ Pick)
The version without Hozier is just as good, but I like the duet better because it’s fun to hear the American country singer’s and the Irish indie and blues singer’s voices come together in really beautiful harmonies. The collaboration actually resulted out of Maren Morris’ love for his work and Hozier’s love for the original version of this track. This song is for the couple who can make it through anything because, well, the bones are good.
Beginning Middle End – The Greeting Committee (Gabs’ Pick)
This song is on the soundtrack for “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever” which was released on Netflix on Friday night. I’ve loved the franchise since sophomore year of high school when I read the first Jenny Han novel in the series. I adored Lara Jean’s sincerity and how much of a hopeless romantic the character was and seeing the books get translated into movies has been so special to me. I won’t spoil where this song plays in the movie, but it’s part of such a beautiful moment that I had to add it to this happy couple’s section. The Greeting Committee is an indie rock band formed in 2014, while the four members attended high school together. Their first gig was a school talent show and their first song hit local radio waves in 2015.
If you’re single and appreciating your friends
Best Friend – Saweetie (feat. Doja Cat) (Nicole’s Pick)
Forget about not having a valentine this year, Saweetie and Doja Cat have got you covered. There is no denying that artists Saweetie and Doja Cat have been killing it recently with multiple hit records. Both artists joining forces on this track makes for the perfect 2021 best friend anthem. If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your gals or “day ones,” this song is the ideal way to get the celebration started with it’s up-beat, catchy, energetic and contagious rhythm.
Roses – The Band Camino (Gabs’ Pick)
This track came out in December and was The Band Camino’s first release since August of 2019, and the first release after a member of the group left during the spring. The Band Camino’s discography is full of largely breakup or angsty songs about love, so this upbeat track — in both sound and lyrics — was a welcome change of pace for fans of the group. Though not explicitly about celebrating your friends, it’s a good reminder that even while you might be feeling down, there’s probably a lot of wonderful things happening all around you in your life and it’s important to take the time to notice it.
BFF ft. Wrabel – Kesha (Gabs’ Pick)
Though Kesha may not have been a “good role model” when I was 10, I had always really loved her music. It’s fun music for the sake of being fun, and I love that. Her music has continued to evolve over time and watching her come into her power after facing abuse within the industry has been really wonderful to watch. I wanted to pick one of her dancy songs from 2010, but instead of picking a track that was created in the context of her working with her abuser, I decided to pick this sweet song, a true tribute to friendship, from her 2020 album “High Road.”
If it’s complicated
Gravity – Brent Faiyaz & DJ Dahi (feat. Tyler, The Creator) (Nicole’s Pick)
“Gravity” is Brent Faiyaz’s first musical release of 2021. The instant pop hit creates an ethereal experience for the listener by means of a groovy guitar and mesmerizing bass line. Faiyaz and Tyler reflect on your typical relationship feelings like desire and insecurity. While the song’s main focus is fidelity, it also draws on its complications, especially with long-distance relationships. Whether you’re reminiscing about an old hometown flame or having doubts about the longevity of your new college romance, this song relates to you, especially during this time where feeling displaced from our loved ones is inevitable.
i love you – Billie Eilish (Nicole’s Pick)
The truth is that behind every seemingly happy relationship, there is more than what meets the eye. Eilish’s soft acoustic ballad explores the struggles and feelings of being in a complicated relationship. There are constant ups and downs, sleepless nights, fears, and doubts to the point where sometimes you can’t help but blame yourself. The song primarily focuses on loving too much and that love not being not being reciprocated. This one will instantly bring you to tears.
Passionfruit – Drake
I grew up listening to Drake since middle school and easily any one of his songs could have made this playlist. What sets “Passionfruit” apart from Drake’s previous heartbreak records is the intro to the song and its overall upbeat tempo. Drake starts the song off with comforting banter teasing the listener with what it would be like to see him live. Within the song itself, he opens up a piece of his heart by detailing his side of his relationship. He not only acknowledges the issues in his relationship, but offers and encourages his lover to put the relationship on hold – the classic “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Release Me – Miette Hope (Gabs’ Pick)
Miette Hope is a Brooklyn-based independent artist who has been releasing music since 2017 and has been busy at work, with her most recent release being on Feb. 4 of this year. This song perfectly captures the back and forth that comes when someone cannot commit to you, but keeps you on the line, which then plays with the sincere feelings you have for them. I’m sure that situation sounds familiar to most people, whether you’ve experienced it yourself or had to listen to your best friend flip back and forth between gushing about someone and then angrily ranting about the same person.
Babe, Can I Call? – The Hunna (Gabs’ Pick)
This song is from the perspective of someone who made the mistake of leaving someone for someone new and wants to try and get back in touch with the person they left behind. If this sounds like your situation, I’m not saying you should call or you should pick up the phone when they call, but I think you should listen to the song and this whole playlist at least five times before deciding.
Your Type – Carly Rae Jepsen (Gabs’ Pick)
I love Carly Rae Jepsen and I think we did her dirty by not listening to her releases after “Call Me Maybe.” Jepsen’s album “Emotion” is “the best pop album of 2015” according to my best friend from high school, and honestly, my friend has a point. So when I had a painfully unrequited crush very shortly after this album’s release, “Your Type” became my song, the song I listened to over and over again. If you ever had it never work out or if it never even had a chance, Ms. Jepsen is here for you.
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