Jasper Jams: Unpacking Valentine’s Day

By, Megan LaCreta, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Depending on who you ask, Valentine’s Day is the best, or worst, day of the year. Love it or hate it, the holiday is bound to bring up strong emotions. In the wake of Valentine’s Day, this playlist is a celebration of everything that love, and the day of love, makes us feel— the good, the bad, and everything in between.

The Good

Hold My Girl – George Ezra

I have to start with this one, because not every song makes you feel the same things you felt when you first heard it in high school, but this one has never lost its impact on me. This track is love at its most sweet and simple— Ezra just wants a minute to hold the person he loves. If I walk down the aisle to this song, well, I predicted it here.

Briggs – Mike Mains and the Branches

“Briggs” feels exactly like a love letter set to music. This is a song that I had first shared with my sister, but the whole meaning of it changed for me when she told me that it’s about the woman the singer eventually married, and the title, “Briggs,” is her maiden name. Did I cry when I learned that? We can say a tear or two was shed. 

Channel Orange In Your Living Room – Charlie Burg

Isn’t it amazing how hearing a certain song can practically launch you back in time to a specific moment with someone you love? That’s exactly what “Channel Orange In Your Living Room” is about, and Burg perfectly captures that feeling of nostalgia in this warm and upbeat track. 

The Bad

Seeing Other People – Donovan Woods

My little sister first introduced me to this song, and I almost wish she didn’t, because it’s quite a tear jerker. First of all, I’m a sucker for anything with a violin, and the instrument is flawlessly worked into this track. Secondly, the lyrics beautifully describe the ugly downfall of a relationship, and it’s truly something special.

Rockland – Gracie Abrams

This one is for those situations when you were the bad guy. “Rockland” encapsulates the pain of knowing you hurt someone, but still wanting to be a part of their life, even though you recognize you don’t really deserve it. Abrams is a master of dreamy and incessantly catchy pop songs, with the twist being that they will probably make you cry, and “Rockland” exemplifies this perfectly.

Brando – Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus has done it again, folks. “Brando” is just another example of the singer-songwriter’s lyrical genius. The song’s upbeat rhythm and clashing, soul-crushing lyrics combine to flawlessly recreate the sort of nonchalant attitude some people take on when discussing the loves that have hurt them the most.

Everything In Between

I Do – Wild Rivers

What do you call a song titled “I Do,” but rather than being about a wedding, it details the struggle to move on after the end of a relationship? Genius. “I Do” is a duet, and shows both partners trying their best to hide their still-existing feelings for each other, not knowing the other still feels them too. It’s tragic. It’s beautiful. It’s pretty fun to sing very loudly in your car.

Renegade – Big Red Machine, Taylor Swift

Continuing the trend of “songs that are super catchy but surprisingly sad” is “Renegade” by Big Red Machine, featuring (of course) Miss Taylor Swift herself. The lyrics are about the pain that can come with loving someone who is going through personal struggles, but the melody is absolutely addictive. The last bit of the song in particular, featuring overlapping versus sung by Swift and Big Red Machine’s Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver), scratches the itch in my brain.

Sort Of Stranger – The Greeting Committee, Briston Maroney

I have an unreasonable love for songs where the title is hidden in one of the verses and isn’t a repeated line, so that’s the first thing I like about this song. After that, I don’t even know where to begin. “Sort of Stranger” is a new release from The Greeting Committee and Briston Maroney. I had listened to both of their individual work before, but their voices truly sound like they were meant to duet. This will undoubtedly be on my Spotify Wrapped by the end of this year, and it should be on yours too.