By Edut Birger
Not Your Mother's Valentine's Day Playlist
Valentine’s Day is upon us, the one day of the year that you can indulge in all of your favorite vices (consuming bulk quantities of chocolate, excessive drinking, or overt public displays of affection), all in the name of love. Whether you’re spending it with with a special someone or just 7 of your most beloved cats, this playlist is sure to get you in the mood for cuddles, Netflix, and potentially even some chill.
1) "Gooey" – Glass Animals
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what Dave Bayley is talking about in this song. But I’m a huge fan of his husky vocal quality paired with the futuristic beat. Whether you’re getting ready to go out or planning on staying in, you can’t go wrong starting off your night with these “peanut butter vibes.”
2) "Babe I’m Yours" – Whilk and Misky
This band is new to me, but I’m enamored. “Babe I’m Yours” is the kind of song you’d expect to hear playing in a trendy Portland coffee shop. The throaty, slightly funk-inspired vocals pair perfectly with catchy, clever lyrics and cool guitar picking. This is fun to dance to, I encourage you all to dance to it. Or don’t. I’m a writer, not a cop.
3) “Holy Ghost” – BØRNS
This might be considered sacrilegious, but I couldn’t care less. I love BØRNS and I love this song. Garrett Borns’ androgynous vocals, poetic (albeit cheesy) lyrics, and indie-pop-electronic melodies are a match made in heaven. Even though this is my favorite song to belt in the shower, I think it’s definitely bedroom, bar, or even kitchen appropriate.
4) “Stuck on the Puzzle” – Alex Turner
I’m pretty sure Alex Turner could put out a track of him just banging pots and pans together and I’d still love it. Stuck on the Puzzle is a track off of the album for the movie Submarine, but you don’t need context to find it relatable. It holds its own and always gets me in the mood to slow dance. Or read a book on a window sill on a rainy day. Or just take a nap. All of those are great Valentine’s Day options. We’re not judging.
5) “Locket” – Kilo Kish
Not enough people talk about Kilo Kish. She’s been around since 2010, but recently her music has started to really pick up traction. She’s collaborated with some really great artists like Chet Faker and SBTRKT, and if you’re a fan of JMSN or Phony Ppl, you’ll love her. “Locket” is very relaxed, yet still totally classifiable as babymaking music.
6) "The Morning" – The Weeknd
Nothing gets you in “the mood” like The Weeknd. You can’t beat the bass and the synth on this song. I will concede that some of the lyrics border on cliche and overly indulgent, but we can look past that thanks to the amazing vocals. This song makes you feel like you’re at a swanky nightclub full of celebrities on a Friday night, and they all want to hang out with you. Which is convenient, because we all love songs that make you feel cool and powerful without having to leave the comfort of your home!
7) "I Wanna Be Yours" – Arctic Monkeys
No song has ever made me want to compare myself to a household appliance for someone... until now. This track comes off of Arctic Monkeys’ acclaimed album AM, and is characterized by surprisingly romantic lyrics (who would have thought it’d be so cute to equate yourself to a coffee pot?), a very simple percussion line, and classic chord structure.
8) “She Can’t Tell” – MOTHXR
MOTHXR is a brand new band. They haven’t even released their first album yet, so this is authentic hipster material. But don’t worry, Centerfold will be out on February 26. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I stumbled upon this band when I found out Penn Badgley (the infamous Dan from Gossip Girl) was a member, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out how good they were. When I heard this song, I was taken immediately with the synthesized drum beat and a cappella vocals. I love the bassline. I love the lyrics. I love this song.
9) "All That and More" – Rainbow Kitten Surprise
If you haven’t heard of Rainbow Kitten Surprise, you’re doing it wrong. Once you get past the embarrassment of saying the name out loud, you can focus on how cool their music is. RKS did us the honor of coming out with a love song that isn’t disgustingly cute. I’d highly recommend sending this to anyone you love who doesn’t give a damn and does as they please. I’d also highly recommend that you not give a damn and do as you please as well.
10) "A Little Lost" – Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens will always have my heart, but there isn’t a single thing I dislike about this song. The irregular rhythm, the ridiculously sweet lyrics, the upbeat but still relaxing melody...I have no complaints. This Arthur Russell cover is one of Sufjan’s lesser-known tracks, but definitely one of his best (in my humble opinion). Also definitely the perfect song to send to your crush to let them know you’re in love with them. Personally, I’ll be sending this one to Sufjan himself, but you feel free to pick whomever you want.
11) "Champagne Kisses" – Jesse Ware
“Whose fault is it that I’m crazy about you?” –Me to Jesse Ware, but coincidentally also the opening line of this song. She never ceases to impress me with her huge vocal range, and this song is no exception. I don’t know about you, but I fully intend to be playing this song this Valentine’s Day while delivering some champagne kisses. Whether these kisses will be given to a person or just back to the champagne bottle is still up for debate.
12) "I Know Places" – Lykke Li
I’m not gonna lie, this song is sad. But good-sad! Cathartic sad! The simplicity of imperfect vocals and an acoustic guitar is so undervalued these days. Lykke Li, the mysterious Swedish songstress, will have you tearing up at her beautiful music without exactly knowing why….but in a good way!! I promise!!!!
13) "Two Coins" – Dispatch
Dispatch writes lyrics like poetry. This song is a classic off the album Bang Bang, and like most other songs on that album, it features ridiculously impressive guitar work and really beautiful harmonies. This indie-folk-reggae fusion is masterfully done, and I know we’re all suckers for some dope harmonica tunes. This song has it all.
14) "Such Great Heights" – Iron and Wine
This song is a very cool spin on a very good classic. The original Such Great Heights by The Postal Service is genius, but this acoustic cover of an electronic song is utter brilliance. It gives it a much softer, relaxing vibe than the original. This is the perfect song to end your night with, regardless of whether that special someone in bed with you is a person or a half-eaten box of chocolates.