Valentine's Day is here, so what better way to celebrate it than with some love songs? Here you will find a hand–selected assortment of songs that cover all shades of romance—from heartbreak to a new crush to friendship and back.
Lana Del Rey: "Love"
The opening track of her 2017 album Lust For Life, Lana Del Rey's "Love" feels like a breath of fresh air. At the time of the song's release, Lana made a reputation for herself as the resident sad–girl–with–daddy–issues of pop music, perpetually frowning and moping around. With the "Love" music video, she shed that characterization, beaming from ear to ear for the first time in her album imagery. This change in tone is fitting for the song, which details a love for life that is uncommon in the rest of her discography.
Rihanna: "Love On The Brain"
Taken from 2016's masterful and polarizing ANTI, Rihanna's dominating hit "Love On The Brain" was inescapable at the time of its release. Soulful and endearing, "Love On The Brain" dominated radio play with its achingly sincere pleas to an obsessive lover. Rihanna gives one of her most memorable and impressive vocal performances yet, showcasing both her range and gusto—especially when she hits the high note in the unforgettable chorus. If Rihanna never releases her ninth album, "Love On The Brain" is evidence enough that ANTI will stand the test of time.
Allie X, Mitski: "Susie Save Your Love"
Allie X and Mitski go together like two peas in a pod in this sapphic daydream from Allie X's album Cape God. Blissed out and lethargic, the track cruises along at a breezy, relaxed pace. Mitski and Allie X, harmonizing on the sugary–sweet chorus, beg for the titular character to "save [her] love for someone like me." A queer gem in this playlist, "Susie Save Your Love" is perfect for crushing on that special someone just out of reach.
Kelsey Lu: "I'm Not in Love"
Kelsey Lu hauntingly sings on her cover of 10cc's classic ode to denying a crush. While the original basked in the irony of words versus actions, Lu's version drips with deadpan sincerity, daring the listener to take her seriously. Lu adds erotic undertones absent from the original, giving the track an ephemeral feeling; a burning memory that refuses to lose its vividness.
Mica Levi: "Love"
Taken from her soundtrack for the movie Under The Skin, Mica Levi's enigmatic "Love" changes depending on your mood. Ambient and gripping, the song leaves just enough room for the listener to fill it with their own emotions, while guiding them towards a surmounting wall of white noise. The result is harrowing but also beautiful in a way that could only be described as love.
While this playlist has no consistency in terms of emotional cohesion, it does highlight just how wide and varied the human experience of love is—from a mere concept to a lifetime of duty and back. Love is indefinable, but these songs help us see it in all its forms.