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Valen-tunes: Songs to listen to this Valentine’s Day

Illustrated by Chloe Xu

By Morgan Gage     2/1/22 11:16pm

Maybe Valentine’s Day is a corporate scam to sell heart shaped boxes of chocolate, but how can I care when they’re so cute? Here’s my confession: I’m a hopeless romantic at heart despite my cynicism (one true love? I’m gagging), and, in that vein, here are some songs that hopefully encompass the conflict between romanticism and disillusionment around the holiday. You can listen to the full playlist on Spotify in the lead up to Valentine’s Day this year.

“1-800-DATEME” by mxmtoon

“I’ll be my own valentine, it’s fine,” mxmtoon sings, and I’ll be saying this to myself when I buy myself my own box of chocolates this year. The singer-songwriter’s lyrics go on to insist that she is not only fine but happier outside of a relationship even as the song closes out with, “Please date me.”

“Cassiopeia” by Anju

Anju’s “Cassiopeia” is a string of fantastical imagery, gently lulling the listener into the singer’s sweet plea for Cassiopeia to “kiss me blue.” Anju’s lyrical talent creates whimsical images out of ordinary details, encapsulating how love can make the commonplace feel otherworldly. This song feels like the fated lovers in a young-adult novel kind of love, but she manages to breathe new life into the experience.

“boys r dumb! duh!” by Sophie Cates

The song’s name alone sounds like half of the texts in a group chat that I have with my friends. Cates compellingly captures the aftermath of watching a former-lover-turned-friend move on with someone else and the struggle of trying to maintain the close relationship. She sings, “And you swear you love me more than anything / Want me to lie and say it’s been easy,” detailing the disconnect between the speaker’s ongoing pain that the subject of the song wants to ignore. 

“I’ve Never Written a Song About a Boy” by Eva Westphal

Eva Westphal artfully narrates growing up and the process of queer discovery, revolving around the speaker’s realization that, despite writing songs about nearly everything, she had “never written a song about a boy.” This is a lovely song about LBGTQ+ identity and finding oneself in relation to art.   

“On My Mind” by Namasenda

For anyone who has struggled to let go of the good memories after a breakup, “On My Mind,” may sound familiar. Namasenda sings, “Deleted your name / From my phone, from my brain.” Despite this, she laments that the subject of the song is “on [her] mind” in this deceptively cheery-sounding song.

“Cotton Candy” by spill tab

The mellow “Cotton Candy” displays the hesitancy of, “They love me, they love me not,” relationship beginnings. Airy vocals carry us through the question: “Did we kiss ‘cause it was dark? / Or did we mean it?” The sense of uncertainty in spill tab’s lyrics reminds me of every time I have to talk to someone I kissed at a party the night before. When spill tab concludes, “We don’t think of each other that way / We’re just good friends,” I cannot decide whether the ending is bittersweet or not.

“I Bet You Think About Me” by Taylor Swift

There was no chance of me getting through this article without mentioning Taylor Swift. My exes keep getting married, so maybe this is a me thing — I’ve been thinking about the wedding-crashing fantasy in this song’s music video a lot. Either way, this makes for a fantastic song to sing along to.

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