Francisco Andrade

Songs you SHOULDN’T listen to on Valentine’s Day, if you’re single

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Photo by Jackie

Photo by Jackie, 2006

The yearly date fully dedicated for romance and couples is upon us, but for some of us singles is a perfect day to focus on our appetite for sweets (which we won’t need to share) and friends, or even just on ourselves.

Romantic songs will be aired throughout the day in radio and heavily featured in our favorite streaming websites (looking your way Spotify!), which means that we could be bound to run into that song that’ll make us look back on our previous or non-existing relationships. Your friends in Northern Lights are here for you so pay attention and stay away from these, but only during Valentine’s Day!

 

Beirut – Postcards From Italy

Zach Condon’s voice has a nostalgic sense of longing to it and the instrumentals play beautifully to produce a melancholic melody that might leave you a bit blue. Horns and clear guitar riffs put us in a warm sunny day stroll near the beach, but Condon’s lyrics cry of a better time, which clearly isn’t for singles during this time. The whole album, The Flying Club Cup has strong french influences from film and culture, which by itself screams “heartbreak” and drama right away.  A beautiful and powerful song nonetheless.

 

The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

This one is an easy pick as Morrissey and his group are known for their sad, tragic lyrics and ballads that could crush a weak romantic spirit, and for those who have seen the film 500 Days of Summer you know why. In this song Morrissey sings of exaggeration and despair, and plays the hopeless romantic that would anything for a loved one with dramatic implications. Every other day this would be a really cool song to move to and even smile about, but on Valentine’s Day, it could crush a poor soul. “If a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is a heavenly way to die” says it all.

 

Florence + The Machine – Delilah

When it comes to Florence we could have picked several songs that you should be warned against for Valentine’s Day, but Delilah just has a love cry that can’t be ignored (except this season!). The most recent album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is a battle-cry, a novel of love struggles, issues and appraisals that represent the singer’s period of trouble. And even though it’s another example of her vocal prowess and brilliant songwriting, its melody and production might leave you with a sense of loneliness which you’ll be trying to fight with that chocolate bar. Florence? Of course. For Valentine’s? Not really.

 

Belle and Sebastian – There’s Too Much Love

The name says it all, so all that we singles want is for the mushiness of this date to be over quickly. Scottish group Belle and Sebastian are known for their indie-pop, and even if they’re singing about sunny days or crazy road-trips, their songs are able to set most of us in a nebulous mood. Sure the name of the song goes along with what we’re feeling during Valentine’s, but do we need to be thinking about it more? There’s Too Much Love is a hymn to self-confidence and independence, but you probably should be practicing yours in a nice walk around town or in the company of a good book.

 

The Beatles – Yesterday

This all-time classic shouldn’t need a presentation or an explanation, as Paul McCartney’s song of a lost love is reason enough to melt anyone’s heart, apart from being an epic ballad. Powerful, amazing but dangerous stuff, people. If you just feel overcome with an urge for this particular song, make sure you watch Peter MacNicol’s moment in the shower in Bean (1997), it’ll lift your spirits.

 

Lionel Ritchie – Hello

No, it isn’t Adele, it’s Lionel. The 80’s king of sob-pop songs knows how to cause heartthrobs and Hello is a hit, showing a man who’s dying to get a girls attention, which results in a late night phone call with a smashing finale. Although most of Lionel Richie’s songs are groovy and full of soul, this one is a ballad meant to show a different side of the artist – a man that can suffer. Even though it’s melody sounds old, it’s definitely one of the great tragic love songs ever, which means all of us need to listen to something else.

 

Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine

Swear we’re not trying to mislead you, guys, but it isn’t Chet Faker, it’s the original one. One of the greatest and most famous trumpeter, Chet Baker’s sorrow, is perhaps the most tangible bit of his songs (apart from his brilliant trumpet performance and ensemble). Always singing about a love that is incomplete, somewhat distant and My Funny Valentine, even though it has one of the most beautiful romantic lyrics to it, could break any tough human being into tears. His notorious drug habit fuelled his sentimental bad-boy attitude, which always leads to disaster but a glorious, stylish one.

 

Bon Iver – Skinny Love

On Valentine’s Day just stay away from Skinny Love. Heck, stay away from Bon Iver all together. The folk-indie group destroys loners, seeing as themselves like to show themselves as such so who better to get to us singles on this date right? Very well known for their melodic singing and slaying acoustics, this band uses much of their Wisconsin weather to match their gloom. And it freezes hearts with their songs, which can’t be very helpful during Winter. In a smooth way mind you, so it could be very powerful and moving. Their music might not evolve much from album to album but it’s beautiful melancholy in itself.

 

 

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece is beautifully covered in this version, which might be the most famous version. And it’s Jeff Buckley’s fault/talent that made Hallelujah such a desperate and sad lament that is trademark in several representations of misery and heartbreak in most popular forms of media. Filled with Biblical references that turn into a personal statement of longing and romance, it results in an epic score that just justifies loneliness itself. It’s all there: broken hearts, darkness, cries, a sad boy and a guitar. Sobbing.

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