This Valentine’s, I’m doing something a little bit special for our readers. As Spark’s gift to you, I’m compiling a list of some of the best love songs of all time. I’m obviously a little biased, as these songs are personal favourites of mine, but I also had a look at opinion aggregator sites such as Reddit to see what the consensus is out there. You can either listen to our playlist here, or scroll down to read our commentary of each song!
My Boo, Flume
A friend once told me that Flume’s cover of My Boo is the sound of purple and pink. It’s bright, neon-electric, and simply delectable. It reminds me of bubblegum and fairy floss - with a hard edge. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s the perfect song to dance to in the bedroom at night, whether you’re alone or with your “boo”. Don’t blame us if you get it stuck in your head on repeat for days on end!
2. Closer, The Tiny
The Tiny is a little-known Swedish band with a very unique sound and style. Closer has been one of my favourite love songs ever since I heard it on dystopian fictional podcast Welcome to Night Vale. The singer’s voice is unbelievably tender, and I love all her quirky mannerisms. This is a song for an intimate cuddle session on the couch with the blankets.
3. Divers, Joanna Newsom
At over 7 minutes, this song is by far the longest on this list. Newsom has a very unique voice and way of singing, unlike anyone else I’ve ever heard. The instruments harken back to an ancient past, when love stories were shared in the form of epic poems. The song’s lyrics, though achingly beautiful, are a little cryptic. I’m not sure if she’s singing about love or pain, but I enjoyed every lilting, cascading moment.
4. Let’s Get it On, Marvin Gaye
This sexy bedroom jam needs no explanation. It has a great rhythm, smooth vocals, and a lot of soul. It also has a feel-good vibe that just makes me want to smile and boogie. I can imagine singing to it in the car with my partner while we drive to our favourite restaurant for a Valentine’s Day feast.
5. The Way You Look Tonight, Frank Sinatra
Ahh, you’ve gotta love the classics. I remember this song being mentioned in an episode of Friends - it was one of Monica’s favourite love songs, and I’ve gotta say, that lady has damn good taste! This is a song that feels romantic in that gentlemanly, gallant, old-school way. It conjures up images of a man holding the door open, pulling out the dining chair, and offering you a bouquet of red roses along with a basket of puppies.
6. To Whom it May Concern, The Civil Wars
The Civil Wars may have split up, but before they did, they blessed the world with some incredibly beautiful music. This track is about two pen pals falling in love, and it is as romantic as it is yearning. The harmonies are gorgeous, and I love the powerful simplicity of the melody. It’s a perfect song for slow-dancing in front of a flickering fireplace.
7. Can’t Help Falling in Love, Kina Grannis
Crazy Rich Asians was one of the most successful romantic comedies in recent years, and it’s pretty incredible that it stars an all-Asian cast. We love cultural diversity! YouTuber Kina Grannis sings this particular cover, and her rendition is just sublime. Her voice is sweet, startlingly clear, and so vulnerable that it almost hurts to listen to. I also adore the track’s use of silence to really heighten the emotional impact. I nearly cried when I heard this in the cinema, and it continues to hold a soft spot in my heart.
8. All my Loving, The Beatles
Another great head-bopper! This Beatles track is so great to sing along to. We highly recommend you try it next time at couples’ karaoke. It’s repetitive, catchy, and amazingly addictive. Our only complaint is that it’s way too short!
9. Faithfully, Journey
Don’t be fooled by the silly thumbnail - this is seriously one of the greatest love songs of all time, according to Reddit. It’s about the kind of true love that compels you to make promises. When you encounter the person you’re supposed to end up with, it’s wise to prioritise that relationship and “seal the deal”. Forever is a long time, but if you’re with the one you love, time will fly by.
10. Settle Down, The 1975
Oddly, I was introduced to this song by an ex of mine. We parted on good terms, and I continue to listen to it to this day. The 1975 is the kind of band that can make you feel any range of emotions, from euphoria to melancholy. This track grows on you; the more you hear it, the more you love it. The lyrics are difficult to decipher, but I believe the song is about a romantic encounter between two people who are just swept up by the moment. It’s desperate, passionate, and complicated - just like love can be at times!