Our third issue, Soulmates, is centered around love. In the spirit of soulmates and Valentine’s Day, Kindergarten contributors made a Spotify playlist of their most listened to love songs, most of which we’ve cried to. Whether you love or hate love songs, we’ve got you covered with recommendations.
“Victim of Love” by Charles Bradley
Charles Bradley’s music never fails to amaze me. His vocal ranges are out of this world. In “Victim of Love,” Bradley discusses how his love burns out of his chest. This love burns with so much passion to the point he’s a victim of it. If you’re looking for a song to scream your heart out to, this is the song you’re looking for. The simple acoustic guitar compliments Bradley’s voice because it allows it to be the spotlight of the song. The feelings this song arouses is none other than fulfilling. There isn’t a beat in this song that I dare to miss, and I’ll guarantee it’ll be the same for you.
“Telephones” by Vacations
I’m not going to lie. I found this song through TikTok; however, I was immediately captivated by the 15-second audio. “Telephones” expresses the feelings of longing to always be with that specific someone. No matter where you are, this person is bound to be with you even if they aren’t physically there. This person brings a specific comfort no one else can, and it’s an endless craving. I suggest listening to this song in the car during dawn- specifically with the windows down. It creates a sense of belonging. You feel complete. While your wind blows through your hair and the speakers are cranked to the max, it makes driving 40 miles per hour the perfect speed. It’s slow, but not too slow to the point where you become bored. It’s slow to the point you want to take in a deep breath and exhale ever so calmly. Not to mention, it allows you to settle your feelings. I admire that a lot.
“All I Want” by Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell is another angel who I can’t get enough of. “All I Want” is the opener to her album Blue, and let me just say this: she forwardly admits how vulnerable she wants to be. The courage! Within this song, Joni reveals how back and forth she is with her lover, but she comes to the conclusion that she’s settled with them. She wants them and nothing else. She knows this person is the one. She wants to immerse herself within this person, showcase her passion and what her life has to offer for them. With all that in mind, the title of the song is self-explanatory. Joni has a desire for this one person, and she sticks to it. Give it a listen. You’re bound to be attracted to her angelicness.
“You and Me” by Penny and the Quarters
I first heard this song in the movie Blue Valentine. Before the chaos hits the movie couple, this is the song they shared together. I was smitten over the melody. It’s a sweet light-hearted number filled with cheerful guitar riffs. It’s the perfect song for two people who dare to do anything as long as they have each other. Life isn’t worth it without them. Okay, maybe I’m overexaggerating. Yet, it’s a given tune that will make you feel like you’ve been stung by cupid’s arrow. Even though the track is under three minutes it has a pace that makes it feel like 30 seconds. I definitely recommend listening to it while writing your love confession or gratitude.
“Cotton Candy” by Yungblud
This song isn’t too deep but it’s cute in a young love way, and the lyrics are super relatable and catchy.
“Triggered (freestyle)” by Jhene Aiko
This is more of an anti-love song. Aiko has somehow captured the anger from every break up in history and it’s great to yell in the car.
“Yellow Hearts” by Ant Saunders
I LOVE this song. Google tells me that Snapchat first claimed the symbolism of the yellow heart to represent two users who send and receive the most messages to and from one another. So I guess the first person on your send list on Insta, etc 💛 I just love the music tbh!
“Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
So me and everyone else who was married in the early 2010s had this song at their wedding. But still, it reminds me of my wedding and how no matter where we go, home will always be my husband.
“Enchanted” by Taylor Swift
This is probably one of my favorite songs of all time. Reminiscent of a fairy tale, “Enchanted” brings you through a tale of love at first sight and the obsessive thoughts love brings you. The instrumentals and lyrics really bring out the hopeless romantic in me. Yes, it’s six minutes long, but it’s six minutes well spent.
“Toothpaste Kisses” by The Maccabees
Short and sweet, this song gets straight to the point. Although it is of few words, “Toothpaste Kisses” perfectly captures the feeling of just wanting to spend time with your lover, with no pressure and no rush.
“Lovebug” by the Jonas Brothers
Classic love song full of nostalgia. The lyrics are perfectly sweet, talking about how love comes even when we are not expecting it. I definitely would not mind being serenaded with these words. The vocals and instrumentals also bring a chill, blissful vibe – until you hit that guitar solo and the rock influence is evident.
“Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” by Marvin Gaye
This was such a difficult playlist to make because there are so many songs that I wanted to talk about, but I can’t ignore the phase I had where I only listened to Marvin Gaye’s discography on shuffle everyday so of course I had to include a song. I normally favor the duets with Tammi Terrell, but this song in particular I really like because of the upbeat, playfulness behind being so swept up in love that you walk around with nothing in your brain except your favorite person.
“Forever’s Not Enough” by Sarah Geronimo
I am absolutely obsessed with this song to the point of me wanting it to be played for my first dance with my significant other at my wedding which is saying a lot because I don’t even want to get married? My head and heart are empty but the song is so addicting! I just love the meaning and the vocals especially towards the end. The line about spending another lifetime just to have more time with someone you love is so touching. It is the ultimate soulmate anthem.
“Sweet Night” by V
Don’t talk to me if this song is on or else I’m going to keep restarting it from the beginning until I can get one uninterrupted full play in. This was my most listened to song on my Spotify Wrapped 2020 and is probably one of my favorite songs of all time. It is on the sad side, but the “lovers-who-were-separated-but-found-their-way-back-to-each-other” trope is a favorite of mine. I like the lyrics about best friends and the recurring metaphor of ships in the night. Simple yet meaningful. What a beautiful song.
“You Are in Love” by Taylor Swift
Just like in “Sweet Night,” there is a lyric about someone referring to the other as their best friend in a love story and I took the bait. I love that… I was choosing between a plethora of Taylor Swift songs and “Lover” was pretty close because of the “have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” part but the best friend lyric in this one won me over. As if choosing songs wasn’t hard enough, choosing a Taylor Swift song hurt me because she has such a beautiful, unreal, almost personal way of describing love that makes me want to be with… her so badly. Taylor I love you ❤
“Find Someone Like You” by Snoh Aalegra
If there’s one artist I know people in the future will look back and think, “I CAN’T believe I grew up with her and her music,” it’s definitely Snoh Aalegra. In her sophomore album, Ugh, those feels again, Aalegra tugs on your heartstrings with her single, “Find Someone Like You.” The lyrics are a perfect depiction of love, and yearning for a soulmate in this lifetime. My favorite part would have to be the chorus at the end of the song, consisting of Aalegra’s dreamy vocals and an assist from a choir.
“Love” by Keyshia Cole
The early-mid 2000’s consisted of some of the hardest R&B classics, with “Love” by Keyshia Cole being a personal favorite. This is a song you would belt out in your friend’s car, even if you aren’t missing a lover or an ex-lover. Cole hits the heart heavy with, “Now you’re gone, what am I gonna do? So empty, my heart, my soul, can’t go on” that even I can’t help but shout it out as if I’m living vicariously through her vulnerability.
“At Your Best (You Are Love) by Aaliyah
This is the song I would play during my wedding. Repeatedly, may I add. Although originally sung by The Isley Brothers, Aaliyah’s rendition has creeped its way into my heart… and into multiple playlists. Another cover worth mentioning is Frank Ocean’s version found in Endless, which is a bit slower but equally worth shedding tears to.
“Head Over Feet” by Alanis Morissette
What I love about this song is how it’s both realistic and inspirational. Morissette sings of a very simple love, without drama, of two people coming together and making each other better, but also of being best friends with your significant other, something I feel needs to happen more. It also has some of Morissette’s trademark lyrics of complete confidence, like the line “you treat me like I’m a princess, I’m not used to liking it”. We need more popular songs about healthy relationships and sung by women who know their self-worth.
“Hot Knife” by Fiona Apple
Here’s a metaphor we haven’t heard before: one person in a relationship being a hot knife and the other being a pat of butter. Obviously, since it’s by Fiona Apple, the lyrics are fantastic but the overlapping vocals and thundering drums are also a highlight. It’s deceptively simple, and uniquely romantic.
“This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads
Once again proving the theory that David Byrne is the only genius of love, this song is much more normal than usual Talking Heads fare. But it’s just lovely, an ode to finally finding your person and just feeling so comfortable. And is there anything more romantic than David Byrne slow dancing with a lamp in the Stop Making Sense performance of this song?
“Red Light” by the Strokes
The Strokes are undeniably one of my favorite bands of all time. Their speciality isn’t quite the slow ballad, but “Red Light” is definitely a love song worthy of this year’s playlist. What makes it a love song are what might possibly be the sweetest lyrics I’ve heard from a band whose usual lines detail the pains of living in the city and strained, fleeting relationships: “Oh, I saw your face then I heard that song / It was so inviting, it hurt my bones.” It’s easy to quickly dismiss “Red Light” as just another guitar-centric attempt by the band to revive their early-2000s garage rock prime, but the lyrics evoke someone’s lovesick diary: “Two could be complete without the rest of the world / Oh you know I said it just to get you to laugh.”
“I’m Not in Love” by 10cc
I first heard this song on Mindhunter (which I definitely recommend to satisfy all of your 70’s soundtrack needs.) While you’d think a Netflix original series on the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit interviewing psychopaths and uncovering grisly murders isn’t the best place to find a Valentine’s Day track, “I’m Not in Love” is a perfect 70’s pop ballad of complete and utter denial: “I’m not in love / So don’t forget it / It’s just a silly phase I’m going through / And just because I call you up / Don’t get me wrong, don’t think you’ve got it made-” this track is perfect for agonizing over the inevitability of emerging feelings and trying to smother with them with any distractions you can think of.
“My Kind of Woman” by Mac DeMarco
THE hopelessly in love song.
“When the Sun Hits” by Slowdive
“Sweet thing, I watch you/Burn so fast it scares me”. Slowdive’s 1993 album, Souvlaki, is a genuine masterpiece of the Shoegaze genre. It’s almost entirely composed of love songs, and I could have spent hours deciding which song was the most deserving to be on this playlist. I could have. “When the Sun Hits” expresses the all too familiar feeling of being afraid of how deeply you’ve fallen in love. As someone who is still too afraid to accept love of almost any kind (romantic, platonic, familial), this song, both musically and lyrically, describes why I have such apprehensions. Being in love is not just accepting love. It’s knowing how hard you’ll crash once the love has “burned away”, yet still accepting fate because the crescendos and decrescendos of love. Being in love is being open to eventual pain.
“When You Sleep” by My Bloody Valentine
Loveless’ muted, almost grunge aesthetic sound has always been a treat for my ears. I’ve replayed “When You Sleep” countless times, so it was surprising to learn that many interpret this song to be about a couple falling out of love. Of course, no interpretation of a song is incorrect, so I won’t waste my words on disproving that opinion. However, it seems like only a surface-level analysis. I believe the song is the acceptance of love for what it truly is. We are bombarded with superficial, unrealistic depictions of love in music, film, etc,. A prince-like man falling for an unimaginable beautiful woman. Perhaps one or two roadblocks stand in the way of their happiness, but they eventually work out things between them before living in eternal bliss with one another. This model is entertaining, but there’s no substance to their love (or even to the characters themselves). “When You Sleep” is falling out of love with the concept of love itself. In reality, love is not euphoric and a “happily ever after” is rare. There are times of worry, mistrust, and unpredictability. Yet, there are the small moments of laughter, affection, and intimacy which deserve to be cherished in spite of love’s downsides.
“Everybody Wants To Love You” by Japanese Breakfast
I’m not a big fan of love songs because I don’t think they’re relatable. But, if you’re going to listen to a love song, it better be Japanese Breakfast. They are sure to provide the perfect combination of pretty lyrics and a catchy tune. This one in particular is my favorite because of how beautiful the concept is. You are so great that everybody wants to love you, not just me.
“Archie, Marry Me” by Alvvays
I like our current times because it’s way less socially acceptable to get married. “You’ve expressed explicitly your contempt for matrimony,” is the opening lyric. When I first listened I was a little confused but nevertheless enjoyed it a lot. If you listen more in depth, you’ll realize it’s about being young in love and not knowing what the future holds.