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13th February 2022

Friday I’m in Love: Valentunes for your romantic evening

The Mancunion music section breaks down their favourite love songs of all time to prepare you for your hottest valentines date yet!
Friday I’m in Love: Valentunes for your romantic evening
Photo: Laura Ockel, @ Unsplash

Sunday’ – Bloc Party

A B-side on Bloc Party 2007 record A weekend in the City, ‘Sunday’ for me a was a track discovered through my love of early 2000’s indie. It recalls an evening between two souls in love enjoying a heavy night out in the city, their joy in dancing and revelry in the sound of life. “I’ll love you in the morning, when your still hungover” is the tracks most beautiful sentiment, with Kele Okereke’s vocals punctuating over Bloc Party’s iconic guitar tones with a breathless quality. This song is beautiful and reminiscent of the sound escaping your lips after that first firework inducing kiss with a new partner. You always feel full of excitement but grounded in the somewhat gritty reality thanks to the continuous floor tom pattern driving the tune. This is my favourite love song of all time because it conveys a story that comes closest to my own experience of love, perfect for dancing through your kitchen, 42’s or the first dance at your wedding. A perfect reminder that your favourite love song can be whatever you want it to be.

Reece Ritchie

True Blue’ – Mark Ronson ft. Angel Olsen

I am a sucker for Angel Olsen. Her voice and music is hauntingly beautiful, but this is definitely a standout in Mark Ronson’s 2019 album Late Night Feelings. Starting with Olsen’s vocals through a crackly old timey effect, and leading into a funky groove supported by a booming beat, the sludgy disco feel gives you such a night-time feel of love. The lyrics include lines such as “Love the way you read my eyes” and “I ran to you/and you know why”, with the repetition summing up the bittersweet feeling of love. The feeling of yearning and longing for your lover plays through in this track in every element and I just adore it.

Emily Johnston

I Wanna Be Yours’ – Arctic Monkeys

From Arctic Monkeys’ fifth album, AM, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ is the embodiment of a classic love song. Including lyrics from John Cooper Clarke’s poem of the same title, the track includes eccentric metaphors, beginning with “I wanna be your vacuum cleaner, breathing in your dust”, which humbles the atmospheric ballad. The title perfectly encapsulates the meaning of the song – pining over someone that’s just out of reach from being ‘yours’. Cook’s dreamy guitar chords, packed with reverb, helps to create the seductive ambience the song is known for, complimenting the simplistic baseline and drum pattern – a true representation of ‘less is more’. Topped off with Turner’s strong Sheffield accent, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ is an obsessive love song that everyone can relate to. It truly is a three minute ‘proper northern’ masterpiece.

Lucy Turner

The John Cooper Clarke poem of the same name – My favourite poet of all time, this post punk poet inspired the AM classic

Everywhere’ – Fleetwood Mac  

When it comes to favourite love songs, you can never tell if your choice lies in the greatness of a track, or where you heard it and who you were with. Despite its ever-presence, I had never particularly latched onto Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’, placing it in my mind alongside other danceable, inoffensively cheesy 80s bangers. But after one particular evening in a courtyard beer garden, in which I and another were the only two people in sight, with the echoes of a tribute band playing the song across the street, I found myself enraptured in its groove. And the sparkly intro, apparently a combination of slowed-down and sped-up guitars, is just magical. Not an obscure pick, but a cheesy 80s banger at its best.

Kai Scotney

‘Androgynous’ – The Replacements

This song to me is the perfect love song. With just piano accompanying the lyrics, it is not overcomplicated, it is understated but beautiful. The lyrical focus of the song covers the romantic relationship between two gender non-confirming individuals, both who dress however they like regardless of the gender society ascribes to different items of clothing. Released in 1984, this song as lyrics that feel at home in 2022 as our society becomes more tolerant. With lyrics like ‘closer than you know, love each other so’, for me this song encapsulates what we look for in a romantic partner. Someone we are at home and comfortable with, who complements our individual character and becomes a someone to face the world with. This song feels comforting, it does not describe the super passionate love of blockbuster films but instead companionship.

Kristin Cooper

‘Why Should I Love You?’ – Kate Bush

This song has to be one of the best of all time, if only because if you find someone who loves you enough to listen to Kate Bush’s glorious warbling, then they must be absolutely besotted. I adore the woman but I get that her glass shattering vocals may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Of course, the fact that Prince is shredding guitar and singing backing vocals on this track doesn’t hurt either. This song is such a great love song because unlike your classic ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’ or ‘Make you feel my love’, the beat drops partway through and it’s an absolute bop. Bush’s lyrics manage to encompass the sentiment of nonsensical love almost as a type of overwhelming religious devotion. The whole song feels like a whirlwind romance, over before you’d even realised it had begun. ‘Of all the people in the world, Why should I love you?’. I don’t know, I just do.

Annie Dabb

This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)’ – Talking Heads

The simple intro, the hummable tune and beautiful lyrics make this Talking Heads classic my favorite love song of all time. Universally loved by snobby and casual fans, this song captures the simple and naive beauty of love. It promises you comfort and care forever which is reaffirmed by the beautiful melody. Every time I hear it in a coffee shop or a cafe, I am reminded of those moments that you wish would never end and the people who make life worthwhile. It’s the kind of song you would keep to yourself and would only share with ‘the one’ as the risk of losing it is too painful.

Aušrinė Naujalytė

‘Just Like Heaven’ – Dinosaur JR

Taken from their 1987 slacker rock classic “You’re living all over me”, ‘Just like heaven’ is an eccentric, buzzing cover of the originally tame song by The Cure. Backed by bracing supporting howls, J Mascis’ guitar truly soars as the song meets a crushing crescendo in a whirl of distortion and manic guitars. Whilst this may sound audibly confrontational the caustic guitars are perfectly juxtaposed by J Masics’ syrupy yearning for companionship (“You lost and lonely, You just like heaven”) and fulfilment. Supposedly the Cure singers favourite cover of the song, ‘just like heaven’ is a remarkably sentimental and unconventional classic.

Thomas Frankland

‘houseplants’ – Easy Life

To me, Easy Life’s ‘houseplants’ perfectly describes the feeling of falling in love with someone for the first time, as Murray puts it with lyrics such as “What the fuck? I’m actually in love” explaining how the gravity of your feelings can suddenly hit you at the weirdest times. The track laments on the mundanities of a relationship in lyrics such as “grand designs and channel surfin’” and how it’s in these otherwise uneventful moments when you realise just how much you care for that person, as well as the comfort you can feel simply as a result of their presence. These moments that would usually be boring suddenly aren’t, and you realise that you’d much rather be doing nothing with the person you love, than something exciting with anyone else.

Maddy Oxley

Check out the rest of the music section here!

Find out more about John Cooper Clarke here!

Reece Ritchie

Reece Ritchie

Reece is the Mancunion’s Music Editor, leading the team covering Manchester’s music scene and beyond. He is also an editor at Music Is To Blame, an independent music publications and has written words for WHATWESPEW the Manchester punk collective. Now Head Rep for the record label Scruff of the Neck and the host of The Northwest Emo Show he continues to deliver articles on the very best music Manchester and the UK has to offer. He also features his own photography within his articles, working with the likes of Slowthai, Enter Shikari and Wargasm.

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