16 unique love songs that understand the great complexities of the heart

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Love is a great and wonderful thing, but it is also totally complicated. Some of the best love songs of all time would have you believe that love only exists in three basic forms: to want it, to have it, or to mourn its loss. But in reality, romantic relationships take on much more complex shapes and have ups, downs, twists, turns, and a vast array of emotions that your standard radio jam can’t always express. But luckily, there just so happens to be a wide assortment of songs that express those things. If you are looking for a playlist of unique love songs, which in some ways can understand the complications of your heart, then these 16 songs may be able to do it.

While some of these songs take a different approach to songwriting to talk about the basics of love – heartbreaks, butterflies and unions, others discuss topics that aren’t often commanded by your standard love song. Whether delving into the mundane nuances of loneliness, the power of emotional agency, or the anxiety of being afraid of falling in love with someone, these songs shed light on some of the musical territories more unexplored from the heart in a particular way.

1. The Postal Service – “Such Great Heights”

Since its release in 2003, “Such Great Heights” has remained an indie romance classic. And it also remains impossible to hear the opening lyrics, “I think it’s a sign / That the freckles in our eyes / Are mirror images and when / We kiss they’re perfectly aligned”, without turning to the absolute Jell-O inside.

2. Lykke Li – “A Little”

Whimsical, upbeat and sad at the same time, this 2007 alt-pop triumph is both perfect for every intense phase of love – the highs and the socks. It’s absolutely beautiful.

3. Speedy Ortiz – “Curling”

Excerpt from their 2012 Sports PE, “Curling” may not be the happiest of love songs, but it’s certainly one of the most uplifting. Perfect for playing up those moments in a relationship where you are totally on itthe song proudly celebrates finding the perspective and strength it takes to finally walk away from someone.

4. Elliott Smith – “Say Yes”

Smith wasn’t exactly known for his love songs, but “Say Yes” stands out from the rest of his catalog as his most uplifting and romantic track. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still full of Smith’s notorious self-deprecation, with lines like “Crooked spin can’t stop / I’m damaged at best / She’ll decide what she wants delineating between adorable whiffs of optimism.

5. Echo & The Bunnymen – “The Killing Moon”

Granted, the ’80s were so filled with unique love songs that the era probably deserves its own playlist, but “The Killing Moon” is by far the best of the genre at the time. Mystical, majestic and almost unbearably poetic in its dark romanticism, the song is wild yet seductive.

6. Jeff Buckley – “So Real”

Unique for its deep, muted melodies juxtaposed with Buckley’s ethereal, high-pitched vocals, “So Real” is a beloved reverie of a song that dissolves into an anxious, frenzied depression just before the finale. It’s really haunting.

7. Micachu and the Shapes – “Curly Teeth”

There are few words that could do this deeply unusual song justice, so I recommend you let your ears discover it for themselves. “Curly Teeth” combines dark, unsettling lyrics that tell the story of a truly terrible, one-sided love affair, paired with a stunning, jagged melody.

8. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Henry Lee”

Featuring the supreme vocal talents of PJ Harvey, “Henry Lee” is a killer ballad (for which Cave is well known) telling the story of a desire gone truly awry. Despite the violent subject matter, the song still manages to sound lavish, heartfelt, and heartfelt in its aggressive attempts at seduction.

9. Elvis Perkins – “All Night Without Love”

Addressing the spaces and times when there is no one to yearn for or give love to, “All The Night Without Love” is a breathtaking song about the true depths loneliness can take.

10. De La Soul – “Eye Know”

So wildly upbeat, full of boss rhymes and pure in its sentiment, “Eye Know” is by far the greatest hip-hop love song ever written. Share one earphone with your darling and listen to it while holding hands, it’s the best.

11. Portishead – “Glory Box”

Since the ’90s, I’ve challenged anyone to find a love song as genuinely chilling or uplifting as this trip-hop classic. It has an edge, sure, but it’s also brimming with sensation.

12. The Smashing Pumpkins – “Putting the Ray to Jerry”

As a group, The Smashing Pumpkins were the ’90s champions of alternative, dark love song, but “Set The Ray To Jerry” – a lesser-heard B-side – is probably their best. Featuring sparkling guitar against a robust bassline, it’s full of all the usual angst you’d expect from the band, but with genuine romance too.

13. Daniel Johnston – “True love will find you in the end”

Hands down one of the most serious and heart-pounding songs you’ll ever hear, “True Love Will Find You In The End” is a raw, lo-fi gem worth treasuring.

14. Yeah Yeah Yeah – “Maps”

The lasting influence of “Maps” can be heard across the pop spectrum in songs like Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” and Beyoncé’s “Hold Up,” but that doesn’t diminish its unique impact. Strange in its simplicity and powerful in its sincerity, it remains one of the greatest contemporary alternative love songs ever written.

15. Angel Olsen – “Shut Up, Kiss Me”

The perfect song to listen to after enduring a breakup that maybe shouldn’t have happened, or a lovers’ feud that was beyond stupid, “Shut Up Kiss Me” is full of female domination and emotional agency. , clinging to the remains of a relationship for a few rare moments of happiness.

16. Biz Markie – “Just a Friend”

Uplifting and endearing, “Just A Friend” is full of terrific imperfections and a well-phrased personality that make it a musical marvel. Telling tales of romantic woes and acting as a warning against getting involved with cheaters who tell you their lover is “just a friend”, this song never fails to put a smile on my face.

Whether you’re currently in love or not, or stumble somewhere between these two pillars, there’s bound to be at least one song in the list above that will perfectly define exactly how do you feel. Have a good listen, lovers.

Picture: AngelOlsenVEVO


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