Tuned in to love: Best Valentine’s Day tracks

It may be a rainy winter quarter, but flowers are blooming… somewhere. The Daily’s staff compiled the best tracks to accompany you — and your partner, perhaps — on this Valentine’s Day.

Take a listen to the Spotify playlist while you read through our staff’s thoughts: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6Y3aYZu9MRbFwLGbkq4FF2?si=0ad2a798824f44b3 

“Video Games” by Lana Del Rey (Cover by The Young Professionals) — Cate Burtner

This Lana Del Rey cover is perfect for late-night drives and romantic jam sessions. From the opening video game sound effects, to the chorus drop of epic proportions, this song complements and adds on to the beloved Lana anthem. 

The track revolves around the trivial things we do for fun that seem small when real love comes into your life. It’s a fun song, and I personally can’t help but swoon at the lines, “Heaven is a place on earth with you / Tell me all the things you wanna do.” Something you wanna do this V-day: Give this song a listen!

“Odoriko” by Vaundy — Hana Dao

“Odoriko” translates to “dancer” in Japanese. Vaundy’s song takes this interpretation in stride by depicting a dancer spinning around in circles — alluding to the desire to return to a past romance. The repetitive chorus paints a circling top: Perhaps Vaundy is suggesting that only fools long to revive lost loves. The pairing of the song and the hazy, dreamlike lighting of the music video create a sense of wistfulness for a missed connection. Vaundy speaks to the hope of starting anew and being optimistic despite the uncertain nature of future love.  

“You Are In Love (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift — Ribka Desta

This song is a Valentine’s Day anthem for its gorgeous storytelling of the “like to love” revelation. Because of this transformation in relation, Swift has finally realized why love is so important to those who experience it. She details this experience and epiphany so softly — how it takes over your senses, the gravity of even the smallest moments — that the song can even strike a chord in those without a significant other.  

“Ăn Sáng Nha” by ERIK and Suni Hạ Linh — Dan Kubota

Don’t let the seemingly ordinary title “Ăn Sáng Nha” (“Eating Breakfast” in Vietnamese) fool you: This upbeat V-pop bop simultaneously captures the honeymoon phase of budding romances and the companionship phase that long-term couples enjoy. 

You can practically hear ERIK and Hạ Linh smiling at each other like lovesick fools. The singers personify the heart-eyes emoji throughout the song as they jokingly argue about what they’ll do for breakfast — to only sweetly agree that it doesn’t matter as long as they’re together. Their complementary voices are paired with a gentle yet upbeat background track to conjure visions of rom-com first kisses and fairytale romance endings: “And they lived happily ever after.”

“Pancakes for Dinner” by Lizzy McAlpine — Charlotte Kearns

This track weaves a nostalgic narrative that beautifully encapsulates the romantic atmosphere of Valentine’s Day. The whimsical title serves as a metaphor for the unexpected and charming aspects of love, inviting listeners to savor the sweetness in life’s unconventional moments. The song’s gentle melody and McAlpine’s soothing vocals create a warm, intimate atmosphere, making it a perfect addition to any romantic playlist.

“初恋” by 回春丹 — Emma Kexin Wang

Translating to “first love,” this Cantonese song combines an upbeat backtrack with soft and dreamy vocals that culminate in a chorus of overlapping voices. The narrative is a familiar one to us: The subject longs for his first lover, “wishing to see them every minute of every day.” However, a certain melancholy is intertwined with its wistfulness. The primary narrative takes place in the past, with the singer relating from an older, presumably wiser perspective — yet, his words describing his past, inexperienced self are sympathetic, as if to say that everyone has had these same feelings of first love. 

“Luz de Día” by Los Enanitos Verdes — Amistad Vanegas

“Luz de Día” (Spanish for “Light of Day”) is a celebration of love and living in the moment. The title refers to the singer’s assurance that they can be a beacon of light and a support system for their partner at any moment. 

Melodic-rock music is coupled with the romantic opening lines, inviting listeners to forget the past and immerse themselves in the now. The lyrics reassure the subject of their unbreakable bond, and reminds them of their total devotion to their love. This captivating scene makes the love Los Enanitos Verdes declare even more compelling. 

“Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” by The Penguins — Erin Ye

“Earth Angel,” featured in the school dance scene of “Back to the Future,” is a doo-wop classic that perfectly embodies that sweet romance of Valentine’s Day. The Penguins remind listeners of innocent, hopeful love with harmonic opening vocals and heartfelt lyrics asking, “Will you be mine?”

The overarching sentiment of the song seems to be the repeated lines, “I’m just a fool / A fool in love with you.” Whether it’s for your significant other or campus crush, “Earth Angel” is the perfect Valentine’s Day listen for any hopeless romantic who has felt this kind of dumbfound enchantment.

“All I Ask” by Adele — Anthony Martinez Rosales

Adele’s discography features many noteworthy songs about love, but “All I Ask” stands out as one of her most moving pieces. You can feel the emotion in every word. Adele’s inflection captures the pain of loving and the uncertainty that often accompanies it. The accompanying piano perfectly harmonizes with her voice, allowing her to take the spotlight when she belts out the chorus. I consider this song a great choice for Valentine’s Day because it illustrates how love can be simultaneously scary and desired. 

“Main Yahaan Hoon” by Udit Narayan — Sarayu Pai

“Main Yahaan Hoon,” meaning “I am here” in Hindi, is a poignant and reassuring ballad emblematic of the heart-wrenching love story of characters Veer and Zaara in the Bollywood film “Veer Zaara” (2004). 

The protagonists are ripped apart due to their cultural differences —Veer being Indian and Zaara, Pakistani. When Zaara’s parents arrange her marriage to another man, she daydreams about Veer’s presence. Narayan’s warm and rich vocals are beautifully complemented by haunting strings, sultry santoor and playful flute. The lyrics emphasize that love does not have to be tangible to be felt.