Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

An Alternative Music Lover’s Guide for Valentine’s Day

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Valentine’s Day, in all of its endearing melodrama, marks a day that can be more emotionally charged than we give it credit for. February 14th fabricates a culture in which even the most stoic of us succumb to grandiose gestures and spending a few extra dollars on heart shaped chocolate boxes. On the flip side of the uber-romantic individuals, Valentine’s Day can induce those out of a relationship to feel longing for love had, and love lost. Regardless of your state this Valentine’s Day, take a look at these alternative love songs, made for anybody who doesn’t mind a little romanticization. 

For those of you who are in love:

  1. “Cute Thing” by Car Seat Headrest

The opening lines of this song, filled with humor, might be the best way to encapsulate the energy that lead singer Will Toledo hopes to create: “I got so fucking romantic, / I apologize, / Lemme light your cigarette, / Come visit Kansas for a week of debauchery, / Songs and high fives and weird sex”. Car Seat Headrest’s 2018 album, “Twin Fantasy”, details a hauntingly beautiful trip into Toledo’s psyche amidst the backdrop of a confusing, yet intoxicating past love. This upbeat track is filled with introspective comments outlining a lustful relationship, making it perfect to blast in the car or dance along to with a lover this Valentine’s Day.

  1. “Thirteen” by Big Star

Close your eyes as you listen to this one, and fall back into the subdued guitar riffs and nostalgia that lead singer Alex Chilton’s voice develops. This track resurfaces memories of early grade school loves, perhaps memories that you didn’t even know that you had. Brimming with innocence that teeters on the verge of something more, the lines “Won’t you let me walk you home from school? / Won’t you let me meet you at the pool? / Maybe Friday I can, / Get tickets for the dance, / And I’ll take you” elucidate this sweet love song inimitably.

  1. “I’ll Try Anything Once” by Julian Casablancas

Julian Casablancas, lead singer of The Strokes, takes the stage solo to sing this unconventional love song. It almost sounds like a lullaby, if the lullaby was sung by a smoker who still manages to have a distinctively melodic voice. Perfect for fans of The Strokes and alternative music lovers alike, “I’ll Try Anything Once” is reminiscent of a coming of age romance, infatuation, and questions of a strict outer society. Perhaps the most poignant lines, laced with sexual nuances, are as follows: “When I said, ‘I can see me in your eyes’, / You said, ‘I can see you in my bed’, / That’s not just friendship, that’s romance, too, / You like music we can dance to, / Sit me down, shut me up, / I’ll calm down and I’ll get along with you”.

For those of you who will be pining away:

  1. “First Love / Late Spring” by Mitski

Mitski might have created the paragon of unrequited love with this 2014 track. To make things better, the song still manages to touch on the theme of coming of age, with all of its turbulence, as well as incorporating elegantly vivid imagery throughout. There is a line, sung in Japanese, that translates to, “My heart is about to burst”, a perfect reminder of the powerful emotions that can accompany love. Belt this song out like a ballad this Valentine’s Day, and I can guarantee it will touch your soul somewhere.

  1. “I Don’t Want to Get Over You” by The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields have distinguished themselves amongst other 1990’s alternative and indie rock bands through their synth-based sound and the unique, dreamlike voice of lead singer Stephin Merritt. Embodying youthful angst and a pivotal love, the lines “I could dress in black and read Camus, / Smoke clove cigarettes and drink Vermouth, / Like I was 17, that would be a scream, / But I don’t wanna get over you” encapsulate the feeling of a significant other who is unforgettable, to say the least. If you happen to enjoy a Camus novel from time to time, give this track a listen.

These tracks are for the romantics, who can fall back into Big Star’s charming melodies. These tracks are for the heartbroken, who can let The Magnetic Fields’ discography wash over them. These tracks are for the person who just spent a little too much money buying a bouquet of roses and wants to forget their aching wallet, at least while they listen to all five minutes of “Cute Thing”. Whoever you might be this February 14th, one of these songs is bound to move your heart, or in the least, show you a great alternative band.

Lola Watts is a current student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an aspiring novelist and journalist. Up until then, you can find her playing with her two pet cats, or trying to read all the Murakami novels.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️