Ah, Valentine’s Day. Another day to celebrate your love or perhaps another day to realize you’re single. Despite your relationship status this Valentine’s Day, we can probably all admit that there is a lot of music celebrating the glory and heartbreak of love. To commemorate, we here at the Bay Bridged collected our staff’s favorite love songs, along with their favorite anti-love songs to make sure everyone receives whatever they need this February 14th.

Love Songs

“Heat of the Moment” by Asia

This probably isn’t high on a lot of lists about love songs, or lists in general. Sadly, the world does not seem to have remembered Asia, English supergroup, despite the fact that they are still touring. However, “Heat” helped bring my mister and me together. Early in our relationship, this song popped up on his playlist. He went to change it, apologizing for his love of this prog-rock ballad. “I own their first three albums on vinyl,” I said. Just like that, we were caught in the heat of the moment — and have been ever since. — SarahJayn Kemp

“You Can Have It All” (George McCrae cover) by Yo La Tengo

Is there anything more vulnerable than offering up the totality of yourself to someone else? Husband and wife duo Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley make this case on this track, transforming George McCrae’s standout disco number into an earnest, warm embrace. This wouldn’t feel at odds on a lethargic summer evening, pedaling down a tree-lined street in your neighborhood on a bike with a partner you adore. While the rest of the world speeds by, Yo La Tengo wants respite. “You Can Have It All” feels like peace. — J.D. Bray

“OTL” by Field Medic

I heard this song unexpectedly when Field Medic opened for Girlpool. It is so comically desperate and horny that I couldn’t help falling in love with it. A San Francisco native as well, he has a song about hipsters moving to Valencia Street. — Walker Spence

“Avalanches” by Jordaan Mason and the Horse Museum

This is absolutely my favorite love song. Mason’s lyrics are impeccable and reveal just enough where you feel like you know exactly what he means even though everything is abstract. It takes place in the middle of a wonderful, heartbreaking and problematic queer love story which is explored through the rest of the album. I’d put the whole album if I could, but this song just bursts of raw feeling and is perfect. — Walker Spence

“I Bet on Losing Dogs” by Mitski

It feels a bit reductive to put Mitski on a love song list because, in her own words, “a lot of my songs are just about music and trying to pursue it, and not feeling loved by it. A lot of the ‘yous’ in my songs are abstract ideas about music.” But I know that this song immediately conjures romantic love in my mind; Resigned and exhausted love, but still. — Walker Spence

“Never Know” by Tim Atlas

The minimalist production and Tim’s tender falsetto makes this song pure bliss. A fleeting relationship with no clue on where it’s going would be tragic but Tim opts to submit himself to the precious moment instead — It could be over today, tomorrow, or last forever in another timeline. Who knows, or maybe we’ll never know. — Nina Tabios

“Our House” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash

This is the classic love song to me. It’s simple and champions the everyday actions of being with someone. After all, love is small things, not the grand actions. Love is ordinary but the most extraordinary thing we can participate in during our lives. — Makaila Heifner

“Hands Down” by The Greeting Committee

This song feels like falling in love. It’s joyously triumphant and almost disgustingly happy. — Makaila Heifner

“Ozma” by Shannon and the Clams

It’s about her beloved family dog of the same name. So Happy Valentine’s Day to my sweet rescue girl Ripley, who is the best thing that ever happened to me. — Jody Amable

Anti-Love Songs

“Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely” by Hüsker Dü

It is the absolute best. It was written by Grant Hart, Charlie Browniest sad sack punk rock ever produced, so it is rife with this desperate energy. The outward anger in the song is the flaky crust on a self-loathing pie that unloved Grant is serving up so we can all dine in his bitterness. It’s delicious. — SarahJayn Kemp

“Happy” by The Wrens

If there’s a better way to articulate dissolution than a cathartic, jangly emo song, I’d like to see the receipts. The Wrens have all of the elements here — sheer befuddlement, betrayal, loss, a fleeting sense of redemption. It might take some work to get to happiness, but the lived-in, pained story arc of Charlie Bissell’s experience is raw, immediate, and infinitely powerful with repeated listens. — J.D. Bray

“Heavy Heart” by Madi Sipes & The Painted Blue

A dancefloor banger about love, loss, longing, with a killer sneak-attack surprise guitar solo. What’s not to love? — Ben Enstein

“Speaking Terms” by Snail Mail

Best indie breakdown of 2019 and you absolutely can quote me on that. Lead singer Lindsey Jordan’s ability to make a breakup this groovy should be illegal. We stan a boundary setting queen and I think this song encapsulates the “we aren’t gonna talk anymore, but it’s cool” feeling while the sentimental instrumental emphasizes the melancholy that accompanies that decision. — Walker Spence

“Humming” by Turnover

Literally anyone can write a good song about heartbreak. We’re such a miserable species. But it’s actually incredibly difficult to artistically convey that act of falling in love. It requires treading an extremely thin line between whimsy and melancholy that few are able to do without the end result devolving into sticky, cringey, saccharine mess that only pisses off the listener. I’ll go ahead and say most of the Beatles’ love songs make me want to die. The Smiths, the Cure, and the Ramones would eventually nail down the formula, but for a more recent example, check out Turnover’s 2015 release Peripheral Vision. The album’s shoegaze aesthetic contradicts the warm-hearted nature of singer Austin Getz’s lyrics, which makes the record incredibly endearing — like trying to look cool in front of your high school crush. — Derek Nielsen

“What Used to be Mine” by Faye Webster

It’s such a lovely sad moment of a song that looks at a love that’s not for you anymore. — Michelle Kicherer

“All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem

The whole song takes you through the beginning, climax, and break up of a relationship. It explores the highs and lows you go through with another friends, and then confronts the bitter realization of being alone. The lyrics are backed by a high energy indie synth-pop that makes you want to scream the lyrics with all the windows down in your car. — Makaila Heifner

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