Love songs are a staple on any play list, but in the age of angry indie bands or sassy girl groups, the options for fresh, original love songs to listen to are getting fewer and fewer.
People often say that the classics are the best, but that’s not always true. Here are 5 alternative love songs that you won’t find in the charts or on a popular compilation CD. So open Spotify, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy.
1. Cross Out the Stars – Fightstar
This fairly obscure London-based band has a frontman who used to be in pop band Busted. Don’t be put off, though. Charlie Simpson’s latest venture is a full-on rock band with down-tuned guitars and screaming vocals. Cross Out the Stars, however, goes against the mould and is a delicate, surging song with poetic lyrics and a slowly building sense of urgency.
About loves lost and found, Cross Out the Stars ends in a melodic wall of sound. Perfect for shaking up a mushy play list or a first date gig.
2. My List – The Killers
Written by (The Killers’ frontman) Brandon Flowers for his wife, this is a quirky, smoldering modern love song.
With lyrics like “I need those eyes to tide me over”, the sentimentality expected from a love song is there, but as the song progresses the typical Killers quirkiness kicks in, while cryptic lines like “don’t give the ghost up, just clench your fist” are almost chanted as the dramatic music builds.
Passionate and eclectic, My List is the perfect Las Vegas love song.
3. Lover, You Should Have Come Over – Jeff Buckley
It’s difficult to find an artist who can pull of lovesick better than the late Jeff Buckley.
From his epic, classic album “Grace”, the song was inspired by a difficult break up. Filled with passion and intensity, it showcases Buckley as one of the greatest poets music has ever seen. Lover, You Should Have Come Over is an acoustic, languid ode with unforgettable lyrics and a melancholy air that stays with you long after the music has stopped.
Perfect for a romantic night in.
4. Here Without You – 3 Doors Down
This is definitely the most commercial song on the list – in fact, when it was released in 2003 it peaked at No.3 on the Billboard Top 100 – it has been quietly overlooked in recent years.
The song is not going to win any awards for songwriting or musical originality, but it has a haunting beauty to it that is hard to ignore. It was written about missing your other half, and the honesty with which it is composed is evident from beginning to end.
The sentiment is clear and the lyrics are easy to identify with. Good for a little pity party or long distance relationships.
5. The Only Exception – Paramore
A raw and quiet song about divorce, of all things. It speaks of how the children of divorce are affected and singer Hayley Williams tells the story of her parents’ separation and how she swore she would never love anyone for fear of getting hurt. Until now, and the only exception to her rule.
While the verses are a little heavy, the romantic chorus is the part of the song you remember. Pretty and delicate but no less powerful for it, Williams’ voice carries the song further than expected and the emotion and heart poured into it makes it perfect for any romantic occasion.
It’s easy to think that love songs need be popular, string-laden and with a soaring key change at the end to make the listener feel how the song intends. Hopefully these picks will prove that that’s not always the case – the best love songs are the ones that surprise you.