Love it or leave it, Valentine’s Day has arrived. Whether you prefer to think of the holiday by its common moniker or by something slightly different – Singles Awareness Day and Run to the Store to Buy Last-Minute Gifts Day, come to mind – you might just be interested in relishing love songs penned by local musicians. You might also crave a feisty songfest of music about the pitfalls, the dangerous consequences, of love.
But in the case of the former, you’re in luck: Here’s a playlist of songs fit for Valentine’s Day, or any other day when you crave something sweet, sentimental or a little sassy.
Cloud Cult | Through the Ages
In a performance that kicked off the opening of the 2015 Northern Spark Art Festival in downtown Minneapolis, Cloud Cult performed this sweeping love song before a throng of people. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want someone to “follow them through the ages, through rainbows, tornadoes, volcanoes and typhoons”?
Love knows no bounds. Not even ones that involve time or natural disasters.
Eric Mayson | Aces
On Valentine’s Day, it may be useful to remember that “just because he’s got your ear, don’t mean he’s got your back.” As this song opens with a spine-tingling splash of notes on the piano, you’re going to feel chills work their magical way through your limbs like electricity.
The Suburbs | Love Is the Law
Released in 1984, “Love Is the Law” by The Suburbs, Minneapolis’ beloved alternative punk rock band, is one of those songs that funnels through the classic soundtrack of the 80s. This 2014 performance at First Avenue proves that the song – and the band – have stood the test of time.
Warning: After watching them perform this song, you will walk away with “Love is the, Love is the… Love is the, Love is the… Law-aw” streaming through your head. A marvelous gift on Valentine’s Day, or any other, for that matter.
Aby Wolf | Alone
Aby Wolf’s music always stirs up the senses – but when she performs, along with her band, in a cavernous, historic former mill, her work becomes otherworldly. While some spend Valentine’s Day in the company of special someones, others contemplate the opposite end of the spectrum – loneliness.
This song might just give you a jolt of transcendent joy, whether you’re in the company of others or grappling with the company of the one-and-only you.
Chris Koza | Electric Tide
If you’re looking for the perfect way to say to your sweetheart, “What took you so long to find me?” look no further than this loveliness from Chris Koza, who performs about town and beyond as a solo act, as well as with the band Rogue Valley. Here, he performs with The New Standards during their annual holiday show.
Allow us to recommend a Valentine’s Day-themed excursion where all you have to do is “let the pretty wheels spin” in order to find your own “electric tide.”
Heiruspecs | Cruise Control
As a paddleboat strokes the Mississippi River, “Saint Paul Rap Giants” Heiruspecs perform a sonic love letter against the backdrop of the city. In the video, the Saintly City is lush with that summertime glow and green canopies, and – like the Chris Koza tune above – this one will trigger a dash of wanderlust with the words “Let’s just go there on cruise control” weaving through your mind.
So sit back and prepare to be mesmerized. You can always stage a re-do of Valentine’s Day when summer returns.
Nooky Jones | All the Songs
We’re going to wager a bet here: ALL of neo-soul band Nooky Jones’ songs would meld nicely with any Valentine’s Day playlist. So rather than pick one tune over another, we offer up this portrait of the band as they record their debut album – which is filled with love songs – and perform at the Palace Theater.
Getting to know the band – and watching them dazzle you with the song “Sweet Wine” – is “something you won’t regret.”
Bunny Clogs | Olive’s Olives
An ode to food – good food (olives) and less-than-desirable food (spinach or any other vegetable) – as well as an ode to family love, this song by Honeydogs frontman Adam Levy and his daughters, who perform together as Bunny Clogs, gives Valentine’s Day an extra dose of sweetness. Even if it has nothing to do with chocolates or heart-shaped cupcakes.
So just remember: “You don’t have to like everything. Just give it a shot.” Including Valentine’s Day. Consider this delight the best motivation one could possibly hope for.