A graphic for a playlist featuring love and heartbreak songs. The playlist was comprised by members of the Arts & Culture section of The Statesman. CAMRON WANG/THE STATESMAN

Seawolves, Cupid’s infamous day is almost upon us here at Stony Brook University. Whether Valentine’s Day entails spending time with your beau or your box of chocolates, the past two years have taught us the importance of love in our lives, no matter what form it may come in. And what better way to celebrate than with some love-inspired lyrics? Here are some of the top songs to play this Valentine’s Day, whether the lovebug has bitten you or not. 

Let’s start off this list with a modern classic, Beyoncé’s “Love on Top.” One of Queen Bey’s biggest hits, the R&B masterpiece impressively moves through a total of five keys, each one melodically showcasing the euphoric feeling that comes with being loved. After her performance at the 2011 MTV Music Awards, the song flew to popularity and has remained a cultural staple since. Bey’s lyrics are perfect to croon during Valentine’s karaoke, or for belting out to that special someone.

For those of us who like to pretend we’re in a 2000s teen rom-com, there’s “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer. As heard in the 1999 flick “She’s All That,” this melodramatic track is an ode to the oh-so-familiar feeling of pining and daydreaming about that perfect kiss. Leigh Nash’s whimsical vocals, paired with a romantically iconic guitar riff, make the perfect soundtrack for transporting yourself into your own personal love story.

Taylor Swift stans, rejoice: “Lover” couldn’t not make this list. The title track of Swift’s 2019 album reached number one on U.S. iTunes charts on the day of its release, showcasing its stronghold on Swifties across the country. The indie folk tune, dedicated to her long-time lover Joe Alwyn, illustrates the comfort and affection of a well-established relationship — specifically one with high hopes for a future. Seawolves, if you and your special someone are in it for the long haul, this one’s for you. 

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Caroline Polachek’s new wave-inspired bop “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” is for the TikTokers and niche music lovers alike. The indie pop track is the perfect ballad for anyone missing someone this Valentine’s Day, with its synth backing track and vintage-sounding vocals detailing the heartache of being away from your lover. Those of us in college-induced long distance relationships can certainly relate. Use Polachek’s track for setting up a Spotify session with that long distance lover, or for a dance party with all your galentines. 

It’s only fitting that we cap off this list with a true classic, “At Last” by Etta James. Ironically, “Love on Top” was inspired by James’ tunes, making this mini-playlist come full circle. James’ signature song is a soft, jazzy number dedicated to the magic of love and the dreamy world created with the beginning of a relationship. The song often tops lists of love songs everywhere; The Statesman’s is no different. Use James’ infectious vocals as the backing track for your slow dance with that special someone.

As always, there are some honorable mentions. LANY’s “ILYSB” is an indie pop romp that explores the concept of an aching love, paired with Paul Klein’s gentle vocals and synth bassline. Though often hailed as male manipulator fuel, “Wonderwall” by Oasis is an ode to finding ‘the one,’ and Liam Gallagher’s desperate vocals paint the perfect picture of the long road it takes to get there. And finally, for those of us whose hearts may not be whole this Valentine’s Day, there’s Ricky Montgomery’s “Mr. Loverman,” a melancholic ballad dedicated to the brokenhearted. 

If these songs get you into the Valentine’s spirit, be sure to check out The Statesman’s Valentine’s Day Playlist on Spotify! And whether your kisses are real or Hershey’s, we hope you make sure to celebrate all the love in your life this Valentine’s season.

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