The power of music manifests in many ways. It’s a healing balm that soothes the soul, a battle cry, a neck-breaking, booty-shaking party jam. Music transcends logic or reason, moving in the realms of emotion and instinct. At its most profound, it’s an expression of our shared humanity.
In love songs, artists stretch to make that connection, one soul reaching out to another. We, the listeners, are carried along, and as artists unravel the mysteries of the heart, we see our own lives reflected in their struggles.
As divisive rhetoric dominates the headlines, it’s helpful to remember that love is something we all share. For Valentine’s Day, we asked 10 Austin artists to suggest love songs that we need right now.
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY: 10 Love songs we need right now
Why he loves it: I love it because it’s gorgeous and sad and deceptively complex. It’s been recorded by countless artists, but I highly recommend the version from the “Veronica Guerin” soundtrack.
Why we need it: It’s an Irish folk ballad about a man being deported away from his wife and child for stealing corn from a British noble during the Great Famine. I think a lot of us need to be reminded right now of the ways that inhumane, disproportionately punitive policies can devastate the bonds of love between the people they impact.
Why she loves it: It is every bit as elegant as a Shakespearean sonnet, makes me blush and is sung with one of the most heartbreaking voices of our time.
Why we need it: Great art made by supremely talented female artists needs to be paid attention to. Right now and always.
Britt Daniel (Spoon)
Why he loves it: It’s about self-respect and honesty, about knowing what you want and being direct about asking for it. It longs for communication, and it begins the communication. It offers love but isn’t pressuring or self-humiliating: If it’s not love his lover wants, he will GO.
Why we need it: The world doesn’t need more sap; it needs understanding.