UTG LIST: Essential Songs for Valentine’s Day


No one holiday hinges on personal outlook quite like Valentine’s Day. Presents are pleasant, and candy is dandy, but unlike these other annual undertakings, this particular celebration is totally dependent on one’s current state of being. For those deep in the throes of love, V-Day is not only welcomed, but anticipated, while the single and searching are usually much less enthused come February. Essentially, it’s the Lost of holidays—you either love it, or you think it’s the dumbest thing since the word “Bae.”

To celebrate this stark contrast, the UTG crew has assembled a list of songs for virtually any Valentine’s Day scenario. There are moving ballads that will lift your heart to dizzying new heights, and an equal amount of downtrodden ditties to groan and grumble over. Check ‘em out below, and if you have a favorite, sound off in the replies.

The Starting Line – “Island”

In some capacity, I feel like everyone is always keeping an eye out for his or her perfect match–someone to run away with and grow alongside. This fantasy is beautifully brought to life in “Island,” a fan favorite off The Starting Line’s third full-length record, Direction. Fast-paced and upbeat, this charming toe-tapper finds Kenny Vasoli planning for the future atop waves of rolling guitar. Catchy, coy, and completely awesome, this track’s sky-high chorus will be stuck in your head long after the honeymoon stage. – Kyle Florence, News & Review Writer

Sorority Noise – “Dirty Ickes”

If you could write a note to your “this-could-be-us-but-you-playin’,” I imagine it would go a lot like the first few lines of “Dirty Ickes” by Sorority Noise — which, by the way, are pretty darn clever. Not only are you able to tell your ex that you’ve moved on (four times), you’re also able to fully express to them the extent to which their shittiness as a human being has given you a crippling inability to trust anybody. Best sung with a crowd of angry people in a tiny basement venue. – Dana Reandelar, News & Review Writer

Mae – “Soundtrack To Our Movie”

“There’s something you should listen to, could I take you for a car ride? This is the soundtrack for our movie, would you tell me when we get to the best part?” I can see this being an original pick-up line that you can use instead of the cheesy ones, if you get lucky that is. Outside of that, this song really captures what a relationship can entail with different songs used for when you’re with your significant other. It can go from “orchestrating the song to accommodate the moment” of a big event whether it’d be your first kiss or one-year anniversary to one person saying, “I’m directing the scene that has you and me forever,” to the other, solidifying your love for one another. No matter what, this song shows off how far a relationship can go, even with the simplicity of a soundtrack being made to remember all the times you both shared. – Ryan Kappy, News & Review Writer

Turnstile – “Death Grip”

Everyone knows there’s only one time-tested cure to those lonely Valentine’s Day blues for us HxC punkers – bedroom slam dancing. If you’re forlorn and alone this Valentine’s Day or mourning the loss of an ex-flame, the best way to get out of that slump is to throw on Turnstile’s “Death Grip” and mosh the sadness away. This is the ultimate hardcore breakup song – just try not to smile when vocalist Brendan Yates shouts “Nah, not my love” over the fast-paced beatdown instrumental. There’s also an awesome breakdown or two, because of course there is. – John Bazley, News & Review Writer

Architects – “Heartburn”

Have you ever fallen head over heels for someone and just want to runaway with them? I think many of us have at one point or another, and in “Heartburn” Architects encourage you to do just that. The band’s songs are usually full of aggression and fire, but this track takes an entirely different direction. It’s subtle, sweet and Sam Carter has a great voice that serenades all who listen. If you want to woo a loved one on Valentine’s Day, just play this song. – Kriston McConnell, News & Review Writer

Coheed and Cambria – “Welcome Home”

Nothing says anti-love more than Coheed and Cambria’s “Welcome Home.” Fueled by insane guitar shredding, damming lyrics, dark undertones, and just pure angst, “Welcome Home” is an ode to having your own fictional narrative to dump all of your relationship woes on. If the guitar solos at the end were streaming tears, this song would cause a flood. – Drew Caruso, News & Review Writer

Florence + The Machine – “You’ve Got the Love”

With all of the excitement brewing for Florence and the Machine’s new record, I couldn’t help but think of her hit song “You’ve Got The Love” as the perfect love song. The title says it all: this blaring anthem of romance and joy is perfected by Florence’s magic way of music. The celebratory tone of her expression of love enchants every ear that listens. You don’t even have to have a significant other to fall in love with after hearing this song. – Emma Guido, News & Review Writer

Frontlines – “Disconnected”

Frontlines have been defunct for quite some time, but the Pennsylvania deathcore act still manage to enter the rotation of my playlist on a regular basis. “Disconnected” specifically is a bruiser of a track as a whole, but its shining moment comes during its final minute. Featuring Chris Motionless just a year after his outfit released the metalcore-leaning Creatures, the cut finds Motionless and Frontlines’ vocalist teaming up for the anti-thesis of positive emotions by screaming, “Love doesn’t exist, happiness is only temporary.” Thus, for those whose Valentine’s Day is a lonely one, it’s possible this will cheer them up. – Michael Giegerich, News & Review Writer

Margot and The Nuclear So and So’s – “Lazy”

“We’ve got a good thing goin’ – we just hang around fuckin’ off all day, but I love you, so who cares? You love me, so who cares?”

With the release of Sling Shot To Heaven last year, Margot’s “Lazy” quickly became one of my all-time favorite love songs. The pure honesty and sincerity in Richard Edwards’ lyrics and delivery is refreshing, and paired with the beautiful instrumentation, it’s a must-listen for lazy lovers who spend more time in bed doing a whole lot of nothing than anything else, but love every moment of it being with one another. – Brian Lion, Co-Owner & Editor

Foxing – “Rory”

There are sad songs, and then there is “Rory.” Taken from Foxing’s phenomenal debut album, The Albatross, this haunting track plays out like a plea, and is without a doubt one of the most heartbreaking tunes I know of. Conor Murphy’s delivery is devastating throughout, while his razor sharp lyrics echo in stunning fashion above a rising wall of sound. With each passing riff, the forlorn frontman pines helplessly for relevance, only to fall short amid a surge of anger and confusion, a feeling that will surely strike a chord with anyone who ever has been cast aside without explanation. – Kyle Florence, News & Review Writer

Bleachers – “I Wanna Get Better”

I’m honestly surprised that Hallmark hasn’t asked to borrow the chorus of this song. It’s pretty genius: the contrast between how slick “I didn’t know I was lonely ’till I saw your face” and how sincere “I didn’t know I was broken ‘till I wanted to change” is would guarantee any girl to swoon and smile from ear to ear. Though with the underlying sadness when put in context, this song is actually impossible to not like. It makes you want to believe in the better aspect of any person. Cue the Mila Kunis-Justin Timberlake NYC flash mob. – Dana Reandelar, News & Review Writer

The Story So Far – “High Regard”

“I’d like to think that you’re worth my time but you embody everything that I hate.” If that lyric doesn’t explain the meaning of anti-love, I don’t know what quote would. Filled with the ability to really tear someone apart, especially if you’re coming off a fresh break-up, “High Regard” can really help with the animosity from or towards your ex. In the end, you can be on the upper end of the “friendship” by telling them “you know you’re not as smart as you look, I’m going to take back what you took.” This will ensure that you never see that person again. End of story. – Ryan Kappy, News & Review Writer

Copeland – “Coffee”

You might remember Copeland’s “Coffee” from every emo kid’s AIM away message in 2004 or from the mixtape that your significant other gave to you over a decade ago, but it holds up today as one of the best love songs that the “scene” ever created. No other track in Copeland’s discography, lush with sweet love songs, better exemplifies what it’s like to be young and dumb with a crush on a pretty girl. Aaron Marsh sings “We do the best we can in a small town, act like kids in love when the sun goes down. If it’s not too late for coffee, I’ll be at your place in ten,” and you’re instantly transported to the all-night diner where you first found love in high school. That sense of uncorrupted admiration is what Valentine’s Day is all about. – John Bazley, News & Review Writer

Kittie – “Forgive And Forget”

I’m not 100% sure that this is actually a breakup song, but it makes me think about some of the breakups I’ve had in the past. Kittie are known to be a fierce and heavy female outfit who have always offered passionate and sometimes angry songs. If you have been in a bad breakup, turn to Kittie and blast “Forgive And Forget” through your speakers. While you’re at it, just listen to the entire album as it will make you bang your head. – Kriston McConnell, News & Review Writer

Coheed and Cambria – “Wake Up”

Coheed’s “Wake Up,” a little further down the album from “Welcome Home,” may find the resolution for the Writing Writer. Claiming that he will “do anything for you, kill anyone for you,” is a long way from “you weren’t honest, now get in the ground.” But hey, forgiveness right? – Drew Caruso, News & Review Writer

Amy Winehouse – “Tears Dry On Their Own”

The contrast with which Amy Winehouse depicts heartbreaking feelings among a cheery melody is one of the incredible ways she proved her talent. One of my favorite Winehouse tracks, “Tears Dry On Their Own,” sends ex-boyfriends off with independence and pride. A lyric I will never forget is, “I should be my own best friend / and not fuck myself in the head with stupid men.” If you are spending this Valentine’s Day alone, have no fear. Amy Winehouse is here to tell you that you are much better off without that guy anyway. – Emma Guido, News & Review Writer

The Weeknd – “King Of The Fall”

While The Weeknd’s “King of the Fall” doesn’t exactly subscribe to attraction-centric music on stock terms, it evokes enough sense of romance to sustain multiple tracks. The dark, brooding production layered with Tesfaye’s impeccable high range leads to an emotionally charged cut. With a chorus that finds him crooning, “baby, you know what I like,” it becomes obvious the song was intended for intimate listenings, so that ultimately makes it a love song in my book. – Michael Giegerich, News & Review Writer

Other Minds – “Fall”

“Take all the words you’ve said, and all that they entail. Throw them with your cares to save your breath instead.”

In the past, I’ve typically taken the extremely heavy and extremely pissed-off route when it came to the opposite of love for these lists, but this song is the perfect soundtrack to melting into your couch as you stare blankly at a wall, replaying all the best and worst moments of a recently collapsed relationship through your mind.

“To ease your worried mind, I’ll take the first step. Leave it all behind, and you, I will regret.” Play it loud. Let the neighbors feel your pain. – Brian Lion, Co-Owner & Editor

Kyle Florence

Kyle Florence is a proud Wisconsinite, a dinosaur enthusiast, and a lover of all things weird and whacky.
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