It’s the week of Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re content with a significant other, glad to be single or on the lookout for love, you’ll need a soundtrack to accompany the romantic holiday. If you’re staying in with your friends ordering Dominos as an anti-valentine (fun fact: Valentine’s Day is their busiest night of the year), or need something to play as background music in the bedroom, here’s your guide for February 14th.
Khruangbin – The Universe Smiles upon You
Inspired by Thai blog Monrakplengthai (an “enchanting” collection of songs recorded entirely on tape, direct from the people of Thailand), the Texas based trio Khruangbin have a distinct exotic feel to their sound. Imagine mixing the ambience of surf-rock with traditional Japanese melodies, Carlos Santana guitar tones and even some jazz elements: Khruangbin is the result. Their name literally translates as “engine fly” or “aeroplane”, so it’s easy to see (and hear) the escapist, entrancing mood they are aiming for. This album will help to forget the dreary February rain outside and is perfect for a lazy staying-in-bed-all-day-Sunday with your loved one. Complete with endless pizza and wine.
The Antlers – I Don’t Want Love
Alternatively, if being a suffocatingly cute couple isn’t quite your jam, there’s always The Antlers for solace. The first track on their 4th studio album Burst Apart falls straight away with a single snare into the chord sequence that’s repeated the whole way through. Peter Silberman’s wide ranging voice plays around with a strong falsetto in the verse whilst the chorus is all about the power and emotion bleeding through the intense chords and guitar riff. Ending the song with an impossibly high note, Silberman really shows off his talent, proving something so delicate can be powerful. He evidently doesn’t want love, as he tells us repeatedly, so why should you?
The National – Available
This guitar-heavy track takes a slight departure from The National’s often more folk-inclined and acoustic calmness on 2003’s album Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers. By using heavily distorted guitars and Matt Berninger‘s deep, modest baritone vocals, they create a heated classic indie-rock/post-punk song that works seamlessly with the rest of the album to the vary pace and style, making the whole thing an exciting listen. The song builds, getting heavier up to the climax of Berninger screaming “Why did you dress me down?” repeatedly, and finishing in an exhausted slump with cymbals ringing out and a tranquil little guitar melody. Play on maximum volume out of your windows so everyone on the street knows, as The National put it: “you just made yourself available”, or otherwise, play as the backing track whilst you scour every internet dating website looking for The One.