Valentine’s Day Playlist

text by digital-media

15 February, 2024

There are so many types of love – love for a partner, love for a friend, love for a radio station. Here at KCSB we want to celebrate love this February with a curated Valentine’s Day playlist by our lovely Excomm. Check out our picks as you’re shopping for chocolate, writing love letters, making a special dinner, or calling your mom (go do it!)


“First Love” by Bailey’s Nervous Kats

  • “First Love” comes off a Numero Group comp, “You’re Not From Around Here,” that’s full of lovesick, old Hollywood sleaze. This song is no different, images of slow dancing in a dimly lit dive bar catch in my mind whenever I listen to this track. Though instrumental, for me this song perfectly captures the excitement and uncertainty of a new love.

“Big Day Coming – Live Acoustic” by Yo La Tengo

  • When I saw Yo La Tengo live a year ago, they performed this song and it was world altering. I remember turning to my friend seeing tears streaming down her face as she choked out a “this is so sweet.” It’s such a gentle song that expresses the overwhelming joy of spending your days with someone you love.

“Evangeline” by Lauren Mazzacane Connors

  • Though this song is fully instrumental, it speaks to love in an intricate and beautiful way. This song makes me daydream, I lose track of what I’m doing and picture slow days in the garden, making pies with hand picked blackberries, throwing stones knee deep in a lake. It feels so warm and intimate; it makes me excited for the future and takes me out of my everyday problems.


“Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie 

  • Perhaps this one is not the most obvious choice for a Valentine’s day playlist, but there is just something about a descending piano melody that screams “LOVE” to me. Plus, I really love the chorus lines, “keep your electric eye on me, babe/put your ray gun to my head/press your space face close to mine…” They conjure up images of a pair of ill-fated lovers floating through deep space and desperately holding on to each other. It’s just one of those songs that always gives me goosebumps! So I can’t help but say, thank you Ziggy, for the unconventional love ballad. 

“Harvest Moon” by Jane Birkin

  • The original version of this song is beautiful, but Jane Birkin’s cover was one of my favorite discoveries of last year. Obviously the lyrics of this song are incredibly romantic, it’s a song about seeing a lover (past or present) in a new light, about a love that perseveres. I think I love this song so much because there is something quite romantic about the idea that it is never too late to make things right with someone, or that sometimes all you need to do to reconnect with the person you love is to dance. 

“Si Nos Dejan” Pinc Louds

  • I absolutely LOVE this cover of the very classic mariachi song. This song has been famously sung by Vicente Fernandez, Luis Miguel, and many more Mexican music legends. However, this cover aims to reimagine the classic mariachi- creating something playful, sweet, and influenced by folky indie rock. This song has a special place in my heart because it was my parent’s first dance song at their wedding- whenever we go to restaurants with mariachis, this is the first song that they request!

“La Malagueña” by Los Panchos

  • Another bolero classic which I adore! Los Panchos have iconically romantic songs, but this one takes the cake for me. In the lyrics, Eydie Gormé sings that she would prefer for the galaxy to be starless, for the sea to lose its immensity, for rainbows to lose their beauty, or flowers their colors and scents, than to lose her love. In the chorus, she repeatedly sings that all she cares about is the person she loves. What a privilege to feel this way about someone- to be absolutely, irrevocably, and wholeheartedly in love! 


“Your Lips, My mouth ” by Airiel

  • Airiel, a shoegaze band out of Chicago, brings a unique danceability to the genre that the track “Your Lips, My Mouth” exemplifies everywhere with its warm title to the fuzzy guitar distortion. It’s this combination that sets Airiel apart, blending the dreamy quality of shoegaze with a rhythmic element that invites listeners to move as well as making it a great Valentine’s day song.

“Still in Love” by Cat Power

  • Cat Power’s voice is so freaking good over the stripped-down instrumentation in “Still In Love.” The song is exceptionally heartfelt and vulnerable which is further strengthened by the influence Power takes from genres like the blues and alt-country. Overall, “Still in Love” cements itself as a great love song and one that deserves more recognition.  

“Katy Song” by Red House Painters

  • An executive decision has been made –by me– to include a soul-crushingly depressing song to this Valentine’s Day playlist because life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns; if I can’t be happy then no one else can. The song-writing in this Red House Painters’ track is arguably the band at its best; it is incredibly vivid and unapologetically poignant. Enjoy!


“Gentle on My Mind” by Flatt & Scruggs

  • “Gentle on My Mind” would play at the ending credits of my life as I ride off into the sunset. This song reminds me to appreciate all I have and renews that lust for life. Simply being here is a gift! Fresh laundry, Sunday mornings, sunlight peeking through blinds, smooth sea glass, birds and their songs, warm soup on a rainy day, peppermint tea on any kind of day… Meeting new people, watching new movies, trying new ice cream flavors, making new inside jokes…Calling my Mom, and hearing her say “I love you”…Embracing the future and all its uncertainty (or, opportunities!)…Life is far from being a burden. How special that we get to experience it at the same time.

“As Time Goes By” by Julie London

  • Casablanca is a classic for a reason. It’s so many things at once, not just a war film or a love story. Certainly, though, Rick and Ilsa have become synonymous with fated romance. “As Time Goes By” is just as legendary. It’s an ode to love that transcends the boundaries of geography and time, a promise to always be near each other.
  • Julie London has one of my favorite singing voices ever. Her famed husky tone – gorgeous, melancholic – perfectly suits the bittersweet heartbeat of this song. Play it again and again and again, Sam.

“Where or When” by Peggy Lee and the Benny Goodman Sextet

  • If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, it would be this. I must have listened to it a hundred times by now; but still, like love itself, every listen is like the first,  every listen leaves me breathless. 
  • “Where or When” is infused with the perfect amount of wistful longing that extends its reach to all aspects of a love story: the first encounter (“do I know you from somewhere?”), to the falling (“I knew you in a past life”), to the goodbye (“I’ll see you in the next”). It’s a magical song, perfect for whatever your heartache is.


“You and Your Friend” by Snake River Conspiracy

  • This is a cheesy song with a cheeky twist 😉

“Long Island” by that dog.

  • This song is about your first love – unfamiliar territory, but exciting nonetheless.

“Second Life” by Kitty

  • This song is the monologue racing through your mind when someone starts giving you butterflies.

“Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order

  • This song embodies how suddenly  love strikes you, and consumes you entirely.

“2000 Light Years Away” by Green Day.

  • I’ve loved this song for many years, but it took on a new meaning a few years ago. My best friend and I had to spend some time apart a few months after we met, and it impacted me more than I was expecting. I missed her a lot and listening to this song made me feel like I was sitting right next to her, even though she might as well have been 2000 light years away.

Evelyn’s RECS 

“Silk Chiffon” by Muna, Phoebe Bridgers

  • Probably the one uncomplicated-ly romantic and sweet MUNA songs and shamefully for that reason, it is one of my personally less liked MUNA songs. But it’s saccharine and warm and just  plain cute.

“Dandy in Love” by shutoku mukai

  • My favorite track from the space dandy soundtrack and one that I’ve held a flame for for years. It’s wistful, a tad sultry, and set to a montage full of missed connections and opportunities. 

“Q&A” by Kishi bashi

  • This song is so heartfelt it’s made me cry a number of times and as someone that abhors sentimentality, this is one of the rare exceptions.

Ari’s RECS 

“I’ll Haunt You” by Tennis

  • One of my favorite songs ever. So many bittersweet memories behind it. Beautifully crafted and all too short. Listen too much and it’ll haunt you, too…

“Matrimony” by Tennis

  • “Doesn’t matter if we’re rich or poor / the less we have, it makes me love you all the more”…what more can anyone ask for?

คิดถึงเหลือเกิน” by YONLAPA

  • A great example of less is more– just two chords and raw emotion. You don’t need to know the lyrics to know this is a great love song.

Posted in Playlists, Music