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Epigram Music's Top Love Songs for 2024

The Epigram Music team have picked some of the songs closest to our hearts for a very special romantic occasion: chocolates and flowers not necessary.

Valentine's Day is upon us (whether we like it or not), and to celebrate the Epigram Music team are taking us through the songs that pull on our heartstrings till they feel like they're going to tear. Whether it's a day to bitterly recollect the cursed memories of your evil ex, pine in secret or cherish those close to you - these are the songs for the occasion.

By The Epigram Music Team

Louis Armstrong - We Have All the Time in the World

The Best Of Louis Armstrong - Compilation by Louis Armstrong | Spotify
Credit: EMI Gold

By Benji Chapman, Music Co-Deputy Editor

The song may have been made for a Bond movie, but the hit single's intimate lyrics and gentle strings make it a song that is simply oozing with an undying affection for those we cherish in our life. The walk of love is taken hand in hand, as Armstrong (who famously was unable to play trumpet on the song), describes two lovers rejoicing in the unqiue feeling of infinity that comes when we're side by side with our special someone. Original not to your taste? Check out the My Bloody Valentine cover: or perhaps you could pick from the lengthy list of other artists from the likes of Iggy Pop, The Specials and of course the resplendent Shirley Bassey. To my ears, the original is still champion.

The Beatles - Two Of Us - Naked Version

The Beatles Let It Be Naked Greeting Birthday Card Any Occasion Album  Official | eBay
Credit: EMI Catalogue

By Cara Hene, Music Digital Editor

There is something very captivating about ‘The Two of Us’. As with most Beatles songs the chord progressions nor vocals are particularly complex, which perfectly suits the heartfelt simply melody floating atop. While being about purposefully getting lost in the countryside with a loved one, the song itself feels like a journey with Ringo’s galloping drums, as John sings, “We’re on our way home. We’re going home.”

Sade - The Sweetest Taboo

Credit: Epic Records

By Jake Paterson, Music Editor

Sade asks us on this track whether the risk of telling someone that she adores them is worth the sacrifice of potentially ruining their friendship. We’ve all been there. Instead, she hangs in this magic space between - infatuated with someone but lacking the consummation. ‘The Sweetest Taboo’ is the perfect sensual track for those of you pining after someone this Valentine’s; and if you’re worried they might not reciprocate it‘s worth shooting that shot regardless.

Elbow - One Day Like This

Credit: Fiction Records

By Dylan McNally, Music Co-Deputy Editor

Who would’ve thought an orchestral-backed, indie love song would become such an anthem? There might be a lot that has confused me about Elbow, but Guy Garvey’s songwriting ability has never been in question. And ‘One Day Like This’ is Garvey at his best. It’s triumphant, it’s personal and there’s a real beauty to it. It’s the song for that moment when everything just makes sense; when the penny drops. It’s also the only song that I know that is able to use the phrase ‘Holy Cow’ sincerely and get away with it. Really though, it feels like less of a song, and more a compulsion; throw those curtains wide – let the light in, let the love in. 

Big Thief - Born For Loving You

Credit: 4AD

By Susie Long, Music Subeditor

Whimsy, idyllic, and sounding like something from the end credits of a 90s rom-com, ‘Born For Loving You’ is like a perfect celebration of love this Valentine’s Day. With a country twang to it, paired with Adrianne Lenker’s trademark emotional tone, this song is nostalgic, cosy and just totally lovely. It feels warm to listen to, like having a nervous crush as a teenager, but with a deep-rooted, genuine sentimentality that gives it a timeless quality too.

The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

The Beach Boys at the zoo feeding apples to goats. The header displays "The Beach Boys Pet Sounds" followed by the album's track list.
Credit: Capitol Records

By Benji Chapman, Music Co-Deputy Editor

If you've never been lucky enough to catch this ballad as Thekla Thursday comes to a close, tune in now to one of the most enthralling romantic compositions of all time. A flurry of classical strings and wind instruments from the group who broke just about every pop and rock song-writing rule in the book isn't the only unique thing about the song. Opening with the line "I may not always love you", may seem bizzare, but by the end of the song you're either going to be in tears or grinning ear to ear. As grandiose as the instrumentation of the song is, its lyrics are beautifully vulnerable, simple and cut straight to the middle of what it means to be in love with someone who makes the rest of the world feel incredibly small.

-M-, Vanessa Paradis - La Seine (Extrait de la bande originale un monstre á Paris)

Vanessa Paradis: Best Of & Variations [CD] by Vanessa Paradis: CDs & Vinyl
Credit: Universal Music Division Barclay

By Cara Hene, Music Digital Editor

‘La Seine’ is not technically a love song in the ordinary sense, but it does tell a love story between the singer and Paris. I’ve adored this song ever since watching a Monster in Paris when I was little - the melody is unbelievably catchy, and Vanessa Paradis’ husky voice is perfect for such a jazzy, truly Parisian song. I can almost smell the croissants and baguettes from here.

José González - Heartbeats

Credit: Imperial Recordings

By Jake Paterson, Music Editor

Time now for the soul crushing type of love. A cover of The Knife’s beautifully brilliant synth pop track, this song about casual encounters and lingering romantic feelings goes deep into the human experience. Gone are proclamations of love being a divine entity and in are shared feelings and embraces.

Our Girl - I Really Like It

Credit: Cannibal Hymns

By Dylan McNally, Music Co-Deputy Editor

Moving from the grandiose (‘what's the sun, with you around’) to the seemingly inconsequential (‘do you look like that on purpose?’), Our Girl capture every element of love on 'I Really Like It'. But mostly, as this song attests to, it's all about the small moments: ‘I was sitting in the living room, smoking for nothing, hoping for you’. ‘I Really Like It’ may keep things simple but sometimes you just need to say it how it is. Our Girl find love in the ordinary, and then go and wrap it all up in fuzzed-out guitars that, by the end, build and swirl until you’re enveloped in them. And, in a way, that in itself is a bit like love really. It might all start out fairly normal, but before you know it, you’re in the deep end. 

Paolo Nutini - Loving You

Credit: Atlantic Recording Cooporation

By Susie Long, Music Subeditor

It feels remiss to me to celebrate love songs without mentioning Paolo Nutini. With so many beautiful songs to choose from, “Loving You” sticks out to me the most. Soulful and vulnerable, and feeling incredibly intimate, I think this song is flawless. This song doesn’t just celebrate physical connection - getting “down and dirty” - but uses it as a jumping-off point to capture how it feels to give yourself entirely to another person and, most importantly, to feel that reciprocated. More than anything, ‘Loving You’ captures a lot of raw, beautiful emotion, and is just more proof to me that Nutini does love better than anyone.

Wolf Alice - Don't Delete The Kisses

Credit: Dirty Hit

By Benji Chapman, Music Co-Deputy Editor

'Don't Delete The Kisses' is unabashed in its celebration of a love where every crevice of each person's character is cohesively melded between one another. Initial denial from the narrator careers into an uncharted, obsessive pursuit filled with love-sickness that transforms them into an unrecognisable nervous wreck. It may be the least subtle of my choices, but the song is still my favorite. The bubbly synthesizer zaps which pulsate throughout the song send anxious tingles up my arms every time. Its catchiness is only a marker of how effective the song is in its marriage of pop and shoegaze, ebbing and flowing between the euphoric highs and crushing lows of infatuation: ultimately finishing in a bloom of unafraid expression that it was simply meant to be.

Clairo - Sofia

Credit: Fader Label

By Cara Hene, Music Digital Editor

Clairo’s Sofia’ is about the artist’s first crushes on women, “people like sofia coppola, sofia vergara”, she says. I think that’s why this is one of my favourite love songs - it’s got everything you need: cheesy lyrics, beautiful interweaving harmonies, but also a real sense of nervousness and hesitation embedded into the lyrics and instrumentation.

Peace - California Daze

California Daze - song and lyrics by Peace | Spotify
Credit: Columbia Records

By Jake Paterson, Music Editor

The indie dreamboat essential, ‘California Daze’ is about everything lining up perfectly. A beautiful summer and a beautiful partner will open their arms to you despite whatever dark winters you’re put through; all you’ve got to do is lean into it.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps

Credit: Interscope Records

By Dylan McNally, Music Co-Deputy Editor

‘Wait, they don’t love you like I love you’. Cut to tears streaming down Karen O’s face. It’s a combination that hits hard. ‘Maps’ isn’t the happiest of songs. Instead, it’s a potent mix of vulnerability and vitriol, a combination rarely found in love songs; certainly not on any of the others on this list. But it (and the accompanying music video, which are almost one-and-the-same at this point) have endured precisely because of that. Its genuine, raw emotion is what sets it apart. It’s why seeing Karen O’s tears hurts just that bit more (they were real, by the way) or why you really feel the guitars when they properly kick in. It’s the sound of having your heart ripped open – the desperate pain of love in sonic form. How’s that for Valentine’s Day?

Al Green - Let's Stay Together

Credit: Hi Records

By Susie Long, Music Subeditor

A staple of 70s soul, it’s very hard to go wrong with Al Green. It may be a karaoke classic, but I think for good reason: you can’t not love this song. The track’s sentiment is so beautiful to me. The lyrics read as deeply personal - it’s not for his listeners at all, but addressed directly to Green’s lover. “Since we’ve been together, loving you forever is what I need” - you can’t really get a more quintessential love song than that! ‘Let’s Stay Together’ is an essential dancing-round-the-kitchen song for me: the combination of Green’s soulful, yet not overdone vocals, smooth brass accompaniment and seamless backing harmonies creates that lovely fuzzy feeling, and I hope it remains a classic for a long time to come.

Featured Image: Cara Hene

What is your favourite love song?