I’m in a 3.5 year relationship, so Valentine’s Day expectations have been diluted into “sushi takeout for two” and maybe an excuse for a weekend trip upstate. I no longer need the badge of a bouquet that screams defiantly, “Someone likes me enough to spend $39.99 and find out my work address!” to get me through the day.
That being said, I get it. I had the honor of building a wedding reception playlist this weekend, still receive yearly cards from my best friend and forever Galentine, and am an avid watcher of Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Valentine’s Day.” (Post “Countdown to Christmas” depression quickly dissipated when I realized the sappy programming really never ends.) I love, love. And it helps for content curating purposes that 99% of songs have to do with some variation of love, whether unrequited or reciprocal. So this #IndieSkim Vol. 11 takes on the topic - with something for everyone, even revolutionaries and people wanting to GTFO of whatever relationship they're in.
Catherine Pierce, half of the LA sister-duo The Pierces, sashays into solo territory as CAT with her track, “You Belong To Me.” She wrote it while micro-dosing on mushrooms about the “beautiful, scary feeling of loving someone so much that you want to possess them and just allowing that madness to consume you for a bit." It’s a nod to Lana and brings the Fiona drama, a ballad of mania and malaise. Next up, Alt-indie Irish band Silences woos us with “Before Ten (This is Love)” – a curfew-missing temptress of a track that I fell hard for at :10 in and never looked back.
“All the Time” by Austin-based orchestral-folk quintet American Dreamer has my many multiple personalities bundled up into something oddly sensible and overtly sensual. The soft plucky Jens Lekman meets Jonathan Richman vocals are offset by the actual words: “I would like to make you come...I’m talking about all the time” – a little edgy for an indie lyric, but successfully softened by the “come-hither” cello and coquettish violin.
For you lovers of love out there, Emily Denton’s “Let’s Give It a Shot” (cover of Brandyn Burnett) is one of the more romantic offerings on this playlist; its an acoustic keys soliloquy about taking the leap of faith into a relationship. The track made the wedding playlist this weekend because its themes of eternity are simple and serene, and its mention of inclimate weather, timely: “You know every day is a holiday, when you come my way / You can celebrate, even if it rains.”
In a world of yin and yang, Bristol’s Oliver Wilde gives us something that is the contradictory opposite of forever love with “Smothered.” It's a single word that in one swoop can easily axe any relationship, and a theme I’m imagining a good number of people feel on Valentine’s Day. Whether by their SO, or Kay Jewelers commercials, or news about Trump - this is for those of you that have the overwhelming need to come up for air. Wilde’s lo-fi reclined lyrics lock that in: “Dont try to hold me, just f*** me, it’s fine / Don’t try to love me, just f*** me - it’s fine.” The song is off his forthcoming album Post-Frenz Container Buzz (out February 17th on Howling Owl).
Faulkner is a bicoastal band from NYC & Venice, and act as the perfect closer with their anthem “Revolutionary” – sing-screaming “Rebels and the misfits - the world is our stage!” followed by a prototypical (yet empowering) hand-clapping ayyyoo chant, just realize as long as you have music as your lover, you don’t need Russell Stover.
Happy listening & chocolate binging <3