Ahh, Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, it’s a day for us to reflect on our relationships… both the good and the bad… the past and the present.
Luckily for us, love is a topic that nearly every artist out there has explored in their music in one way or another. From slow ballads to angry “fuck-yous”, love definitely brings out the best in musicians. Today we’ve picked out some of our favorite love songs by Asian/Anglo-Asian musicians to get you in the spirit of this so-called holiday. Maybe it’s not such a worthless day after all.
No matter if you’re planning to get lucky tonight (go, you!) or if you’re spending it alone (love yourself!), these eight great songs will remind you of why love makes the world go round.
Big Phony – “This Might Be Love”
Is it love? Bobby Choy will make you believe it is.
No Vacation – “Sad Valentine”
This song was literally made for this day. “Sad Valentine” is upbeat Valentine’s Day blues done right.
Jay Som – “I Think You’re Alright”
“I Think You’re Alright” is one of the most romantic things that you can say to another person. Even though Jay Som’s Melina Duterte never directly says that she’s in love in the lyrics, “I Think You’re Alright” is one of the most gushy love songs that I’ve ever heard.
*In a Jay Som song they don’t say “i love you” they say “i think you’re alright” and i think that’s beautiful
Kurosuke – “Fantasy”
Get lost in Kurosuke’s dreamy vocals on bedroom-pop jam “Fantasy”. He “won’t leave you today”, so don’t worry <3.
Sam Rui – “Let’s Get Coffee (ft. Omar Kenobi)”
Coffee shops: providing a safe place for first dates and Craigslist exchanges with a stranger since… well, the beginning of time. Singaporean R&B musician Sam Rui captures those anxious moments of meeting someone in a cafe and watching sparks fly. Features a cute little interaction with Omar Kenobi that’ll be sure to make you smile. ☕️❤️☕️
*If this was rewritten today, this song would be called “Let’s Get Boba”.
Phum Viphurit – “Lover Boy”
Thai musician and recent 88Rising signee Phum Viphurit’s “Lover Boy” went insanely viral last year and for good reason. It’s charming, adorably lo-fi, and wholesome. Just call him lover boy!
Japanese Breakfast – “Everybody Wants to Love You”
Michelle Zauner’s “Everybody Wants to Love You” cuts all the crap. In a single verse, she asks you for your telephone number and then asks you to give her head. Hey, if it works, it works.
Utada Hikaru – “First Love”
If you don’t feel like crying today, don’t listen to this song. “First Love” is an emotional gut-punch, bringing back memories of what-ifs, heartbreak, and painful nostalgia. Paired with Utada Hikaru’s masterful vocals, “First Love” will move you. Bring your tissues.
*for extra feels, look up the music video for “First Love”, which isn’t available on YouTube.
Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think.
He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.