Valentine’s Day can be a struggle, with its typical red roses and chocolate boxes of pressure to be in lovey dove love. However, completely ignoring the day is just as silly: make it your own. Make it a day to treat yourself, your friends or just to appreciate the fact that your heart is beating for you right this very moment. Forget the store-bought cards and cheesy cupids and get back to the heart of the matter… music!
I asked friend and music guru, Jackie Shuman, who is currently music supervising Peach Plum Pear, an indie film starring Tyler Blackburn from ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars and represents a killer roster of indie artists as the East Coast Director for Hollywood’s Platform Music Group, to curate a “V-Day Playlist That Doesn’t Suck”. In true Jackie fashion, she got back to me right away with 14 songs to celebrate February 14th along with her comments on each track:
- The Sweet Serenades “Can’t Get Enough”- I’m always asking my friends that live overseas who they have seen in concert or heard on the radio. A buddy who lives in Switzerland saw these guys in concert last year and sent them my way. I love how fun this song is!
- Ra Ra Riot “Beta Love”- WeareHunted is an awesome source for what’s buzzing around the music blogosphere. I heard this track on their site. Who doesn’t like Ra Ra Riot?!
- The Growlers “One Million Lovers”- I can’t even explain how obsessed I am with this album. I love the grittiness and the 60s garage vibe. My boyfriend (who also works in music and happens to have incredible taste) sent me this record so he gets all the credit for this song.
- JJAMZ “Heartbeat”- I’m a sucker for anything that sounds like it could be from the 80s. I think I heard this in an ad for Myspace? The band has members in it from Rilo Kiley, Phantom Planet and The Like…so that’s pretty cool.
- Max & The Moon “Out of My Head”- This band played at The Satellite in Silverlake last year. I didn’t get a chance to see them live, but one of the sneaky ways I find music is by checking what my favorite venues are booking. Case in point.
- Little Green Cars “The John Wayne”- I saw these guys perform at CMJ and they blew me away. Their harmonies are amazing and this song is all about falling in love. It really picks up around 1:49.
- Haim “Hold Me”- The lovely sisters in HAIM are from my hometown in LA and everyone I went to high school with has been geeking out over how awesome their music is. Reminds me of Fleetwood Mac.
- Class Actress “Let Me Take You Out”- Because I represent artists for licensing at Platform, I’m always listening for the music behind commercials. This track was in the Honda campaign for the Civic in 2012 and that’s how I first heard it.
- How to Dress Well “& It Was U”- I can’t get enough of this guy. Apparently, he falls into a new genre of music called “bedroom R&B” – which I will run with. I saw him at The Echoplex in December and it was one of the best performances I heard in 2012.
- Solange “Losing You”- Everyone in music (Spin, LA Times, Pitchfork, Guardian, Village Voice) nearly lost their mind over this track. Rightfully so – it’s impossibly catchy. Beyonce better watch her back.
- Sub Focus “Tidal Wave” feat. Alpines- There are so many electronic musicians trying to create something as epic and perfect as this song. The track LITERALLY hits you like a tidal wave. I love the lyrics “I’m tired of being on the outside, I wanna know what it’s like/I’m tired of seeing all the signs, I wanna feel us collide.”
- Gamble & Burke “Let’s Go Together” (Wagner Remix)- While we ride the electronic train, we must make a stop here. This song came on a Kitsune compilation – they always assemble the best mixes of up-and-coming music.
- St. Lucia “All Eyes On You”- This is such a romantic song. Neon Gold, a New York based boutique label, put out this record. Everything they touch is exquisite.
- Damien Jurado “Museum of Flight”- A slower-paced track to close out the mix. Damien’s falsetto and the way he sings “Don’t let go, I need you to hang around. I’m so broke and foolishly in love” kills me every time. In a good way.