Let's talk about love songs—but not in a gross, speculative, Taylor Swift way. Am I the only one who wonders how an artist feels when they perform songs about their past relationships, years and years after they were written? Does each performance bring the song new meaning, or are they transported back to that moment, that era, that first kiss, that last phone call or that night spent sleeping on the sofa?
Maybe once the song is released and adopted by all of its listeners—who are each reminded of their own kisses and phone calls and sofa nights—the artist feels absolved of the song's personal/emotional weight. Or maybe it's just the opposite.
Even if you don't sit in your room at 2 a.m. listening to A Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and analyze each verse, wondering if true love exists, here are twenty songs you can listen to with your S.O.s and never again if you break up. Go ruin some music together.
Sidenote: remember when Kanye made an entire album about his relationship with Amber Rose and essentially predicted he'd be married to Kim someday? Iconic.
- Kanye West, Justin Vernon, "Lost In The World"
- Kanye West, "FML"
- Sampha, "Timmy's Prayer"
- Drake, "Marvin's Room"
- Anderson Paak, "The Bird"
- Frank Ocean, "Ivy"
- Miguel, "the valley"
- NAO, "Adore You"
- Rihanna, "Love On The Brain"
- Zayn, "rEaR vIeW"
- Frank Ocean, "Thinkin Bout You"
- The 1975, "Somebody Else"
- James Blake, "My Willing Heart"
- Bon Iver, "For Emma"
- Arctic Monkeys, "I Wanna Be Yours"
- The National, "About Today"
- MØ, "Dust Is Gone - Night Version"
- Bon Iver, "Re: Stacks"
- Willow, "Why Don't You Cry"
- Lykke Li, "Love Out Of Lust"
Justin Vernon on For Emma, Forever Ago: "Emma isn't a person. Emma is a place that you get stuck in. Emma's a pain that you can't erase."
And now, Justin Vernon on Bon Iver's new album: "22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion. And the inner resolution of maybe never finding that understanding."