On Valentine’s Day, people are looking for the perfect song to express their feelings to their significant other. Yet, many classic ballads can come across as clichéd, and today’s popular music is rarely so sincere. This week, Dream City Music hopes to provide a few newer and lesser-known love songs to capture the moment on this Valentine’s Day.

1. “Falling Slowly” by The Swell Season

Arguably the most well-known song on this list, “Falling Slowly” was famously performed by the members of The Swell Season—Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova—in the musical romance film Once. The piano and guitar accompanied duet went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2007. The lyrics are words of encouragement from one lover to another, reassuring them they will conquer all obstacles together. The chorus reads, “Take this sinking ship and point it home / We’ve still got time / Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice / You’ll make it now.” What makes this song truly unique is the emphasis on empowering a loved one instead of smothering or sheltering them. This theme is most prevalent in the final line: “Falling slowly, sing your melody / I’ll sing it loud.”

2. “Guiding Light” by Foy Vance

Because of their work, family, or other commitments, numerous couples are separated by great distances. Northern Irish folk singer and songwriter Foy Vance—not to be confused with Vance Joy—perfectly depicts the challenging time before a cathartic reunion in his song “Guiding Light.” The gentle ballad is led by an acoustic guitar, with ambient hums and piano chords building up the hopeful atmosphere. Vance describes a harrowing road home with rivers, shadows, and reappearing road signs. Despite all this, he also mentions a “friend” as his shining beacon to lead him. “Guiding Light” portrays the difficulties of a long distance relationship honestly but bursts into soaring vocal runs and choral harmonies near the end to remind how invigorating finding one another again can be.

3. “Wake Me” by Bleachers

Bleachers is best known for their hit “I Wanna Get Better” as well as its multitalented frontman Jack Antonoff. However, the band’s sole album “Strange Desire” has much more to it than its one successful single, including the echoing new wave ballad “Wake Me.” The song tells the story of a simply beautiful relationship. The first lyrics describe how the speaker knew from the beginning this relationship would be passionate. Yet, they go on to explain they would rather be “sad” with them than be with anyone else, anywhere else. The chorus repeatedly claims the speaker’s amazement with how enamored their significant other has become: “I can’t believe I captured your heart.” Few songs touch on the spark, devotion, and wonder of a relationship like “Wake Me” does.

These songs ring true without being tired and may be the perfect way to put feelings for a significant other to words and sounds. We hope Dream City Strings can do just the same for you during your special day. Be sure to check out our Wedding String Quartet to explore our services for weddings and other occasions!