From troubadours in the Middle Ages to singing telegrams in the '90s, it's a fact of history that when people fall in love, they get an irrepressible urge to turn to song. They also find the intense need to share their feelings with everyone else who will listen. Thankfully, things are pretty easy these days if we want to turn the fluttering of our hearts into that ultimate public multimedia musical expression. If you have a camera, time on your hands, and a couple thousand candy hearts lying around, you could do what this guy did:
Otherwise, I doubt your sweetie would think less of you for broadcasting your devotion in a more traditional way, say on youtube in a slideshow with photos and a killer soundtrack. So, before you sink into the predictable clutches of Jason Mraz or Michael Bublé, here are five songs that will help guarantee your slideshow doesn't turn out to be something like this…music-wise, at least.
"I Melt With You"
- Nouvelle Vague, Teenage Kicks
To fancy them as the Jean Luc Godard of the musical world would be a bit of a stretch, but with their bossa-nova infused covers of punk rock and New Wave favorites, Nouvelle Vague could inject a radical dose of Franco-Brazilian whimsy to your cut-and-paste masterpiece. In their take of the Modern English hit, "I Melt With You" opens languidly with the starry twinkling of a glockenspiel overhead and a set of maracas sounding suspiciously like grasshoppers chirruping. The effect is both mellow and designer chic, not unlike pulling on your most comfortable pair of skinny jeans.
"Behind Your Eyes"
- Jon Foreman, Limbs and Branches
Featuring a guitar riff that stretches out joyously like a winding summer road trip, "Behind Your Eyes" is a lovely work of songwriting genius from Switchfoot frontman, Jon Foreman. With contemplative lyrics that hide at first behind the rollicking acoustics, this unadorned love song is nothing if not reflective of a journey. For those of you with relationships that have seen their share of sunset scenery and also felt its share of the potholes, this is your musical soundtrack.
"Whistle for the Choir"
- The Fratellis, Costello Music
Infectiously playful, this offering from Scottish alt-rock band, The Fratellis, plays like a giddy bar song written by a Fratelli drunk on love. Impossible not to sing along with, "Whistle for the Choir" features a jaunty rhythm and a boisterous chorus. It's not for faint-hearted declarations of love…but then again, makers of mushy videos don't need that warning.
"I Was Made for You"
- She & Him, Volume One
Zooey Deschanel is not only the dewy-eyed ingénue in films like Elf and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but she's also a songstress with a smoky set of chords, an old soul, and a masterful ear. Paired with indie singer-songwriter M. Ward, they channel a retro folksy charm as the quirky duo of She & Him. "I Was Made for You" is a ditty that rubs shoulders with the bygone era of the '60s girl group. It's a little bit of the Shangri-Las mixed in with a drop of Janis Joplin, to cut the sweetness. What that leaves you with is good old (or new) nostalgia with sprightly pacing—perfect for a nicely tempoed parading of those picture archives.
"Baby I'm Yours"
- Arctic Monkeys, Leave Before the Lights Come On – EP
In a slight departure from "I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor" and "Florescent Adolescent," the Arctic Monkeys get down with some old school romancing here in this remake of Barbara Lewis' 1965 golden oldie. Channeling the Beatles in their Ed Sullivan days, this feel-good ditty makes a charming dance partner for fancily choreographed video editing.