Written by Victoria Stewart
Let’s face it, sometimes we all like to listen to a really cheesy, over the top, pour your heart out, love ballad. You might give dramatic renditions of ‘I Will Always Love You’ to your less than willing cat, or use your shower as a stage to belt out literally anything by Celine Dion. But what about the times when we need something a bit more… dairy-free? As infamous ‘millennials’, we can maintain our cool, blasé approach to that little thing called love with these five – minimally cheesy – tracks.
1. This Modern Love – Bloc Party
This song, in my opinion, epitomises what modern love is, in a non-vomit-inducing manner. The slow build of quiet vocals, guitar riffs, and repeated motifs work to capture the ups and downs of this 21st century dating world. Instead of chanting about how much they just ‘totes adore’ someone, this song proposes a much sweeter sounding gesture – “I’ll pay for you”. Thanks Bloc Party, a second date is definitely on the cards.
2. The Only One – The Black Keys
A touch more melancholic than the previous track, this song encapsulates what it feels like when the object of your affections just isn’t loving you back. Using synths that could otherwise provide the sound for endless cringe worthy 80s love bops, they take clichéd elements such as cupid’s bow and provide a fresh twist; instead of lovingly infecting hopeless romantics, the bow “stung”. Yes, it’s not necessarily the most hopeful, but it’s a refreshing love song nonetheless.
3. I Feel It All – Feist
We’re back with a bit more of a light-hearted tone, as Feist provides an upbeat hit that could be found comfortably in any quirky indie romance film. Her sing-song like reflections on being a loved-up sucker aren’t overbearing and allow the listener to see the ambiguities of relationships amidst all the lovey-dovey stuff: “Did we fight or did we talk?”. It’s both cool and heart-warmingly realist, and that’s all we can ask for.
4. I Dare You – The xx
“I Dare You” not to sing along to this self-aware love song. The xx, in keeping to their tried and tested duet vocals, claim that “All I’ve ever heard are love songs”. They know we’re bored of the same old cheese, so graciously offer this mellowed but definitely still punchy insight into intimacy and attachment, minus the flowers and chocolates. Sounds sweet enough to me.
5. Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
If there was a map to a great love song, it would lead you to ‘Maps’. Recently sampled in Beyoncé’s Lemonade, it’s clear that the repeated refrain “Wait, they don’t love you like I love you” has stood the test of time. It brings a much-needed balance of consuming love and aloof edge, letting the song build instrumentally without the need for dramatic wailings to a significant other. It smells like loveable angst, not cheddar.