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The Fodder Blog Team | February 14, 2022

Each year, Radio Fodder gives its own spin on a definitive playlist for Valentine’s Day. Last year’s Anti-Valentine’s Day playlist embraced the cynical aspects of love by scoffing at loved-up couples and the clichés which usually emerge on February 14th. Our team frames our playlist by instead opening our arms to those clichés—the flowers and chocolates everyone gifts, the will-they-won’t-they relationships, and classic romance texts from Shakespeare to even the Fabio novels. When it comes to clichés, we’ve yet to experience another occasion that fully encompasses the word more than Valentine’s Day does; they come together to fully crystallise the very spirit of the day—regardless of whether we like it or not.  

As everyone else denounces the predictability and sheer corniness of these seemingly-pedestrian stereotypes for yet another year, we at Radio Fodder believe that old is gold and our wonderful writers have contributed the songs they think fit our theme of ‘Flowers, Chocolates and Clichés’. Join us as we introduce you to our favourite songs packed with fluff that are sure to make you both cringe and swoon simultaneously, as they soundtrack your Valentine’s Day. 

Listen to the playlist on Spotify here

1. ‘Lovefool’ – The Cardigans 

Maia Everist-Migliore

Heard in classics such as 10 Things I Hate About You, Cruel Intentions and Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet, something about this song just scratches my brain and puts me at risk of having it on repeat for 48 hours straight. A must have on any Valentine’s or love-themed playlist.  

2. ‘Sunflower, Vol. 6‘ – Harry Styles

Sarah Grace Pemberton

You know that feeling, when you’re so in love with a person that you can’t help but see everything through rose-coloured glasses… or should I say, sunflower-coloured glasses?

‘Sunflower, Vol. 6’ is a dreamy, beachy bop by the divine Harry Styles that brings to mind all those gorgeous memories of love.

Styles hints at some distance between him and the object of his affection. And yeah, relationships can wither and die as flowers do. Too real. Grim. But the song has an intoxicatingly summery, nostalgic vibe that never fails to remind you of the sunflower-like person in your life. The one who just overwhelms you with so much love and joy that any residual feelings of sadness simply dissipate. 

And if you don’t have a relationship to ponder on, then be like me and just pretend that Harry Styles is calling you his sunflower. I mean, could there be anything more romantic? (No.)

3. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – Dire Straits

Emma Xerri

My tender love affair with this song began quite recently in the grand scheme of Emma-song relationships. It was the year 2018 and I was preparing to see The Killers live. I pressed shuffle on the playlist I’d created to replicate their latest setlist, and hopped into the shower, anxiously awaiting the opening chord of ‘When You Were Young’ to kickstart my weeknight. 

But what I stumbled across on that particular evening was all the more special. Brandon Flowers’ angelic vocals accompany the most touching acoustic guitar I’d ever heard, I’m swept away on a cloud of chocolate roses and cupids with a rendition of the song I now know to be ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Dire Straits. In the words of Hazel Grace Lancaster, I fell in love with this song “slowly, and then all at once”. Much like reading romantic fiction, I imagine myself as the song’s Juliet, and trust that on a Valentine’s Day in the future I’ll have my own (less violent and mopey) Romeo to share it with.

4. ‘Enchanted’ – Taylor Swift

Sherry Tay

This Speak Now tune is the ultimate Valentine dedication to your special someone (or maybe even just yourself). Despite it being around for over a decade, many are only now jumping on the bandwagon thanks to its sudden, global TikTok virality. Swift reportedly wrote ‘Enchanted’ about Owl City’s lead singer, Adam Young, whom she developed a massive crush on after a brief encounter. The two never dated, but he made a big enough impact on the singer to write a whole track about him, in which she even capitalised the letters A-D-A-M in the album’s lyric booklet. 


It took him some time, but Young finally responded to Swift’s public serenade by making a grand gesture on Valentine’s Day in 2011 (a whole year later!). They say timing is everything, so stop waiting around and shoot your shot this holiday! With its whimsical lyrics, “I’m wonder struck, dancing around all alone/I’ll spend forever wondering if you knew/I was enchanted to meet you”, express your love and yearning to your S.O./crush/eye-candy with this classic fairytale ballad this Valentine’s Day.

5. ‘Strawberry Kisses’ – Thomas Headon

Isabella Ross

If you are a sucker for the nostalgic haze of film photographs, incessant photo dumping on Instagram and boys who wear pearls and have golden brown curls, I think you should give Thomas Headon’s ‘Strawberry Kisses’ a listen this Valentine’s Day. 

Daydreaming about my crush as I dive into the ocean, I’ll be hoping for my very own strawberry kiss to bloom a love I have only ever dreamed could come true. 

One incredibly special day last April, I was dancing my heart out to the playful bedroom pop of Thomas Headon in a crowd of people that truly didn’t feel real. It was such an unbelievable experience to have in the midst of a year riddled with lockdowns. It only amplified the importance of music in our connection with others—both smushed up against each other and stuck across the world—as I, forever & always, dream of strawberry kisses.  

6. ‘Flowers In The Window’ – Travis

Olivia Ryan

With jingling bells, giddy love-struck lyrics and the sound of coo-ing birds, this song by British indie-pop band Travis feels like the soundtrack to a romantic day dream. A serenade to the lead singer’s “one in a million”, it is drenched in hope as he sings of his excitement at being able to “watch the flowers grow” together for years to come. It is such a feel good number—I’d suggest it could even be a complete antidote to loneliness for those of us without a Valentine this year. A quick Google search allowed me to discover that it is the song Harry Styles wants played at his funeral. If anything could lift the mood amongst mourners (at the loss of such a STAR no less), I think this song might be it.

7. ‘Cuz I Love You’ – Lizzo

Lochlainn Heley

‘Cuz I Love You’ is an unapologetic wall of sound and intimate emotion. With a structured contrast between the lyrical verses and the soul-rock-big band chorus, the confessional song pushes you to declare all repressed mushy-love feelings. In a 2019 Rolling Stone article, Lizzo explained that her hope was for fans to be intimately related to events from the multihyphenate’s life, as expressed through each song on her 2019 album of the same name. Listen on your own to cry yourself to catharsis or pull a David from Shitt’s Creek and lip sync the house down for your loved one(s).

8. ‘F.N.T’ – Semisonic

Alexia Shaw

Who hasn’t fallen into a whirlwind of new love and wanted to shout their partner’s praises from the rooftops? While it may not sound like a cliché power ballad, Semisonic tapped into something sugary with this 90’s track. The song’s chorus is in fact a sappy love letter to that special someone, proclaiming them as “perfect” and “precious” while drums and electric guitar rock out in the background. Plus, the song plays over Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles’ famously romantic first kiss in 10 Things I Hate About You. It doesn’t get any cheesier than this!

9. ‘La Vie En Rose’ – Michael Bublé (feat. Cécile McLorin Salvant)

Rhea Chatterji

Roam the cobbled stone streets of Paris this Valentine’s Day, a baguette in hand, donning your rouge beret and monochrome attire, with ‘La Vie En Rose’ resounding across the promenade.

Michael Bublé’s cover pays an honourable homage to the original song and seamlessly blends the neighbouring languages with Cécile McLorin Salvant. The opening melodies seem nostalgically familiar; a spoonful of succour that feeds our romanticised ideals and heals the heaving heart.

“Everyday words seem to turn into love songs,” the chorus translates. “Give your heart and soul to me and life will always be la vie en rose.”

The expression of endearment needs no language, yet to experience it in both English and French is to universalise its impact.

10. ‘Anyone Else But You’ – The Moldy Peaches

Aeva Milos

Finding its acclaim in the 2007 film Juno (Michael Cera and Elliot Page nation, rise up!), ‘Anyone Else But You’ feels like orange juice on a hot summer’s day, like sitting on the front porch at dusk with your favourite person. Kimya Dawson and Adam Green’s perfectly-imperfect vocals and their soft and silly lyricism lend a dippy mundanity to the song. A piece made for a duet with the one you love (see: Lydia Night of The Regrettes and Dylan Minnette of Wallows goofily covering this song)—it wholeheartedly captures those fuzzy feelings of love in its purest, most playful form.

11. ‘I Will Fly’ – Ten2Five

Padmo Widyaseno

Indonesian love songs are infamous for their over-repeated tropes and clichés within their lyrics. We’re all too familiar with the typically shallow and non-specific romantic declarations that litter Western music, which has made its way into Indonesian pop songs over time. In that sense, ‘I Will Fly’ is another perpetrator. This song has lines such as “with you my life seems brighter” and “our love will never end”, which have been repeated endlessly in some form or another since the inception of the modern love song. But on top of that, this song manages to invoke a warm, lovestruck feeling on the inside, which helps us overlook its clichéd lyrics. An earworm of a chorus and groovy instrumentals make this song enjoyable in spite of its hackneyed tropes about love. For me, it’s an essential for any type of Valentine’s playlist.

12. ‘One In A Million’ – Bosson

Christina Savopoulos

If this 2000 song doesn’t immediately bring to mind the image of Sandra Bullock in an extravagant gown and a forced smile, then you need to sort out your priorities *said in Ron Weasley’s voice*. Swedish singer Staffan Olsson, known by his stage name Bosson, wrote the song for his girlfriend at the time, Jessica Olérs. Olérs was 1998’s Miss Sweden and represented the country in that year’s Miss Universe Pageant. So really, ‘One In A Million’ has more in common with Miss Congeniality than we thought! Bosson perfectly fits all clichés in this song by singing about Olérs being “once in a lifetime”—if that doesn’t scream Valentine’s Day love then I don’t know what does.

13. ‘Space Girl’ – Frances Forever

Carmen Chin

If you were just like the rest of us, as our hours bled into days from scrolling through TikTok during the earlier stages of the pandemic (circa July to September 2020), you probably would have come across ‘Space Girl’ via a sweet, simple and viral dance routine. If you take that leap of faith to listen to it in its entirety, you’ll find a kooky little indie-pop banger by the Boston-based Frances Forever, who sings a classic lovelorn warble depicting an affair so cosmic with lyrics so intimately penned (“Space girl, I saw a lunar eclipse / Looked like how I feel ’bout your lips”) it immediately becomes infectious from the first listen. 

What makes this even better is Frances’ intention of creating a song meant as a virtual safe space for the queer community, no matter where we are in the world, and ‘Space Girl’ is definitely feels like it. 

Graphics by Carmen Chin

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