An potbellied kid with wings and an arrow, shooting people—the concept of cupid and Valentine’s Day is dubious at best. While the origins of the day remain murky—whether it’s honouring St Valentine who performed forbidden wedding ceremonies or the several martyr stories that emerged later, or just a clever marketing executive who decided to cash in on gullible romantics and henpecked husbands—this time of year is loved and loathed in equal proportions.
Whether you fall into the “I’m single and don’t care about this”, “I’m single and eating myself to sleep” or “I’m part of a couple and I’m pumped” or “Shit, I don’t know what to get my significant other”, we decided to help you out. We’ve put together a playlist of alternative love songs for Valentine-haters and lovers, alike, to enjoy—and as much as we love the classics, you’re not about to find the likes of ‘Words’ and ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ on this list. If you’re anything like Chandler Bing from Friends and decide a mixed tape (or USB, in the millennial era) is the best last-minute gift for your spouse, this playlist will do the trick (just make sure it doesn’t have your ex warbling to an old-love song a la Janice.)