If the story of Saint Valentine—the Roman priest who was put to death because he paid no heed to the emperor’s no-wedding-for-young-dudes rule—is true, then shouldn’t we observe not only the sweetness of February 14’s namesake, but also the sad, harrowing side of it?

Let’s look back at some recent foreign releases (an OPM list will be assembled separately) with love truths that’ll make you forget the cheese and focus on the gritty bits. Add them to your V-Day playlist, give them to someone special, or play them while crying like a newborn baby—up to you! Just make sure you don’t put up a fight.

8. Arcade Fire – “Joan of Arc”

On the complexity of putting someone on a pedestal.
Now they tell you that you’re their muse
Yeah, they’re so inspired
But where were they when they called your name
And they lit the fire?
When the voices came, you cut your hair
But you’re still confused
But I’m the one with a heavy heart
Cause I’ll follow you
My Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) / Tell the boys their time is through
Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) / Tell the boys I’ll follow you
Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) / When the boys are over you
Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) / Tell the boys I’ll follow you


7. Camera Obscura – “I Missed Your Party”

On being surrounded by someone, everyone, but also being so dreadfully alone, perhaps like the persona in most Billy Joel songs (except for “We Didn’t Start the Fire”—that song is about everything).
The Roller Girls are rolling and the rocking boys are rocking
Am I just holding onto memories golden?
I could go out dancing to feel bodies close to my skin
I’d better stay in to face the trouble we are in
I listen to Billy Joel
I watch Flashdance again
I’m going to get through Walt Whitman
I’m going to be in bed by ten


6. My Bloody Valentine – “Wonder 2”

This isn’t necessarily a love song, but could be well construed as a song about love. This song concludes the band’s brilliant m b v record (their first release since Loveless in 1991), and you have to listen as you read the words to get the full heavy and maddening experience.
I’m moving your eyes slow for you see, see all the way
And I found you something to hold you alive into the head on
Remember you used to, you were always late to see tomorrow
Everyone knows that you’re such too soon


5. The National – “This is the Last Time”

On knowing something/someone is bad for you but you simply just cannot let go. Like smoking crack, opening a can of Pringles, or playing Flappy Bird (RIP). The National’s Matt Berninger sure knows how to write about the tragic moments that illustrate how simultaneously clumsy and elegant love can get.
Oh, when I lift you up / You feel like a hundred times yourself /
I wish everybody knew / What’s so great about you
Oh, but your love is such a swamp / You don’t think before you jump
And I said I wouldn’t get sucked in / This is the last time
Oh, don’t tell anyone I’m here / I got Tylenol and beer
I was thinking that you’d call somebody / Closer to you
(Also, if you live in Manila and want to hear this song played live, head over to the FebFest music festival on February 20 for the band’s one-night show)



4. Of Montreal – “She Ain’t Speakin’ Now”

On seeing a loved one struggle with an illness. Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes told Rolling Stone in an interview that he wrote this song while his wife and daughter had a terrible illness that had made them bedridden.
Like some sepulchral tableaux I sit frozen holding your hand
Though I’m trying to think only positive thoughts I understand
That this tomorrow may not be the tomorrow that your eviscerating suffering will end
Will you ever be yourself again?



3. The Flaming Lips – “Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die”

On love’s ups and downs, and how to carry on. The Flaming Lips frontman and all-around awesome guy Wayne Coyne also said in a press release that in The Terror album, the band wants to believe that “without love we would disappear.”
If you’ve ever really seen the sun rise
You will see how many times it tries
If you’ve ever really seen the sun set
You will see how long it takes to die
You can see the universe beginning
Making all the sun and the sky
You can see the universe is ending
Making love darker than the night



2. The Postal Service – “Brand New Colony”

This is off the band’s 2003 album, but was re-released in last year for a 10-year anniversary. Vocalist Ben Gibbard is a poet—the song is sentimental (it romanticizes running away with the one you love), but not sappy and overly-dramatic.
We’ll cut our bodies free / From the tethers of this scene
Start a brand new colony / Where everything will change
We’ll give ourselves new names / (Identities erased)
The sun will heat the ground / Under our bare feet
In this brand new colony



1. Warpaint – “Love is to Die”

Short, sweet, and speaks the truth. It’s not love if it’s easy. This could be someone’s mantra; something that can offer assurance in times of infuriating love stress.
Love is to die / love is to not die
Love is to dance
 / love is to dance
(Warpaint is also playing in Manila for FebFest on Feb 13).
Are you leaking? Get your shiz together and post your feels in the Comments Section.

Bong Sta. Maria

Bong Sta. Maria writes, makes zines, and drinks her vegetables. She thinks humans are gross.

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