By Aymen Sherwani, Cristina Paolozzi, Julieanne Acosta, Valery Perez, Salma Zein, Frankie Berardino, Roog Kubur, Kara Koblanski, Logan Jaspers, Ava Zardynezhad, Malea Nguyen, Sophie Janos, Ramiro Bustamante Torres, February 14 2022—
Love is in the air — or maybe that’s just the latest Gauntlet playlist. Whether you’ve got a significant other to cuddle up beside, or you’re doing your best to avoid all the cringe Instagram posts, we’ve got the perfect playlist for you to celebrate the season.
Aymen’s Picks: Voices Editor
“Jashn-E-Bahaaraa” by A.R.Rahman:
This is a cute Hindi classic from a movie called Jodha-Akbar that commemorates the timeless love story of the Mughal King Akbar and his wife Jodha — loosely based on real the cultural history of the Mughal empire at the time and so important to Pakistani and Indians alike.
“Ishq Wala Love” by Vishal-Shekhar:
In the English language we only have one word for love. In Hindi? There are about several or so and ishq is probably the deepest form that affection can manifest itself as. This track is for that special moment.
“O Re Piya” by Salim-Sulaiman:
For a slow and soulful night in with candles, your favourite drinks, and — if the skies are clear — stargazing while thinking about the importance of showing love to each other in such a vast and lonely universe.
Cristina’s Picks: Editor-in-Chief
“Un Bacio a Mezzanotte” by Quartetto Cetra:
An old-timey tune with a catchy beat, this song translates to “A Kiss at Midnight.” What’s more romantic than an Italian serenade about a heartfelt and somewhat scandalous moment?
“Stuck on the Puzzle” by Alex Turner:
Anything that Alex Turner writes is so sensual and moody, there’s no way I couldn’t add this to the playlist. His lyrics are always so intentional and never fails to make me feel some type of way.
“Kiss Me Again” by The Drums:
Y’all ever kissed someone? It feels great! Kiss me again!
Julieanne’s Picks: News Editor
“When We Were Young” by Adele:
This song can have me sobbing at any time of the day.
“My Favourite Part” by Mac Miller and Ariana Grande:
This song on its own is fire but watching them perform it LIVE? Tears.
“You’ll Be in my Heart” by Phil Collins:
Honestly, just the nostalgia of this song has me in my feels always.
Valery’s Picks: Visuals Editor
“Give Me a Minute” by Lizzie McAlpine:
A beautiful ballad about falling completely and entirely into a relationship, and how as a trade-off one can lose sight of their goals and individuality. The song tugs at my heart strings with its melodic symphonies, nonchalant guitar strums and Alpine’s angelic voice. It makes me yearn for an experience of love that is so encompassing.
“Someone To Spend Time With” by Los Retros:
A good single’s bop. A young boy declaring that he’s searching for someone to spend time with. Same dude.
“Quiero Morir en Tu Piel” by Willie Gonzalez:
The song title translates to “I want to die in your skin,” which is a bit gross if you think about it too much. The song is all about passion and being so in love that you want to become someone’s everything, and be completely immersed in them and everything they are. Latin Americans really know how to talk about love.
Salma’s Picks: Volunteer
“Ahwak” by Abdel Halim Hafez:
This song is an absolute classic of old Arabic music, sung by an artist who was so famous for his love songs in the Arab world, girls committed suicide at his funeral. The lyrics of this song are so poetic — “I love you, and I wish that I could forget you, and forget my soul with you, and if it gets lost, then that’s alright, as long as you forget me.” It gives me the chills everytime because of the strong sense of love and yearning.
“Ana Lak Ala Toul” by Abdel Halim Hafez:
Of course I have to pick another Abdel Halim Hafez classic! This song came from an old Arabic movie in one of the most classic romance scenes where Abdel Halim sings this song on a boat, right underneath his love’s balcony. The lyrics and the music itself are just so soft and sweet.
“Ahla Haga Fiki” by Mohamed Hamaki:
I feel like any Egyptian kid who grew up in the late 2000s has heard this song, the beat is especially iconic. The one I linked for Spotify is the “modern version,” which is more instrumental, with the beat less prominent.
Frankie’s Picks: Volunteer
“Exist for Love” by Aurora:
Exist for love is a dream-like song that modern Aphrodite would probably listen to in the heavens. The song describes all of the warm and exciting feelings that come with falling in love for the first time, violins and all!
“Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)“ by Father John Misty:
Father John Misty describes the feeling of meeting someone so wonderful and special your values and whole perspective towards relationships changes. In a sense, the song feels like a mature first love set in an endless summer with your lover that is filled with long warm days echoed by a mariachi band.
“Never Fade” by Jack Johnson:
This song reminds me of my boyfriend. We’ve been friends since grade nine and didn’t get together until near the end of our university degrees. Despite knowing each other for almost ten years, every day, I wake up excited to see him and fall more in love with him. It truly feels like we’ve grown up together, and I feel so lucky to be able to watch him grow and become the best version of himself.
Roog’s Picks: Volunteer
“The Feels” by Twice:
It’s a cute, groovy, feel good track with a retro swing to it that just makes you wanna get up and dance! This song is the personification of the butterflies you feel when you have a crush.
“When I Watch The World Burn All I Think About Is You” by Bastille:
The lyrics feel especially pertinent for the current times we’re going through right now. The song is admittedly a little darker, but it captures the feeling of completely encapsulated by someone.
“Jazz Bar” by Dreamcatcher:
As the title suggests, the song feels like a track playing in a speakeasy while you spend the whole night chatting to a stranger. The vocals are sweet and the song overall has a cozy atmosphere, making it perfect background music for a romantic night in.
Kara’s Picks: Volunteer
“Lover” by Taylor Swift:
I like this song because it appreciates the little moments of love rather than extreme romantic gestures. It pays respect to saving a seat at a table for your partner, or having your own traditions like leaving the Christmas lights up until January. Rather than focusing on the grand parts of loving someone, it appreciates the mundane.
“pov” by Ariana Grande:
I chose this song because I love how it shows appreciation to the people you love, who have chosen to love and see the best in you despite all of your own insecurities. It reflects self love through the eyes of the people you love. “I wanna love me the way that you love me / For all of my pretty and all of my ugly too, I’d love to see my from your point of view.”
“Sweet Creature” by Harry Styles:
This song reflects loving someone relentlessly throughout even the hardest moments. Things are going wrong, but despite everything that person grounds you and brings you back to Earth. I think the idea of loving someone despite everything is so beautiful.
Logan’s Picks: Volunteer
“N.I.B.” by Black Sabbath:
“N.I.B.” well encapsulates what makes Heavy Metal so beloved. The fuzz bassline, the blues-y guitar solo, the satanic imagery are all excellent, but most importantly is the authenticity. Despite the Northern English doom-and-gloom, it’s an incredibly sincere love song.
“Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley & The Wailers:
The fusion of Reggae and Disco makes “Could You Be Loved” one of the 80s’ best Pop songs already, but the knowledge of just how sick Marley was when The Wailers put it to tape reflects not just on his masterful songwriting, but his humanity.
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” by The Beatles:
This is the fab four’s best love song — and they recorded a lot of those. Why? Because of its lyrical simplicity. Throw away the dictionary and damn the imagery, sometimes you just have to yell.
Ava’s Picks: General Editor
“In a Week” by Hozier ft. Karen Cowley:
Due to unfair limits imposed for this article — insert angry face emoji — I’m only going to include ONE Hozier song on here. This song is the epitome of romance. Obviously, if your love doesn’t include dying and decomposing in a field together, I don’t want it.
“Love Like You” by Rebecca Sugar:
There is no verse in music that hits quite as hard as “I always thought I might be bad / Now I’m sure that it’s true / ‘Cause, I think you’re so good / And I’m nothing like you.”
“Soltane Ghalbha” by Aref:
This song is an old Persian song I spent half of my childhood crying my eyes out to. “Soltane Ghalbha” literally translates to “ruler of the hearts.” Aref sings about a lover who rules his heart, someone who broke down his walls, a life partner and a companion, someone with whom he became one and I think that’s beautiful.
Malea’s Picks: Volunteer
“Love Me Like That” by Sam Kim:
I picked this song because it shows that your flaws and your insecurities shouldn’t discourage you from relationships. I love how it depicts the idea of finding someone who will care for you, with respect to what makes you unique.
“moonlight” by dhruv:
I chose this song because it perfectly captures the view of a hopeless romantic — someone who wants another to be enamoured with them. To me, this song is comforting because it’s a reminder that it’s not crazy to want to experience falling in love and being loved by someone.
“Daylight” by Taylor Swift:
This song is one of my favourite love songs because it’s written in the perspective of someone who had a heavy past of painful breakups and betrayals, and has since healed and is now learning how to trust and embrace light. It’s comforting to listen to when you feel as though your love life has hit rock bottom.
Sophie’s Picks: Volunteer
“invisible string” by Taylor Swift:
Honestly, who knows more about the struggles of love than Taylor Swift? In my opinion, this is her most beautiful love song. With its sweet tone and expressive imagery, she reminisces about the past and looks towards the future with her soulmate.
“Animal” by Troye Sivan:
Do you know those movie scenes where two lovers make eye contact across a room and time seems to stand still? That’s what this song sounds like. It’s effortlessly ethereal with a twist of nostalgia.
“Cherry” by Lana Del Rey:
This tune creates an atmosphere of suffocating love. Its sultry vocals and moving instrumentals will fill you with a bittersweet warmth. Basically what I’m trying to say is that this song is HOT!
Ramiro’s Picks: Layout Editor
“La Fuerza del Destino” by Mecano:
This song holds a lot of nostalgia for me and the strong 80s vibes don’t help. I just feel that it has a bittersweet type of love where you meet the right person at the wrong time with the hopes there will eventually be a right time.
“Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac:
My love language is quality time so these lyrics really speak to me. The quick arpeggios at the start of song and the airy chorus really gives it a magical feel that comes when you spend time with that special someone.
“Dreams” by The Cranberries:
I chose this song because it’s part of my childhood and for the coming-of-age vibes. It’s the simple act of falling for someone and being scared to take the next step. This song is definitely a good one to listen to and daydream a bit.