Here’s How to Write the Perfect Love Song for Valentine’s Day

Some great bands share advice for writing a great love song.
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Valentine’s Day is almost here, and it’s the perfect time to woo your special someone. You could perform a grand gesture, a small gesture, or just remind them that you love them! In my opinion, there’s no better way to show someone you care about them than sharing some of your favorite music with them. I love exchanging favorite songs with the people I care about. What’s even more personal than sharing a favorite song with someone? How about writing a song? I can’t say I haven’t tried writing one in the past–who hasn’t?–but I’m sad to say I was wildly unsuccessful. That’s why I reached out to some of my favorite bands to get their advice on how to write the perfect love song! They were full of great advice that I can’t wait to share with you, along with a song rec or two to go along with each! 

Adam from indie pop band Sub-Radio says…

“My big piece of lyric writing advice is to be hyper vigilant about keeping cliches out of your song. It’ll be more authentic and more “your voice” (and more romantic!!) if you can avoid phrases like “look in your eyes” or whatever. Rewrite until it’s unique, and then decide if you like it.”

I recommend their song “Room for You.” Listen here.

Alt/Rock/Disco-Grunge band Modern Maps says…

“Wine. I usually fill my favorite coffee cup full of cheap wine. You’re gonna need it for this next part…
Most love songs that I write tend to be in the heartbreak genre. So here comes the hard part (*sips wine*). You always want your song to be genuine, so you’ve gotta start by cutting yourself open and reliving certain chapters of your life that hurt like hell. Then zone in on a moment that stings especially bad. I like to list a description of that moment onto a piece of paper only using a few key words – This will paint a broad stroke of the overall emotion of your song. Then I like to start free-styling melodies over an instrumental while using those key words as a placeholder. Once you have the bones of your song in place, you can then dive into those moments to add description for what will eventually become the final lyrics for the song.”

I recommend their song “Sweet Talk.” Listen here.

Will Alford of pop-rock band Witterquick says…

“For me, I find so many love songs disingenuous. They always sell this perfect ideal of what love should be. For me Love isn’t like that, it’s so much more. It’s about conflict and resolution, compromise and compassion. There’s so much magic in love but there’s also so much hurt. And that’s a truth I try and write into the music, I’m not saying love isn’t one of the greatest feelings in the world, because it can be, but I guess I just have a more grounded outlook on it. I dunno maybe it’s just me but the super lovey-dovey everything’s perfect thing just doesn’t resonate with me.

That being said, I’m a huge believer in loving who you are, and loving life, and songs like “bubblegum” are all about that. For me it’s got that groove that makes you wanna tap your foot and bob your head, it’s uplifting and it still amazes me at how music can do that. Its that ethos about finding the joy in the little things, and in one and other, surrounding yourself with people who pick you up and not put you down. It’s a hard thing to achieve in my experience, and it took me a while to get to that place but it’s certainly something I think everyone should strive for and deserves.
Love you who are.”

I recommend their song “Bubblegum.” Listen here.

Pop band Drive!Drive! says…

“Be authentic. Don’t just write a love song to write a love song. Write it because you’re inspired or want to get those feelings out. Be specific. Generic love songs are a dime a dozen but writing about specific instances always makes it unique.”

I recommend their song “Feels.” Listen here.

Indie rock band Hotel Mira says…

“Write directly from the heart and be specific. There is no logical reason for another love song to be written. There is even an argument to be made that the subject is tapped-out of good or original ideas entirely. So, if you have the (mis)fortune to be bitten by the love bug, like I was recently, and are a songwriter, best of luck to you. Now, because true love is all-consuming and the greatest drug there is, inevitably you will want to scream clichés and sugary altruisms at the top of songwriter mountain. A loving, healthy relationship puts us in a fragile mental state in terms of not sounding like a cheeseball. So dig deep and pinpoint something beautiful , ask a hard question, take a stand. And try not to rhyme girl with (the whole wide) world. Maybe listen to some Nina Simone. She is really good at writing love songs.”

I recommend their song “Jungle.” Listen here.

Indie pop band Alvarez Kings says…

“You must fall in love and have your heart broken at least once in your life before you can even begin to know what love is and therefore be able to write a love song. You need the butterflies in your stomach and ache in your heart so you can really connect with your brain and find the words you need to say what you are truly feeling in the form of a song.”

I recommend their song “Get Up and Move On.” Listen here.

Alt rock band Don’t Believe in Ghosts says…

“There are two kinds of love songs… the love you want and the love you’ve had… both of which are driven by chemical reactions and your imagination… therefore when writing of love I often prefer to chase the optimism, the romanticism and the super powers. I guess in a way I just believe we are the world we create for ourselves.”

I recommend their song “Can’t Sleep So I’ll Drive.” Listen here.

Pop duo The Underclassmen says…

“Focusing on the little things you love about a person rather than using the general definition of love. The more personal you make a song the less cliche it becomes, so use the things that are unique to you and your loved one.”

I recommend their song “Former Life.” Listen here.

A huge thank you to all of the bands who shared their expertise! Their music always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and I’m sure it can do the same for you.

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