Top 11 Women-Led Love Songs That Aren’t Dire

LOVE SONGSAh, Valentine's Day. For some, a pitiful attempt by Clinton Cards to sell more unwanted merchandise that'll end up in a forgotten kitchen drawer, or worse, landfill. For others, a good excuse to get cosy with your other half over a dine-in meal for two from Marks & Sparks and a playlist of soppy love songs. And for many, many of us - this writer included - a strange public holiday celebrating the massacre of a Saint and his followers, captured by commercialism to encourage The Taken to express their emotions in a way they probably should strive to do at least every other day.

Which group do you fall into? No matter, it's still nice (yack) to talk about love (yack) sometimes, so long as it's done tastefully and with plenty of alcohol in reserve. Singing love songs certainly come with its own shtick, and stereotypes are often shot by the barrel load at female artists approaching the subject. No, we're not all lovelorn waifs floundering in a sea of emotions perpetuated by pink things and bubbly - but we do have emotions, and it's okay for us to express those emotions without succumbing to three tonnes of chocolate and a girly flick (though those things are totally appropriate in many situations).

These artists successfully challenge the perception of women-led love songs while producing excellent music: telling it like it is with valiant honesty while focusing on the important things in life. Because sometimes - just sometimes - it's fine to sing about love.

Here are our Top 11 Women-Led Love Songs That Aren't Dire. Happy Valentine's Day!

Hinds, "I'll Be Your Man"

Love is for everyone, and "I'll Be Your Man" by Hinds is an anthem for anyone who's found their emotions are directed against the tide. It's taken from the band's debut album Leave Me Alone, released via Lucky Number in 2016.


Big Thief, "Real Love"

No one sings a love song quite like Brooklyn-based Saddle Creek signees Big Thief and their frontwoman Adrianne Lenker. The catastrophically pertinent "Real Love" is taken from their debut album Masterpiece; an Americana-meets-rock, er, masterpiece which was released in 2016 to rapturous applause from fans and the music industry alike. Listen to the song. It's not hard to hear why.


Wolf Alice, "Don't Delete the Kisses"

Taken from the band's critically lauded second album Visions of a Life, Wolf Alice bucked the trend for loud rock songs set by "Yuk Foo", the band's first single in 2017, with this blissful indie-pop track. "Don't Delete the Kisses" lets us all know that bad times may be ahead, but that doesn't mean it's over. And not a tissue in sight.


Caitlin Rose, "Everywhere I Go"

Hankies may be required for this beautiful ballad, however. Sure, "Everywhere I Go" is better described as a breakup song, but there's something heartwarming about the fact that old love doesn't always fade. The song is taken from Caitlin Rose's sophomore album, The Stand-In, released via Names Records in 2013.


Rilo Kiley, "Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You"

When love comes down to simple adoration, there are loads of songs out there that fulfil the brief. This song by Rilo Kiley may have multiple layers, but on the face of it, "Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You" - taken from 2002's The Execution of All Things - is the perfect Valentine's song. Sometimes, it's all down to interpretation...


Alela Diane & Wild Divine, "Desire"

Taking cues from classic artists assigned to the love song bracket, Alela Diane & Wild Divine didn't reinvent the wheel with the release of "Desire" in 2011; but if your beauty is a classic pin-up, this track is perfect for you.


Phoebe Bridgers, "Would You Rather"

...and none more so, on this list at least, than Phoebe Bridgers' "Would You Rather". A collaboration with Conor Oberst, this song could be about a wayward sibling who's also a pyromaniac. Or it could be about loving someone despite their flaws. Whatever the case, the refrain of "In the background, I'll be waiting," makes for the perfect Valentine's Day soundtrack.


Lucy Rose, "Love Song"

As Lucy Rose says herself in the Nylon session version of "Love Song", before this track she'd "never really written a song which is 100% about unimaginable love." Job done, Lucy. The track features on her third studio album Something's Changing, released last year through Communion Music.


Laura Marling, "I Feel Your Love"

How could you compile a list of women-led love songs that aren't dire without including the wonderful Laura Marling? In "I Feel Your Love" she explores the delirious, and sometimes dangerous nature of romance, to delectable results. The song is taken from her 2015 full-length Short Movie, which for the first time had the musician "do a Dylan" by exploring an electric landscape.


Natalie McCool, "Cardiac Arrest"

Our favourite Liverpool artist Natalie McCool brings some pop to proceedings with this gem. "Cardiac Arrest" is a live favourite amongst fans thanks to its upbeat - though again, deadly - subject matter.


Jesca Hoop, "Bed Across the Sea"

Another singer-songwriter who loves to explore multiple musical territories, Santa Rosa-born and Manchester-based Jesca Hoop strips things back for "Bed Across the Sea" on Undressed, her 2014 acoustic album. Spare a thought for all the long-distance lovers on Valentine's Day, to whom this song is dedicated.


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