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Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Calm and fulfilling love shown through a playlist

Calm+and+fulfilling+love+shown+through+a+playlist

I make a playlist for everything. For each season, for every niche emotion I have ever felt and of course, for nearly any romantic encounter I have experienced. Despite my numerous playlists, one of my favorites is titled “So beautiful my heart aches.” While this may sound like a dramatic playlist that should be filled with heartbreaking melodies, it instead features just a few songs that represent love so peaceful and special that it makes your heart feel more than you thought it could.

In college, the idea of “love” can get buried, surrounded by “situationships” and hookup culture — and there is certainly no shortage of songs to match these feelings. Some songs, like Kehlani’s “F&MU” talk about knowing a relationship is bad for you but somehow always ending back up with the same person. Others, like Chappell Roan’s “Casual” express the painful feelings of “casually” hooking up with someone.

I am not denying the power of music with these messages, and I am happy to admit that both “F&MU” and “Casual” can still be found on many of my other playlists. However, I also believe there should always be a space held sacred — both in life and in music — for simple, genuine love. Love that does not rely on careless actions or even on the physical aspects of a relationship. Something for the hopeless romantics, but furthermore, for humanity. Because sometimes we need to be reminded that we all deserve love.

The first song on my “So beautiful my heart aches” playlist is “Serendipity” by Laufey. In this song, Laufey sings about experiencing love as something new. The song features lyrics like, “I won’t pretend, I’ve been anxious / Just like I’ve always been / This time, it’s sticking / And time just stops ticking / When I have my arms around you.”

This idea of feeling grounded by love, rather than overwhelmed, is a stark contrast to the first half of Laufey’s album “Bewitched,” which talks about situationships, unrequited love and everything in between. In “Serendipity,” Laufey brings listeners hope for a new, healthy kind of love, even if it takes time to find. This message is enhanced by the stripped-back piano accompaniment, reflecting the raw, genuine nature of the singer’s feelings.

Of course, Laufey was not the first person to write about these feelings. In “Sunday Kind of Love,” Etta James sings, “I want a Sunday kind of love / A love to last past Saturday night / And I’d like to know it’s more than love at first sight.” James expresses a desire for a relationship that she can count on — something beyond infatuation or lust. Something real.

In “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” a more upbeat song — because peace doesn’t equal boring or slow — Stevie Wonder sings about expressing feelings openly all year round. Wonder assures listeners that there does not need to be an occasion to love. Instead, it can and should be something we choose to do all the time. In a similar vein, “When I’m 64” by The Beatles features the theme of choosing to love someone for a lifetime, or at least until you are 64. From little things like gardening together, to saving up for summer vacations, to celebrating birthdays together, The Beatles paint the idea of a peaceful life for two in this classic love song.

Today, Hozier is often praised for his beautiful depictions of love, and in “Like Real People Do,” it becomes clear why. In this song, Hozier shatters listeners’ hearts with lines like, “I will not ask you where you came from / I will not ask, and neither should you / Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips / We should just kiss like real people do.” These words express the sweetness of unconditional acceptance. When combined with a melodic chorus and a guitar line that feels like spring, this song turns into magic — it turns into love.

The final song on my playlist is “My Love All Mine” by Mitski. While this song may not tell an obvious love story, it does something else essential — it assures listeners that expressing one’s love is a good thing. People can love for the sake of loving, without expectations and without excessive ups and downs. This song centers listeners, replicating the feeling of a healthy relationship.

While I love chaos as much, if not more, than the next person, there is something beautiful about being reminded that calm, fulfilling love exists. Whether you are in a relationship, single or something in between, I believe that grounding yourself in music centered around healthy relationships will allow you to open up to your own feelings, and just maybe, to the possibility of love.

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Grace Azaula, Opinon Editor
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