Guest Mix: Everybody Needs a Valentine

This week we're celebrating all things love with a series of Guest Mixes! Kicking things off is Lily Mastrodimos, who you might know from Jawbreaker Reunion or Long Neck. 

You can read up on why she chose each track below, as well as a little behind the mix!


My favorite Valentine’s Day moment was last year, when my parents sent me, but not my sister, a box of chocolate covered strawberries because I was single and she was not. Their reasoning was “Everybody needs a Valentine”. It was bittersweet, and actually made me pretty sad for a little bit. But in the end I didn’t mind and I ate the whole box that night, cos fuck it, I didn’t have to share with anyone, more for me! A year later, I’m still living the ~single life~, and with my least favorite holiday approaching I turn to my favorite love/crush songs to drown out all the red and pink and candlelit dinners and stuffed bears (not the chocolate strawberries though—I will take one box please, now accepting secret admirers). My playlist was constructed with the idea in mind that everybody deserves the best, everyone deserves someone who will treat them with the utmost respect and care, and loves them wholeheartedly. Most of the songs are based on severe longing, but all are proclamations of love and emotion. Everybody may not need a Valentine, but everybody deserves to be wholly, eternally, and truly loved.
  1. The Max Levine Ensemble – “It’s Make Out Time!”Ever just wanna throw your arms around someone and kiss them a bunch? Same.
  2. Poor Things – “I Will" (Beatles cover) There are maybe millions of Beatles covers out in this world, but this is by far the best one. Poor Things put motion into this song, and the result sparkles with electricity and new earnestness.
  3. Nice Try – “No Good” This is how I feel about 95-100% of the time.
  4. Tarkio – “Tristan and Iseult” Before Colin Meloy founded the Decemberists, he was the lanky 20-something frontman of the folk band Tarkio. While Tarkio didn’t dwell on sailors or magic fawns like the Decemberists are wont to do, many of the classic literary elements of Meloy’s writing also gleam through Tarkio’s songs. There is a bare emotional clarity with Tarkio that sometimes you have to really dig for in Decemberists songs. In “Tristan and Iseult”, Meloy reworks the Celtic myth of two lovers into a story about modern day couple going out to town. The line “God I love you, but you trouble me” kills me every single time.
  5. Nana Grizol – “Tambourine-N-Thyme” Nana Grizol is the best band in the whole world. This song swells from the start as Theo Hilton sings about falling in love with someone who will never feel the same. I love this song because it finds its strength in the idea of honesty and openness. You have to learn to be ok with the fact that someone may not feel the same way about you as you do for them, and in that process you learn to be comfortable with yourself. “When you sit here by my side, whatever that implies would be just fine” is an amazing lyric and hits me hard. Just knowing that someone is a part of your life can be so extraordinary sometimes, and you can still love them in whatever role they fill.
  6. Angel Olsen – “The Waiting" When you feel like screaming your romantic frustrations into the sky, I suggest letting this song play in the background.
  7. High Dive – “Untouched” This song crashes into existence with such force that it could make your heart skip a beat.
  8. Big Star – “Thirteen” I will put this on every love playlist I ever make until the day I die. This song is everything to me. Letting love happen naturally, not forcing a relationship into existence, being OK with whatever the outcome of your honesty is. “Thirteen” is one of the most important songs ever written, and one of the best love songs in the galaxy.
  9. Dreamdate – “All I Want Is You” Sweet and simple, knowing what and who you need. You deserve to find the other half of your harmony! Find your perfect fit!
  10. Swearin’ – “Just” “I JUST WANT YOU TO LOVE ME” I have wanted to scream this into the heavens many, many a time. This is a perfect pop song. Getting caught off guard by feelings is something I think most everyone can relate to, like “holy shit WHERE DID THESE COME FROM” and then being frustrated because you just want the other person to have that realization too.
  11. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Hysteric" (acoustic): Karen O is a goddess, and while “Maps” is the classic YYYs love song, I think this one gets tragically overlooked. O’s acoustic songs are so beautiful, and the acoustic version of “Hysteric” can take the air out of your lungs. “You suddenly complete me” is a brilliant, brilliant line. The realization that you’re in love with someone, the surprise that is hands you, and the joy you feel in your heart. This song messes me up 100% of the time.
  12. Tacocat – “Chinchilla” SATAN SUCKS BUT YOU’RE THE BEST <3 <3  honestly this is the cutest love song in existence, I love Tacocat so much.
  13. Told Slant – “Pine Tree Lines” Feeling lonely is the worst feeling in the world, especially in the context of romance. “I am the girl my parents made, why don’t you love me anyway?” is a shot straight into the heart, it makes me keel over and it makes me want to cry. You want to explain everything to the person you love, you want them to see that this is who you are, and you want to know why they still don’t love you back. It’s frustrating and infuriating and in the end you’re tired of fighting it and all you can manage is a whisper.
  14. Laura Stevenson – “The Move" It’s their turn, you’ve put your heart and soul into trying to make something happen. If they’re interested, that’s amazing, if not, that’s fine, their loss.
  15. Nanuchka – “Red Ripped Shirt” “If you asked the shadows what they think about the sun, they’d say they wouldn’t be able to live without it. If you ask me what I think about your smile, I’d say I wouldn’t be able to live without it.” Fuck me the fuck up.
  16. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “I am Warm and Powerful” Spending time with someone you love, being worried about each other, knowing you at least have each other when you feel the most alone, being confused about how you feel about them. It’s all here! And you don’t know what it all means! All you know is that you’ve been thinking a lot about them, and they mean the world to you.