Diving into the shadowy depths of goth and post-punk, it’s intriguing to discover how many tracks within these genres are, at their core, serenades to the enigmatic emotion we call love. This Valentine’s Day, we’re peeling back the dark veils to reveal a collection of love songs that have lingered on mixtapes and playlists since the golden era of the ’80s and ’90s. These aren’t your average love songs; they come with a twist that’s as unique as the styles of music they originate from.
In curating this list, we’ve steered clear of any tracks that might raise an eyebrow or lead to a questioning glance from your significant other about the true meaning behind the lyrics. It’s a known fact that within the melancholic multiverse of goth and post-punk, themes of death, heartache, and the darker sides of love often intertwine with the music. Yet, amidst these, there are songs that explore love in all its complexities, sometimes even questioning its very essence, as seen in tracks like “Who Knows What Love Is?”
Even in the works of artists like Nick Cave, where the lyrics might delve into darker narratives, there exists a space for love songs that escape the traditional mold. This list celebrates that divergence, presenting a sweetly gothic romance through a collection of songs that resonate with the spirit of love in all its forms.
Highlights from this anthology include timeless classics like “The Love Cats” and “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure, whose albums ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’ and ‘Disintegration’ are replete with tracks that have serenaded lovers for decades. Siouxsie and the Banshees offer “The Last Beat of My Heart” as their most romantic ode, while The Glove’s “Punish Me With Kisses” adds a touch of the whimsical to the mix.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “Into My Arms” and Echo and The Bunnymen’s “Lips Like Sugar” represent the deeper, more introspective side of love, while Depeche Mode’s “Shake the Disease” and “Somebody” provide a synth-infused exploration of longing and connection.
From the haunting beauty of Dead Can Dance’s “In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated” to the passionate depths of Peter Murphy’s “All Night Long” and “Strange Kind of Love,” each song in this collection offers a unique perspective on love.
The list also features tracks from New Order, Tears for Fears, Modern English, The Pixies, Erasure, The Psychedelic Furs, and many more, each adding their distinct flavor to this romantic compilation. Notably, The Smiths’ “Hand In Glove” is celebrated as one of the best gay love songs of all time, showcasing the diversity and inclusivity within the genre.
As we navigate through this curated selection of goth and post-punk love songs, it’s clear that love, in all its forms, finds a place within the shadows and echoes of this music. Whether through the sweet strains of “Just Like Honey” by The Jesus and Mary Chain or the haunting allure of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love,” each track invites us to explore the many facets of love, beyond the conventional and into the depths of the heart.
So, as you delve into this saccharine collection of goth and post-punk romances, let the eclectic melodies and poignant lyrics remind you that love, in all its complexity, is a universal theme that transcends genres and eras. Enjoy this journey through the darker side of love, where passion meets the poetic, and romance is redefined.
Or maybe, as quite often is the case for Nick Cave, lyrics actually depict the murder of the recipient of said “affections.”
But that is not the case with this list. This is saccharin-sugary romance at its finest.
“The Love Cats” by The Cure
Dive into the whimsical world of The Cure with “The Love Cats,” a track that stands out for its jazzy, upbeat tempo and playful lyrics. It’s a song that captures the essence of quirky, unconventional love, making it a perfect addition to any Valentine’s playlist.
“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
Continuing with The Cure, “Just Like Heaven” is a quintessential love song that combines dreamy melodies with heartfelt lyrics. This track is a testament to the band’s ability to craft songs that resonate with the emotions of love and longing.
“One More Time” by The Cure
From the album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, “One More Time” is a tender, emotive track that delves into the depths of love’s longing and vulnerability. It’s a beautiful showcase of The Cure’s softer, more introspective side.
“Lovesong” by The Cure
“Lovesong” remains one of The Cure’s most beloved tracks, a straightforward yet profound ode to enduring love. Its simplicity and sincerity make it a timeless piece in the realm of love songs, as is ‘Plainsong’ and most of Disintegration as well .
“Slowdive” by Siouxsie and the Banshees
“Slowdive” is a sensual and salacious song by Siouxsie and the Banshees that explores the erotic intensities of physical love. The track’s hypnotic rhythm and seductive lyrics make it a captivating listen.
“Melt!” by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Melt!” is a captivating track with lyrics that metaphorically describe an individual melting in response to their lover’s touch. The song’s rich soundscape creates a deeply romantic experience for listeners.
“Punish Me With Kisses” by The Glove
The Glove’s “Punish Me With Kisses” captures the more tumultuous side of love, where passion and pain intertwine. This track showcases a darker, more intense aspect of romantic emotion.
“Into My Arms” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds present “Into My Arms,” a profoundly moving ballad that speaks to the soulful, spiritual dimensions of love. Cave’s deep, resonant vocals and the minimalist arrangement create a powerful emotional impact.
Each of these tracks offers a unique perspective on love, wrapped in the distinctive styles of goth and post-punk music. From the playful to the profound, these songs capture the many shades of love, making them perfect for a Valentine’s Day filled with depth, emotion, and a touch of darkness. See the rest of the list below:
Echo and The Bunnymen
“Lips Like Sugar”
“The Killing Moon”
“Shake the Disease”
Dead Can Dance
“In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated”
Clan of Xymox
“The Perfect Kiss”
“All Night Long”
“Strange Kind of Love”
This Mortal Coil
“Song To The Siren”
Tears for Fear
“Head Over Heels”
“I Melt With You”
“Chains of Love”
The Psychedelic Furs
“Love My Way”
“Hand In Glove” (One of the best gay love songs of all time!)
“There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
The Jesus and Mary Chain
“Just Like Honey”
“Hounds of Love”
My Bloody Valentine
“Never Say Goodbye”
“Shadow of Love”
“Pagan Love Song”
Not A Love Song
PIL’s “This Is Not A Love Song”
Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
The Sisters Of Mercy’s “Valentine”