Arts, Column

O’Neil: Beabadoobee, Caroline Polachek, and More Celebrate Valentine’s Day With New Music

Valentine’s Day is characterized by a few classic things: flowers, chocolates, rom-coms, and love songs. 

Whether it be music for sharing earbuds on the train or slow dancing in the kitchen, Feb. 14 is an opportunity for artists to promote their new music and contribute to the soundtrack for the season. This year, artists Beabadoobee and Laufey celebrated pure love with new singles, Caroline Polachek embraced desire with her sophomore album, and Lizzy McAlpine accepted loneliness through a video for her viral track. 


After teasing the track on TikTok, Beabadoobee released her newest single “Glue Song” on Valentine’s Day. True to its timing, “Glue Song” is a lighthearted, flowy song that celebrates pure love. The track blends gentle guitar strums with melodic violin before descending into soft bass and percussion after the first verse. Beabadoobee relies on the simplicity of her lyrics to portray innocent love, expressing the sensation of being “tangled in love stuck by you / From the glue.” 


Laufey teamed up with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in a reimagining of one of her most iconic songs for “Valentine (Live at the Symphony).” With syncopated rhythms and powerful orchestral swells, the instrumentation floats seamlessly through the song. Laufey’s rich jazz vocals pair with her sweet lyrics as she expresses her fears and adoration for her loved one.

“What if he’s the last one I kiss? / What if he’s the only one I’ll ever miss?” Laufey sings. 

The track is reminiscent of old jazz ballads—timeless and classic. 

Caroline Polachek

In her album, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You, Caroline Polachek creates a sonic landscape for love and yearning. “Blood and Butter” blends syncopated bass with a bagpipe solo and percussive guitar strums. In a harmonic vocal line, Polachek expresses her desire for love. 

“What I want is to walk beside you,/  needing nothing but the sun that’s in our eyes,” she sings. 

One of the most memorable tracks, “Sunset,” utilizes Spanish folk elements to provide an image of “disillusionment: past all the distraction, dead ends, and false promises of the world is the love we too often take for granted,” Polachek said in an article from SPIN. With a catchy guitar hook and chorus riff, Polachek paints a portrait of the perfect love. 

“In your arms, a warm horizon / Don’t look back / let’s ride away,” she sings. 

Lizzy McAlpine

Lizzy McAlpine’s “ceilings” has garnered over 60 million Spotify streams since its release in April 2022. The lilting waltz recognizes the heartbreak of vividly imagining a relationship that doesn’t exist. For those without a valentine this year, it empathizes with the single experience. 

This Feb. 14, McAlpine released a music video for the viral track. She and co-star—and boyfriend—Michael Hanano are engaging in the sweet mundane aspects of a relationship—laying in bed, eating breakfast, and grocery shopping—until the bridge of the song, in which the viewer realizes she has been alone the whole time. But the video does end with a glimpse of hope, as McAlpine meets Hanano at a party for the first time, foreshadowing the start of the love she had imagined. 

Each artist embraced this holiday by portraying their unique experience with love, whether it be one of contentment, desire, or hope for the future. Whether it’s a sweet love song or a melancholy melody, there is a track for every listener this Valentine’s season. 

February 22, 2023