It's easy to screw up Valentine's Day. Maybe you've cooked the perfect dinner, but your wine is plonk. (For an affordable bottle that tastes great, try Apothic Red.) Maybe you've written some charming poetry in a card, but didn't buy a gift. (Women might appreciate an Essential Trio for Lips and Nails from Chanel and a bottle of Gucci Guilty. For men, a Kaufmann Mercantile handmade pewter whiskey flask will get a big smile, especially if it's filled with an amazing Scotch from the Macallan's Masters of Photography range.) You've got all that under control? Good for you, Mr./Ms. Perfect. But you'll still need the right music to play as you spend quality time with your paramour. Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto is great, but only lasts for ten minutes. Better to go with a unique Valentine's Day playlist, and we happen to have one for you right here. It was created exclusively for BlackBook by DJ Lindsay Luv (pictured), who has luv in her name, so you know it's good. To hear the tunes, click on the Lindsay Luv/BlackBook Valentine's Day Spotify Playlist below, and then scroll down to read her advice on how to create a romantic playlist of your own, as well as which mood-killing songs to avoid. Good luck, lover.
How do you create a great mix for Valentine's Day that's at once romantic and cool?
Creating the right Valentine's Day mix is about finding songs that are current, hip, and melodically pleasant that both set the mood and hint at love and romance without bashing you over the head with it. I tend to think old school love ballads, sappy R&B, or the obvious top love tracks of all time tend to bash people over the head with it and induce eye rolling and cringing (especially from the fellas) and might do the opposite of setting the mood. They may even scare your partner away. The best way to create a great romance-inducing mix is to pick current and cool indie songs and maybe a few really great throwbacks with a playlist flow that starts out upbeat and unassuming and melts into something sexy and softer as the night heads that way as well.
How about some old love songs that aren't overly sappy?
A really old throwback mixed in to your playlist, such as the classic "Crimson and Clover," is cool, but I would generally stay away from Whitney Houston love ballads and Boys to Men harmonies unless it's a theme party. If you have a record player, blues or jazz can be totally romantic in the right setting. For a more modern playlist, there are tons of great indie tracks that set the mood, appropriately allude to topics of love, are gender-neutral, and won't make you or your partner want to gag.
Any particular genres to look for?
I would say indie, chill-out, oldies, singer-songwriter, blues, jazz, and maybe some contemporary R&B.
Any particular artists?
If you don't have time to put together an actual playlist, entire albums from artists like Washed Out, Thievery Corporation, Zero 7, Beach House, Radiohead, or an oldie like Sam Cooke are generally relaxing and romantic with a great flow to set the mood.
Anything to avoid that might kill the mood?
I would avoid songs that label you as a psycho, like "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette, or something over-the-top dramatic like "Right Here Waiting For You" by Richard Marx, or something tweeny like a Justin Bieber's "As Long as You Love Me," or "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. No adult wants to make out while listening to childlike radio hits.
Is there an order you should play the songs? Start with this, lead up to this, mellow out with this? (Seduction, sex, cigarette ...)
I think there is always a good flow to romantic playlists. Whether it's your first date or you've been married for 30 years, you want to spend some time seducing, you want to get down to business, and then you want to relax together. I would start with more upbeat stuff to keep it easy, flirty and comfortable to start, get into a little sexier tunes later in the evening, and flow into chill-out tracks for the end.
Sounds good. What clubs are you playing at these days?
I have been at my residency at the Mondrian Skybar in Los Angeles every Saturday night for 3+ years, which is always a blast. The rest of the time I divide between fashion, brand and celebrity events, and touring. I just got back from playing at the Armani Privé nightclub in Dubai and now I am heading to New York to play at the Daily Style Sessions at Stone Rose Lounge for Fashion Week. I have also been doing a lot of behind the scenes work as a brand music specialist having created and supplied mixes for Victoria's Secret radio station and Lucille Roberts gyms on TheFuture.fm! I have a lot of exciting collaborations and music marketing projects developing with numerous brands and clientele this year as well as work on my own lifestyle blog Luvlifestyle.