The 13 Best Love Songs of 2021 (So Far)
It’s 2021, the year that Taylor Swift is releasing her re-recording of Fearless, so that’s the list. Thanks for stopping by.
Kidding! Mostly. With albums due from Adele, Frank Ocean, and if there is a lord in heaven, Lorde, 2021 is bound to produce a bountiful crop of love songs. And don’t we deserve it after the isolation and gloom of 2020? Fortunately, just two months in, the collective music industry has cranked out a whole library of love songs to get you going. Yes, the heavy hitters are on the way, but you can’t ignore the love fest out there right now.
For the sake of not leaving Olivia Rodrigo’s smash hit drivers license off the list, we’re counting both happy in love and sad breakup songs within the general umbrella of love songs this year. So whether you’re in need of a scream-sing at the top of your lungs in the car or a heart doodle in the concrete a la the greatest TikTok trend, here are the best love songs of the year so far.
“Holy Rose,” Fruit Bats
Slowing it back down again with new moody Fruit Bats track “Holy Rose” off their upcoming March album, if your love life requires some more sullen vibes at the moment.
“Love Story (Taylor’s Version),” Taylor Swift
A tried and true classique, Taylor’s rerecording of “Love Story,” following her record label fall-out saga, hits just as hard as it did in middle school. Maybe harder. The single was released this February and went straight to number one on the country charts, and the rest of the re-recorded album is expected April 9. You’re lying if you say the opening bars of this don’t hit you in the feels.
“On It,” Jasmine Sullivan, Ari Lennox
The gorgeous, sultry vocals of Jasmine Sullivan and Ari Lennox on “On It,” a sexy track on Jasmine Sullivan’s fantastic new album Heaux Tales, are sure to get you in the mood for love.
“If It Ain’t Me,” Dua Lipa
If you like your love songs dance-able, queen of quarantine bangers Dua Lipa has a 2021 single about being head over heels in love for you. One to be blasted in the shower until the clubs re-open.
“Anyone,” Justin Bieber
Get all your listens of Justin Bieber’s romantic ballad about Hailey Baldwin in now before the world returns to normal and you have to hear this at every wedding during the couple’s first dance.
“drivers license,” Olivia Rodrigo
TikTok’s influence on the charts has been evident for a while now, but Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single “drivers license” took it to the next level. The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star’s ballad debuted at number one and broke multiple streaming records, including Spotify’s record for most streams of a song in a single week. It’s viral nature is proof that nothing is more universal than a teenage heartbreak.
“Between Us,” dvsn feat. Snoh Aalegra
Canadian R&B duo dvsn’s album A Muse in Her Feelings was re-released in 2021 with four new tracks. This is not one of those four, but we’re sneaking the sensual “Between Us” featuring Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra on here anyway.
“Missing Out,” Syd
A slow, synth-filled R&B track with Syd’s syrupy vocals is a breakup anthem for once you’re over the worst of it, and ready to acknowledge that they’re the one who’s missing out.
“chinatown,” Bleachers feat. Bruce Springsteen
Technically a late 2020 song, but we’d be remiss to leave “chinatown” off the list. Jack Antonoff teamed up with fellow New Jersey native Springsteen for an emotional track to blast from the rooftops when you’re falling in love. As always, he’s a genius when it comes to crafting songs that make you feel like your life is a movie.
“Right Where You Left Me,” Taylor Swift
Although evermore was released in 2020, the deluxe edition released in 2021 features two new songs including “Right Where You Left Me”—a string-heavy, folksy song about struggling to move on from a past love. A good tune for a moody walk and/or stare out the window longingly.
“Come Over,” VanJess
Nigerian-American R&B sister duo VanJess’ “Come Over” is a funky track for grooving around your room when you’re in the giddy, post-third date phase.
Another bedroom R&B tune comes from Raveena. It’s airy and soft; perfect for falling in love.
“Begin Again,” Adam Melchor
Adam Melchor is a 24-year-old singer-songwriter from New Jersey with the acoustic chops of an angel. We recommend listening to his latest single “Begin Again” on a highway drive or spring afternoon walk when you’re feeling optimistic about your love life. (Shoutout to his 2018 track “Real Estate” for being one of the best love songs of all time, which we couldn’t put on this list of 2021 songs for obvious reasons).