A Collection of the Cutest Songs by Band Mates Who Are Lovers


These days, it’s quite the thing to be in a band and, like, make sweet music with your spouse. But crucially, couples are doing so without a hint of Abba-shaped novelty. Even King Hippy himself, Devendra Banhart, is in on it all: just look at him frolicking around in the nude with his girlfriend in this new “love-in” promo video for Olivers Peoples sunglasses, unafraid of being called a soppy, willy-brandishing hipster. The next thing you know they’ll be writing songs together under an Ayahuasca-inspired moniker and asking for organic massage oil on their tour rider.

OK, we get it. We know you’ve had enough of Valentine’s Day schmaltz already and you’d rather stare into Sarah Palin’s cold, dead eyes than face another playlist to get you in the mood, baby. But these kinds of couples make the cutest kinds of love songs because, well, they really wanna jump each other’s bones all the time. Hopefully our video playlist will make you want to sway from side to side — or at least e-mail it to your object of woo-dom — rather than bend over and retch.

1. Summer Camp – “Round the Moon” (2010)

When anti-folk raconteur Jeremy Warmsley met indie music scribe Elizabeth Sankey, it was a match made in hipster heaven. They moved in together, and instead of arguing over whose turn it was to take out the trash, they made swoonful, lo-fi, and overtly kitschy synth-pop from their bedroom studio about high-school crushes and unrequited love on a dollar store keyboard. “Round the Moon” is like watching a 1980s prom scene on a stuck VHS tape – its opening lines, from Molly Ringwald, are even lifted from cult teen flick Sixteen Candles – and its video, an edited down version of 1970s Scandinavian movie A Swedish Love Story, will make you whimper with its chubby-faced cuteness.

Cute rating: 8/10

2. Kisses – “Midnight Lover” (2011)

Barf bags at the ready, folks: Los Angeles-based Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson comprise a duo called Kisses and have a song called “Kissing,” to which we’re pretty sure that people pucker up for a bit of you-know-what when it comes on the stereo. Their gigs must be like a scene from Shortbus. Anyway, for extra twee points, they’ve also got a song called “Midnight Lover” from the same album, The Heart of Nightlife, which is coming out as a single on – guess when – February 14. It’ll drench your Valentine’s Day in dejected disco a la Hot Chip that you can imagine guys in tight white suits and bushy moustaches rumbaing around to on a flashing dancefloor. Do we care about its dangerous levels of twee? No, because any song that has the chorus “I’d like to take you out for a nice steak dinner, just me and you” is clearly more awesome than unicorns.

Cute rating: 7/10

3. Tennis – “Waterbirds” (2010)

Another in the growing line of new bands sporting athletic names (Hockey, Swimming…), Tennis are the least macho of them all. Instead, husband-and-wife Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley exercise some gorgeous skills in dreamy sunshine-dappled ’60s pop. “Waterbirds” is their expert backhand: three minutes of lush, wistful and pastoral stuff with Moore’s delightful country lilt wrapping itself around her stories of “salty marshes” and “thicketed fields” like her innocent lady lungs are in love for the first time. You will listen to it on repeat, you will.

Cute rating: 9/10

4. PJ Harvey and Nick Cave – “Henry Lee” (1996)

Boy likes Leonard Cohen and sharp suits. Girl likes Captain Beefheart and, erm, sharp suits. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love and record a duet together. Legendary rockers PJ Harvey and Nick Cave were, together, The Uber Goths, and their romance during the 1990s put Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter’s cartoonish witchiness to shame. “Henry Lee,” their only recorded duet, is testament to this: watching the video is like peeking in on a couple having really slow, intimate sex – and all they’re really doing is sniffing and nuzzling each other like soppy puppies. If you can stomach that sort of intensity, it’s certainly romantic, in a murder ballad sort of way.

Cute rating: 6/10

5. Arcade Fire – “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” (2004/5)

cloxwork: this makes me want to create a story and a scene, with two lovers_ meeting in a tunnel they dug under the snow when it covered their entire town. it’s like post-apocalyptic romeo and juliet.

Thank you, cloxworx. Even though you are directly quoting from Arcade Fire’s own lyrics, where they tell you that it’s snowing, and that there are tunnels leading from each other’s houses, through which to escape under, your YouTube comment is about the most spot-on observation about this song’s romantic connotations that we’re gonna get. The multi-layered single, our first introduction to husband-and-wife duo Win Butler Régine Chassagne, can be interpreted as being about many an abstract subject, but we like to see it, quite simply, as their ode to just wanting a cuddle.

Cute rating: 8/10

6. Mates of State – “Get Better” (2008)

Married couple + breezy harmonies + animal masks + formation dancing = cutest indie couple ever! In fact, most of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel’s material is sickly sweet (in a good way), but this track from 2008 takes the saccharine to new heights.

Cute rating: 10/10

7. Jonny Cash and June Carter Cash – “Help Me Make It Through The Night” (2006)

The ultimate couple-in-a-band. Johnny and June Carter Cash had the kind of hair-frying stage chemistry that twosomes these days can only wish for. They have, of course, played and recorded endless duets together, but this Kris Kristofferson cover’s lyrics resonate more deeply with their turbulent relationship, in which we’re sure that June helped Johnny through many a sleepless night. Years on from this performance sometime in the 1970s, Johnny and June finally laid it down in the studio for their 2006 compilation, June Carter and Johnny Cash: Duets. In fact, that entire album puts the WAYCOOL into “cute.”

Cute rating: 10/10

8. Sonic Youth – “I Love Her All The Time”

“She comes into my mind/twisting through my nerves… She’s on my side/I love her all the time.” This is about as cue as the long-standing king and queen of the hipsters, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, get about each other — on record, at least. Moore’s lyrics are psychedelic yet confessional and Gordon’s everlasting drone is like a whale song response. But we bet you a dime that they’d tell us that it was about their family dentist, not each other.

Cute rating: 7/10

9. Rodrigo Y Gabriela – Hanuman (2010)

Whether this fearsome fret-battering twosome are a real-life couple or not is still in debate in the blogosphere – just imagine the fiery fornication brought on this frenetic flamenco slice of acoustic METAL. But, like, whatever: dueling duo Rodrigo and Gabriela are just adorable in their matching black T-shirts, Mexican guitar flourishes, and rock lunges. Undeniably cute.

Cute rating: 8/10

10. Cults – “Go Outside” (2010)

Mysterious boy/girl student lovebirds, Cults, have barely been a band two minutes but already they’re wooing the world with their lo-fi brand of retro-pop. This, the New York duo’s first single, has been described as Langley School-meets-Jackson 5 by the NME and sees singer Madeline Follin tell her lover that he should quit whining, get out of bed and share their day together. Aww.

Cute rating: 7/10

11. Best Coast and Wavves – “Got Something For You” (2010)

The stoner heartthrobs from Best Coast and Wavves may have recorded a song together for a festive compilation last December, which is seasonally confusing, but its promise of presents and searching for gifts in the dark could easily apply to Valentine’s Day too – if you blank out the bit about Christmas trees.

Cute rating: 9/10