Required Listening: The Best Love Songs of 2018

And on the seventh day, God blessed us with Frank Ocean.

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Design by Travis McHenry

We take our love songs very seriously, and if the past 10 months are any indication of the bullshit we'll continue to encounter, we're going to need them. Of course, there will always be a special place in our hearts for the classics, but there's nothing like a fresh song to put us in our feels five (or 10?) times over.

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Hit play and pretend you're in a romantic music video with the best new love songs 2018 has to offer, below.

"Mariner's Apartment Complex" - Lana Del Rey

As Lena Dunham so eloquently put it, "The new Lana song is perfect. Why are all the songs I wanna cry about boys to produced by my ex-boyfriend CC @jackantonoff." "Mariner's Apartment Complex" is Lana's first single from her upcoming album Norman Fucking Rockwell set for release next year, which will be entirely produced by Antonoff. It's rip-your-heart-out-worthy, but just focus on how good it is and you won't feel sad.


"Come See About Me" - Nicki Minaj

After much anticipation, Nicki released her fourth studio album Queen this summer. Surprisingly, most people don't seem to be talking about "Come See About Me"—a rare, intimate look at Nicki's soft side. It's slow, emotional, and I absolutely need more of this.


"I'll Never Love Again" - Lady Gaga

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When your dad repeatedly tells you to put on "I'll Never Love Again," you know it's a song for the ages. Cry alone in your room to it, but first see A Star Is Bornwhere the song originates from—to make sure you get every single tear you can out of it. Honestly, it was hard to choose between this and "Shallow," so don't @ me.


"Who Hurt You?" - Daniel Caesar

Do not sleep on Daniel Caesar. I repeat: Do not sleep on Daniel Caesar. He's been around for a few years now and is so incredibly talented, and "Who Hurt You?" is his first single of the year after his highly-praised Freudian album debut in 2017. The song is sexy and cool. Plus, Caesar's angelic vocals will probably remind you of Frank Ocean. You'll see what I mean.


"Trip" - Ella Mai

If you don't know who Ella Mai is, it's time to queue up her playlist on Spotify. The 23-year-old British R&B singer released her biggest single, "Boo'd Up," in 2017 and this year Nicki Minaj and Quavo joined the young artist to make a sultry remix of it. Then came "Trip," released in August, which hit #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 before she debuted her 16-track self-titled album. To say it's been The Year for Mai would be an understatement.

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"The End of Love" - Florence + The Machine

"I've always been in love with you / Could you tell it from the moment that I met you?" Feel the depths of your soul come alive when you listen to "The End of Love" from Florence + The Machine's new album, High As Hope. This song is as delicate as it is heartbreaking—maybe because Florence is a literal walking angel (definitive proof here), or because it's her most intimate album yet.


"Back to You" - Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez made her first true summer anthem with "Back to You," which is accompanied by a very Old Hollywood rom-com-esque music video (see above). As MarieClaire.com's culture editor notes, "stylistically it's very Call Me By Justin Bieber’s Name." For a more lighthearted but still lovey vibe, hit play on this one with the windows down.


"Summer Games" - Drake

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We learned two things from Drake when he dropped his new album, Scorpion, on June 29: 1) He's officially a #daddy and 2) "Summer Games" is one of the best songs on his 25-track album. Yes, it has a semi-upbeat mix, but don't let that distract you from the heartbreaking lyrics like, "You said 'I love you' too fast / So much for that, girl, summer just started / And we're already done." It's relatable for anyone who has ever ended a relationship before it even started.

"New Light" - John Mayer


When you're not laughing at John Mayer's music video for "New Light"—which deserves to be played at every bar mitzvah until the end of time—you'll be reminded that, at its core, the song is a wholesome plead to his crush to see him in a new way.


"Stay" - Post Malone

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Question number one: Why am I crying in the club? Question number two: How did Post Malone go from "White Iverson" to "Stay?" The simple answer: He's always tired, and probably wanted to tone it down a bit from the rest of his album, Beerbongs & Bentleys.


"Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B

Enter: the moment in the club where every single girl is like, "Oh my god, I love this song!" Maroon 5's Adam Levine created a catchy love song dedicated to women everywhere with his band's single, "Girls Like You." The music video features 25 badass women, but let us not forget he's really singing the song to his wife, Behati Prinsloo.


"Help Us to Love" - Tori Kelly ft. The Hamiltones

Like I mentioned earlier, 2018 has been one hell of a year between Trump's blatant mock of the #MeToo movement, his immigration policy that kidnaps children from their parents, a series of tragic acts of gun violence that have yet to inspire action from Congress, and his wife Melania Trump's tone-deaf jacket, amongst many other things.

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All of which makes Tori Kelly's "Help Us to Love" required listening now more than ever. We very much appreciate its soothing gospel vibes and lyrics like, "This world is weeping, hurting, broken and begging for change / Oh yeah / But still we marching, praying, dying, and things stay the same / When will we see / Till everyone's free / There'll never be peace between you and me."


"Call Out My Name" - The Weeknd

The Weeknd's My Dear Melancholy is essentially a six-song love note dedicated to his exes Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid (though he's now back together with the latter). "Call Out My Name" is specifically directed at Gomez when he sings, "I almost cut a piece of myself for your life / Guess I was just another pit stop," referring to her kidney transplant. It's definitely one of those "you'll regret losing me" songs all of us need to play on-repeat every once and a while.


"Moon River" - Frank Ocean

Certified charmer Frank Ocean dropped this soothing ballad on Valentine's Day. The song is a cover of the Oscar-winning tune that made its debut in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, and it may or may not make you tear up on the spot from its goodness.

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"Love Lies" - Khalid & Normani

"Sorry if it's hard to catch my vibe / I need a lover to trust, tell me you're on my side / Are you down for the ride?" Khalid's unique voice paired with Fifth Harmony member Normani's powerful vocals create a sultry vibe on their new song, "Love Lies." Khalid made his big debut with his 2017 album, American Teen, and I've never been the same since.


"I Like Me Better" - Lauv

Lauv isn't as popular as the two artists above, but the 24-year-old's music certainly doesn't disappoint. "I Like Me Better" is an upbeat head-bobber (yeah, you know) and will make you think of all the good feelings that come with love. Oh, and the scene on the bus in To All of the Boys I've Loved Before when Lara Jean and Peter head on their ski trip.


"Faded Love" - Tinashe ft. Future

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Tinashe put herself on the map with her hit 2014 single, "2 On," and has been working on new music ever since. Several highly anticipated singles are set for release this year—the first of them here, with rapper Future (a.k.a. the music duo you didn't know you needed).


"You Make It Easy" - Jason Aldean

Can't forget about the country lovers out there. Jason Aldean's newest single from his upcoming album Rearview Town is very romantic. "With every little thing you do / You're my sunshine in the darkest days / My better half, my saving grace / You make me who I wanna be / You make it easy." Sigh.

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