If Olivia Rodrigo's Sour has given us any indication of what's in store for 2021, we can most definitely expect to be in our feels. It's fitting we would begin the year this way after living in the hellscape that was 2020, but alas we can still look forward to better days—and new music—ahead. Here, our running list of the best new love songs of 2021 to help fill the void of any affection you're missing IRL. Bookmark this tab for updates throughout the year.
"good 4 u" - Olivia Rodrigo
Raise your hand if you've replayed this song 100 times LIKE A DAMN SOCIOPATH!! Sure, this one is all over Tik Tok, but you're hearing it everywhere and anywhere for two reasons: 1) Olivia Rodrigo and Daniel Nigro are master lyricists and 2) It's just that good.
"Mr. Perfectly Fine" - Taylor Swift
It's the summer of broken hearts! The time has come to release all of our teenage angst in the club—first to "good 4 u" then to Taylor Swift's "Mr. Perfectly Fine" from Fearless (Taylor's Version).
"Kiss Me More" - Doja Cat ft. SZA
Doja Cat's upcoming album, Planet Her, includes this bop "Kiss Me More" about the unpredictability and excitement (read: lots of making out!) of a new romantic interest, featuring the one and only SZA.
"Last Train Home" - John Mayer
If you get "Africa" vibes from the beginning of John Mayer's new single "Last Train Home," you're not alone. Nevertheless, the song hits home when it comes to making a decision between lovin' or leavin.'
"Leave the Door Open" - Silk Sonic
"Freak in You" - PARTYNEXTDOOR
When PARTYNEXTDOOR dropped COLOURS, an eight-song package of his two EPs "Colours" (2014) and "Colours 2" (2017) in January, we were reminded of the sultry goodness that is "Freak in You." So, yes, it makes this 2021 list.
"Beautiful Mistakes" - Maroon 5 & Megan Thee Stallion
It's 2021, and we have the Maroon 5 + Megan Thee Stallion collab we didn't know we needed in "Beautiful Mistakes," a love song about regrets and letting go.
"Death Do Us Part" - Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas's Spaceman is a departure from the bops we're used to, but nonetheless includes some love songs, like "Death Do Us Part," that will get you in your capital-F Feels. "You could put me in a coffin / I'm always gonna find your love / You know there ain't no stoppin' / Even when I'm high above."
"CINDERELLA, Pt. 1" - CHIKA
It's difficult to choose between "CINDERELLA, Pt. 1" (CHIKA's signature bars are all over this) and "CINDERELLA, Pt. 2" (a slower continuation of pt. 1) on CHIKA's EP, "ONCE UPON A TIME," but maybe that's the point.
"Feels" - WATTS ft. Khalid
Khalid joined WATTS for a new version of the rising singer-songwriter's 2018 single, "Feels," creating a peaceful, calm vibe only Khalid could successfully achieve with otherwise angsty lyrics about fighting feelings.
"Drivers License" - Olivia Rodrigo
By now, everyone and their mother has listened to Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License" because, yes, we are all still 16 years old deep down.
"On It" - Jazmine Sullivan ft. Ari Lennox
Jazmine Sullivan and Ari Lennox absolutely did that in "On It." Between this and "Girl Like Me," it will be hard not to find a song that gets you in the mood on Sullivan's new album, Heaux Tales.
"Anyone" - Justin Bieber
A change of pace from his recent drop, "Lonely," "Anyone" is Justin Bieber's heartfelt note to his wife, Hailey Bieber, which simultaneously claims his love for her and his fear of losing her. "Forever's not enough time to / Love you the way that I want / 'Cause every morning I find you / I fear the day that I don't."
"Messed Up" - Asiahn
Singer-songwriter Asiahn dropped "The Interlude," a.k.a. the five-track EP we do not deserve. "All the songs on 'The Interlude' started from organic, 'bomb jam sessions,' she says. To which we say, hell yes.
"Right Where You Left Me" - Taylor Swift
While Taylor Swift released evermore in 2020, she released the deluxe album in 2021 with two additional singles: "Right Where You Left Me" and "It's Time to Go." As Swift notes, "Right Where You Left Me" is "a song about a girl who stayed forever in the exact spot where her heart was broken, completely frozen in time." It feels like we're all frozen in time these days, which makes this one pretty relatable.
"She Said" - dvsn
"And I know you hate the person I've become / But I'd give it all / I'd give it all, I'd give it all for you." On January 15, dvsn dropped Amusing Her Feelings, the four-song continuation of the R&B duo's 2020 album, A Muse in Her Feelings. Between "She Said" and the mashup of Kings of Leon’s "Use Somebody" and "Sex on Fire," dvsn always promises to put us in our feels.
"De Una Vez" - Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez has officially entered the Latin music scene. "This is the beginning of something I’ve wanted to explore for so long," she announced on Instagram the night of the release. The song is about healing after heartache, and ultimately an ode to her heritage. You can read the Spanish to English translation of the lyrics here.
"34 + 35 (Remix)" - Ariana Grande ft. Doja Cat & Megan Thee Stallion
Ariana Grande's "34 + 35" from her sixth studio album, Positions, just got an upgrade courtesy of Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. To put it simply, the remix slaps.
"When You're Home" - Tyler Shaw
Canadian singer-songwriter Tyler Shaw's "When You're Home" is the type of love song we could all use these days as we redefine what it means to feel safe and secure at home.
"Flames" - Mod Sun ft. Avril Lavigne
"I still burn for you." —Avril Lavigne and also Daphne Bridgerton