The two artists share their favorite love songs of all time, from Harry Nillson to Molly Drake.
Who better to ask about love songs than two of Nashville’s most notable rising musicians? In anticipation of their joint show at Baby’s All Right on February 14, we asked Erin Rae and Andrew Combs to put together a playlist of their favorite love songs. With picks ranging from classic ’60s anthems to ’00s bops, Rae and Combs showcase the wide berth of their songwriting inspirations and tastes.
“These songs cover a variety of kinds of love and all the feelings and experiences they bring,” Rae told AdHoc via email. “These are just a few of my faves lately. Can’t wait for Valentine’s Day at Baby’s–it makes sense to me to spend it playing music with people I love a lot!”
Listen to Rae and Combs’ playlist below.
Jonathan Richman – “True Love is Not Nice”
Erin Rae: I think JR is the best when it comes to speaking about what it feels like to experience emotions around love. It’s all so connected to the past and present.
Joni Mitchell – “A Case Of You”
Andrew Combs: My favorite song of all time just happens to be a love song, so I can throw it on here. Joni is a master and a wonder with words and melody. To encapsulate the feeling of loving someone with the line, “I could drink a case of you / and still be on my feet,” is beautiful and inspiring.
The Carpenters – “For All We Know”
Erin: The Carpenters make me think of two things: Christmas and Valentine’s Day, like it might be celebrated on the Lawrence Welk Show. Karen’s is my favorite voice.
Tim Hardin – “If I Were A Carpenter”
Andrew: Tim is another one of my favorites—a real underrated singer and songwriter who died too early and too tragically. This tune was one of his success stories, with the likes of Bobby Darin and Johnny Cash putting it on the charts. It’s a sentiment that many can identify with: Will you love me no matter what?
Floating Action – “To Connect”
Erin: I just love the feel and idea of how simple the chorus [of this song] is, connection being such a basic human need.
Laura Nyro – “Wedding Bell Blues”
Andrew: Great uptempo love song that actually isn’t that happy! Laura sings, “Kisses and love won’t carry me till you marry me, Bill.” Maybe it was Beyoncé’s inspiration for “Single Ladies?” I kid.
Molly Drake – “I Remember”
Erin: Nothing I could say about this song would do it justice. She was a genius!
Keyshia Cole – “Love”
Andrew: Lost love is a fairly age-old theme, and the lyrics to this tune aren’t really anything new, but for some reason it gets me every time. The melody is infectious and sad as hell.
Michael Nau – “Your Jewel”
Erin: To me, this song is about SELF LOVE, which is THE BEST KIND.
Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
Andrew: A great love song from the world’s best pop writer.
Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman – “Right In The Middle of Falling For You”
Erin: You get the gist of what the song is about right away, but I love, love, love this rendition of this John Hartford song by Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman. It’s really moving.
Harry Nilsson – “Without You”
Andrew: The penultimate lost love song. Nilsson was the king of melody, and this one puts that on display. Try your best not to sing along. I dare you.
Guy Clark – “Anyhow, I Love You”
Andrew: Guy is one of my favorite wordsmiths in the game. He had a knack for coming at an ordinary feeling from a different, more interesting angle. In this tune, he is pleading with his love to forget about the bad times. My favorite line: “I wouldn’t trade a tree for the way I feel about you / in the mornin’, anyhow, I love you.”
Bill Callahan – “Small Plane”
Andrew: Callahan’s words read like poetry to me. In fact, he is one of the few songwriters I can read without music accompanying the words. This record, and this song in particular, holds a special place in my heart. I think it’s all a matter of perspective, but to me, this is about being lucky with someone you love, someone who makes you a better person.
Make sure to catch Erin Rae and Andrew Combs at Baby’s All Right on February 14.