Recommendations: Modern Love Ballad (Part II)

Love-inspired music will lasts forever.

Adhi Waluyo
5 min readOct 24, 2020

Let’s continue the list, here they are (if you want to read Part I first, click here):

1. Mazarin - Another One Goes By

My friend recommended me to listen to this one time and I still think this is one of the well-made modern ballads. This song has a 4 bars lead-guitar fill, well, a sad lead-guitar fill.

Moreover, it’s a sad song indeed:
“Don’t know what to offer you I’m only broke and lonely /And another one goes, and another goes by/ Sometimes when I step outside I see you standing right in front of me / And another one goes, and another goes by”

This is like a declaration of the need to connect with other people intimately. There’s a void which has to be fulfilled but it’s not blending well within the pessimistic thoughts he had. However, this person doesn’t seem trying hard enough to reach out, yet another one goes by.….

2. Benji Hughes — Waiting for Invitation

Acoustic guitar in a ballad? It’s a good sign and if not, it’s a great one. The handpicked acoustic guitar is the rhythm of the song and it makes the song intimately sneaking you the beautifully-written lyric:
“Stadiums cry / Go on wait until your band gets back together / Don’t you think it’s probably time you sit / And write your fans an apology letter”

For me, it’s a metaphor of someone who has “someday I’ll meet my significant one” mentality, only he doesn’t really have any important meaning afterward. It’s just another phase of life that needs to be followed, just like everyone around him. At least, he realized that he’s been waiting too long.

3. Eerie Summer - Yr Too Cool

What could be better than the relationship of a teenager with low self-esteem? Of course, the relationship of a teenager with significantly lower self-esteem. She views that his lover is way cooler than her (or vice versa) and admits that she’s not good enough to keep up:
”You’re too cool baby / Everybody turns their heads to see / You’re too cool for me / I am wondering ‘bout what could have been”

The song’s short duration and almost repetitive lyric reflect the mind of a teenager, short-span yet often feels superior/inferior to others around them. In this song’s case, the inferior one has an anthem.

4. Cuco - Lover is a Day

The 7-minute mark and repetitive melody don’t make me not repeating this song. I feel something pure, sweet and many other feelings that occur during relationship. The lyrics are in the form of a conversation between a couple:
“Funny thing about you is you read me pretty well / But you haven’t found me yet at the bottom of the well / Annoying you with smoke signals, asking you for help / ’Cause your immediate presence lifts me straight away from hell”

He’s not really telling his lover what he feels, he’s scared that his partner not ready. The thoughts messed up his mind so he only can give her a hint, which she didn’t notice. She might “read” him pretty well but she’s only reading the part she wants to read…

5. Paul Cherry - Like Yesterday

If you try to write a song after a breakup then sounds like this, please make another. The synthesizer’s sound really complements the song, giving it a mixed feeling between sad and confused. Additionally, it’s not only sad and confused:
“And I’m wishing that you would stay / Would you love me one more day? / Like yesterday”

There’s also a little bit of desperation in a form of begging his ex-lover. Seems like this was a one-sided decision where one of them is hurt and not giving a second chance is the option that only one of them agreed upon. Furthermore, the song ends calmly with a beautiful synth play.

6. Papooz - You and I

A ballad with a Beatlesque vibe will always hook me. The whole song is just two parts (verse and chorus) but each part is differentiated by its instrument sound. This one’s about a couple which still in a relationship:
“You and I, we get along well / First time I saw your / First time I saw your face / I knew it”

The simple approach of the song indicates its “straight to the point” lyrics. Equipped with a good walking bassline and soothing vocals, this song should be a good addition to your playlist, specifically, a shared playlist between you and your loved ones.

7. Lunar Vacation - Unlucky

Being cheated on is awful, this song reflects the real experience of the songwriter:
“See you in the street / Start to wonder deeply if I changed how I was / How would everyone view me?”

This song’s centered on self-pity and sadness of betrayal, along with the gentle guitar riff. Besides, the chorus stated the same lyric repeatedly (“You’re in love and I’m unlucky”), showing that the incident really had impacted the songwriter in terms of perceiving unpleasant things. Throughout the song, the lyrics are delivered with gloominess and discouragement which suits the vibe that wanted to be depicted.

8. Honeywhip - Vacation

The song’s melody is kind of familiar and really soothing. Lo-fi guitar sounds, embodied in slow tempo and harmonized vocals are a great combination, producing the sound which we used to listen in the 50s ballad. Its short duration makes the song more intimate and worth repeating over and over again.

9. Matt Maltese - Studio 6

You can tell directly that this song has a really sad vibe from the start. The dark-themed piano sounds peaceful with its slow-playing brings a regretful feeling. Well, it’s also depicted through the lyrics:
“And I remember you wearing that pink August coat / That my grandmother wore as my grandfather’s love / You’re a little more clear with this wine in my hand / And it colors my tongue as if your lipstick has run”

He’s remembering his past relationship, those memories are mostly the lyrics in the song. Its downhearted theme doesn’t imply that this song isn’t a cute nod to someone who has been an important part of his life.

Also, I have compiled the lists on a Spotify playlist, here it is:

Hope you enjoy it!