Quirky indie songs about love and happiness
May 22, 2013 9:32 AM   Subscribe

My dear friend who is known for making awesome mix tapes/CDs/playlists is getting married, and I'd love to give him an awesome mix CD as part of my wedding present. So, musical & in-the-know folks of AskMe, please give me your best suggestions for what songs should be on it! Artist suggestions welcome too, but ideally you will suggest specific songs.

What I'm looking for:
* Songs about happiness and love and making a life together (especially songs about love between two playful, creative, quirky people)
* Summery-feeling songs or songs that evoke California and L.A.
* At least a few lesser-known artists/songs. He is pretty knowledgeable about music, but it would be awesome to be able to introduce him to something new.
* I have a slight preference for current stuff, so that this mix can remind him of 2013 and this time in his life. Older stuff is fine too though.

He has pretty broad taste in music, but his favorites tend towards quirky and well-made indie-type stuff, alt/jazzy bluegrass, and some classic singer-songwriter/rock.

By way of getting your minds going, here's a long list of some of the many artists he likes:
* John Hartford
* The Magnetic Fields
* Bela Fleck
* Beach House
* The Books
* Animal Collective
* The Decemberists
* The Shins
* The Mountain Goats
* Fun
* Gotye
* The Tallest Man on Earth
* Dirty Projectors
* Seu Jorge
* Iron Horse
* Deerhunter
* Best Coast
* Florence + The Machine
* OK Go
* Lost in the Trees
* Phosphorescent
* Arcade Fire
* Neutral Milk Hotel
* Lightships
* Wilco
* Iron & Wine
* The Avett Brothers
* Old 97's
* Beirut
* Tom Petty
* The Beatles
* Paul Simon
* Cat Stevens

All right, dazzle me with your songs of love and joy!
posted by aka burlap to Media & Arts (60 answers total) 75 users marked this as a favorite
A Million Years by Alexander

It's sweet and romantic :)

Like a meteor crush
I'm gonna tell the world
Been a million years full of tears
But I found my girl

posted by greenish at 9:42 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love Will Oldham's New Partner as covered by The Frames.

Ditto Badly Drawn Boy's The Shining.
posted by punchtothehead at 9:47 AM on May 22, 2013

The Postal Service - Such Great Heights. Adorable.
posted by corvine at 9:48 AM on May 22, 2013

Greg Johnson's Swagger got played at weddings so many times he recorded a wedding version of the song. He's a New Zealander but is based in Santa Monica and that shows in his music I think.
posted by shelleycat at 9:50 AM on May 22, 2013

Well, I was going to suggest some Magnetic Fields songs, but I'm sure your friend already knows them. Instead I'll recommend two of my own songs, which I'm confident that he'll like and that he's never heard before: July and Julia.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:52 AM on May 22, 2013

Old 97s - Question
posted by knile at 9:52 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yo La Tengo - Our Way to Fall.
posted by reverend cuttle at 10:00 AM on May 22, 2013

It's an oldie, but I'm pretty certain a mix like this needs to contain My Chinchilla by Cub.
posted by neroli at 10:00 AM on May 22, 2013

Flowers in Your Hair by The Lumineers
posted by coolsara at 10:04 AM on May 22, 2013

The Weepies, "I Was Made for Sunny Days".
posted by purpleclover at 10:05 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Robyn Hitchcock, I Feel Beautiful
posted by brianconn at 10:08 AM on May 22, 2013

Tallest Man On Earth - Thrown Right At Me
Bob Dylan and The Band - Wedding Song
Dirty Projectors – Impregnable Question

Sounds like homeboy and I have similar tastes and these three are def getting played at my wedding, should I ever meet the right lady.
posted by saul wright at 10:14 AM on May 22, 2013

Dirty Dancing


I Drive my Friend

by Frida Hyvönen
posted by mani at 10:15 AM on May 22, 2013

The Vaccines, "I Always Knew".
posted by fireandthud at 10:17 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Picking up on Robyn Hitchcock: So You Think You're in Love has a wonderful, upbeat and slyly skeptical view.

Also: The Cardigans - Gordon's Gardenparty (getting together with friends)
Happy Meal II (getting ready for a date!)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:17 AM on May 22, 2013

The Cinematic Orchestra, I Have Built A Home

Big Star, I'm In Love With A Girl

David Dondero, Stars Are My Chandelier

Elvis Perkins, While You Were Sleeping
posted by Flamingo at 10:23 AM on May 22, 2013

Lean on Me Telekinesis
posted by ephemerista at 10:28 AM on May 22, 2013

Lucky, Jason Mraz feat. Cobie Caillat
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:30 AM on May 22, 2013

"Lemonade" by Chris Rice.
posted by alysonagain at 10:32 AM on May 22, 2013

Ingrid Michaelson - The Way I Am
posted by 3fluffies at 10:34 AM on May 22, 2013

The Handsome Family, Weightless Again
posted by Tufa at 10:51 AM on May 22, 2013

It's not new, but I love almost every band on your list and my favorite love song about growing old together is John Prine's Spanish Pipedream. Starts off a little questionably, but ends most delightfully.
posted by stellaluna at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Robyn Hitchcock's "I Something You" is pretty awesome and also sly.

If I ever manage to find someone stupid enough to marry me again, I plan to play this cover of Talking Heads' This Must Be The Place
posted by like_a_friend at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

this is probably not super indie and is actually quite old, but I always thought it epitomized a quirky, upbeat love song-- Hellogoodbye's Here (in your arms)
posted by sprezzy at 11:14 AM on May 22, 2013

Rory Mcleod., TillI dont know who I am, from the album footsteps and heartbeats.
posted by BenPens at 11:30 AM on May 22, 2013

Response by poster: Fabulous suggestions so far, everyone! Keep 'em coming.
posted by aka burlap at 11:40 AM on May 22, 2013

Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
posted by Pwoink at 12:02 PM on May 22, 2013

Sea of Love - Cat Power
Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Eyes - Peter Bjorn and John
Home - Phillip Phillips
I Will Wait - Mumford and Sons
I Give It All 2 U - The New Orleans Bingo! Show
Faster - Matt Nathanson
posted by domo at 12:05 PM on May 22, 2013

She Don't Like Roses by Christine Kane.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2013

You could find a quirky indie cover of the actual Al Green song, Love and Happiness.
posted by mermily at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2013

don't quit! not quite! by heyhihello.
posted by littlegreen at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2013

Janie Porche's Sick Day. If you think you've heard that name before, you have.
Why don't you grab a glass of that lemonade / that I made for you this morning?
You could scoot your chair -- from over there -- we could watch the storms roll in.

We could rearrange the furniture so it blocks all the doors
Build a blanket house, on a blanket street -- little blanket stores.

We could build a movie set / of a downtown street
And act out a tiny love affair -- with our feet -- under the sheets.

We could play breakfast cereal checkers, baby -- I get to be the Lucky Charms.
King me with your Froot Loops, double-jump my pink marshmallow heart.

We could take all day -- and play with finger paints like we were nine.
I could take all night / to sign my name on your spine.

We could stay in / spend the whole day / spend the whole day playin'
We could just stay in

You could call in sick today, you could call in sick today
You could take a love-sick day, and stay with me.

posted by orthicon halo at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Real Estate, It's Real

I don't know how I missed this one the first time, it's one of my favorites
posted by Flamingo at 1:02 PM on May 22, 2013

Tyler Lyle's The Wine Makers Love Song
posted by mixedmetaphors at 1:23 PM on May 22, 2013

Yours Forever - The Generationals
You Know Me - Air Traffic Controller (fun.-like and ridiculously appropriate)
posted by aintthattheway at 2:24 PM on May 22, 2013

"My Song" or "Watch Me" - Labi Siffre
posted by rdnnyc at 2:36 PM on May 22, 2013

Beat Happening - Gravedigger Blues

Daniel Johnston - Love Wheel or Speedy Motorcycle

Jonathan Richman - When I Say Wife

The Microphones - Oh Anna

The Blow - Chocolates

The Robot Ate me - Apricot Tea

Diamond Rings - You and Me/www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIkMeaAfIRw">

Yo La Tengo - Today is the Day or Autumn Sweater

Calvin Johnson - Can We Kiss?

Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place

Lavender Diamond - There's a Perfect Love for Me

Dear Nora - Give Me Some of Your Love

Ok, time to stop procrastinating and get back to work. ;)
posted by dottiechang at 2:39 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's not new, but I love almost every band on your list and my favorite love song about growing old together is John Prine's Spanish Pipedream. Starts off a little questionably, but ends most delightfully.

The Avett Brothers covered this beautifully, for a more up-to-date indie version.

(The original version was my parents' wedding song. Very questionable!)
posted by peacrow at 3:26 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I love most of the artists your friend counts among his favorites. These fall into the "quirky" category perfectly:

I Will Follow - Katie Herzig
Movie Loves a Screen - April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Rock Scissors Paper - Jaymay
Just You and Me - Zee Avi
Crayola Doesn't Make a Color for Your Eyes - Kristin Andreassen
posted by peacrow at 3:49 PM on May 22, 2013

White Stripes, I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends
posted by loveyallaround at 4:04 PM on May 22, 2013

When We Fall In - Sean Hayes featuring Frazey Ford

Wild & You - My Bubba and Mi

Get Your Pants Off - Jon Spenser Blues Explosion
posted by biscuits at 5:03 PM on May 22, 2013

Architecture In Helsinki - Heart It Races, Do The Whirlwind

Fiery Furnaces - Comes The Summer
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:18 PM on May 22, 2013

of Montreal - Lysergic Bliss
posted by pipian at 6:13 PM on May 22, 2013

"Into Your Arms" by The Lemonheads. What a fun song!
posted by tkerugger at 8:38 PM on May 22, 2013

The Backseat - Gaslight Anthem

Just for the line "And if you never let me go, well I will never let you down."

or Handwritten by the same band: "Here in the dark, I cherish the moonlight
I'm in love with the way you're in love with the night
And it travels from heart to limb to pen"
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:45 PM on May 22, 2013

From the Juno soundtrack, All I want is you, by Barry Louis Polisar or Anyone Else but You by the Moldy Peaches.
posted by hydra77 at 10:39 PM on May 22, 2013

Current and fairly obscure:
California, if a little north: The Mowgli's - San Francisco (actually has a pretty good remix as well)
Rah Rah - Art And A Wife
Fake Shark Real Zombie - Paint It Gold
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:18 PM on May 22, 2013

I Love You, You Imbecile by Pelle Carlberg

Wedding Song
by Anais Mitchell and Justin Vernon

Only Love by Ben Howard

Big Jumps by Emiliana Torrini

Make Something Good by Laura Viers
posted by mollywas at 1:18 AM on May 23, 2013

Home by She & Him hits the 'California' and the quirky, sweet vibe - first song I thought of, and the first line will tell you why. Something else off the same album that is terribly sweet is If You Can't Sleep.
posted by undue influence at 3:38 AM on May 23, 2013

100% Indie as she's about to be signed to a major label, Olivia Wendel: We Know Better than Them

Ingrid Michaelson: You and I
Jack Johnson: Better Together
Iz Kamakawiwoʻole: Over the Rainbow
Love and Rockets: So Alive

Not indie but so nice, Phillip Phillips: Home
Tears for Fears: Head over Heels
and Sowing the Seeds of Love
U2: The Sweetest Thing
Bruno Mars: The Way You Are
posted by kinetic at 4:14 AM on May 23, 2013

Band of Horses: No one's gonna love you
posted by ZipRibbons at 4:58 AM on May 23, 2013

Goldfrapp — "Happiness"

Stevie Wonder — "Happier than the Morning Sun"
posted by John Cohen at 6:43 AM on May 23, 2013

Poi Dog Pondering - Rusted Weather (track #7)
posted by 1367 at 9:42 AM on May 23, 2013

My husband and I danced to Oh, It Is Love by hellogoodbye. Sweet song and fun to dance to!
posted by gracious floor at 1:27 PM on May 23, 2013

Conor Oberst - Sausalito
posted by naoko at 9:13 PM on May 23, 2013

You and Me Song - The Wannadies
Lovesong - The Cure
posted by bigasthesky at 10:33 PM on May 23, 2013

Seconding Anais Mitchell and Justin Vernon's Wedding Song.

Anais Mitchell and Peter Mulvey did a beautiful cover of The Magnetic Fields Book of Love. It's actually my favorite version of the song (Peter Gabriel covered it as well).

I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - The Jayhawks
Queen of the World - The Jayhawks

Her Eyes Dart Round - The Felice Brothers

Ho Hey
- The Lumineers

Baby Love Child
- Pizzicato Five

Belle & Sebastian's There's Too Much Love and Feist's Mushaboom are favorites of mine, but it's because I associate them strongly with important moments in my love life so they might only sound romantic to me.
posted by the fox's daughter at 12:40 PM on May 24, 2013

Love Song #1 – The White Buffalo
Stay Forever – Ween
A Lover Like You – The Avett Brothers
Bruises – Chairlift
The Rest of My Life – Sloan
Also, Pretend Love by the Avett Brothers is just great (it almost sounds mean, but it's actually a totally adorable proclamation of love, disguised as a piss-take)
posted by iamkimiam at 4:11 AM on May 28, 2013

Belle & Sebastian's There's Too Much Love...might only sound romantic to me

I've seen it used for the first dance at a wedding, and it worked very well.

Kiss Your Lips - Allo Darlin
Sunlight in a Jar - The Lucksmiths
Add Your Light To Mine - Lucky Soul
posted by liquidindian at 4:30 AM on May 28, 2013

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