Hello friends! Aaron Thompson here from Empty Streets — some of you may also know me from “something else,” and I’ll let the rest of you figure it out on Google!
[Editor's note: Don't Google that at work. It is as NSFW as it gets. If you're under 18, don't do it.]
I’m the singer/songwriter/creative mind behind Empty Streets, a one man mess of dark, brooding synthpop.
Valentine's Day to me has always felt a bit corny in the "chocolates and teddy bears" sense, but I’m a sucker for any occasion that celebrates love, passion and usually involves tears — good or bad.
So whether you’re hunkered down with a loved one, or alone as hell this Valentine's Day, this playlist has something for both sides of the coin.
In no particular order here are my 10 Favorite Dark Love Songs.
Empty Streets' 'Age of Regret' EP is set to drop in June. Watch the video for the latest single, "Age of Regret" below. Of the song, Thompson said, "Often the hand that grants us our dreams also forever darkens our door. This is a song about how painful it is to make peace with a world that’s fed you beautiful poison since day one. You want to conquer the world, defeat your demons… but at what cost? This is the cost…this is the age that I regret."
Follow Aaron 'Small Hands' Thompson on Instagram, Twitter and Spotify.
Empty Streets, "Age of Regret" Music Video
Danzig, "How the Gods Kill"
Lyrically this isn’t actually a “love” song (although I’ve always found everything Glenn does to have an air of romance to it) , but I was once a young inexperienced punk who started dating an older, much more experienced goth girl. One night she put this song on, turned the lights low, and gave me the best Valentines Day I’d ever had at that point in my life.
Sorry, Danzig. Whether you intended it to be or not, this forever will be a love song in my mind.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, "Into My Arms"
This is simply one of the most beautiful songs in every way possible of all time. I can’t even put it into words so I won’t try. Bonus points — Nick weaves a good ol’ middle finger to God and religion throughout the lyrics, which is tough to do in a love song.
To me this is an ode to a former partner and relationship long past, a beautiful love song because it shows you can look back on someone you may not presently be with — but be so proud of what you were together. It’s a song that ascends to the heavens to let two souls meet again in eternity.
Andrew W.K., "She Is Beautiful"
I feel like every Andrew WK track is a love song to life and existence itself, but this one is the most direct one to a person. Not a ballad or “dark” at all just a rip-shit banger professing love for a beautiful girl as loud as possible. If you’re ever blasting down the highway at 100 mph because you’re just TOO FREAKING EXCITED to pick up your date and you can’t get there fast enough…this is what you’re playing.
There are countless great Depeche Mode love songs, but what makes this one my favorite is the fact that even though it has such a cold, sexy beat slithering around, that massive brooding synth, and one of the greatest chorus lines to sing in an arena ever….yet at it’s core it’s a simple love song about just wanting to get away from the big city and have sex out in nature.
Roky Erickson, "I Walked With a Zombie"
Next time you want to slow dance with your goth sweetie and harken back to simpler times and better days put this song on. If a zombie appears, make it a thruple.
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, "I Hate Myself For Loving You"
The ultimate anthem for the lover that you hate to love and love to hate. This is the song you play right before you have very aggressive make-up sex.
Prayers, "Black Leather" (Feat. Kat Von D)
The only duet on this list, real life lovers Leafar and Kat sound absolutely intertwined in a beautiful hellscape that's as haunting as it is romantic. Leafar’s dark poetry is on full display here with lines such as “Let my ashes dance with the wind, I’m countin my blessings, I’m shedding my skin”.
Nine Inch Nails, "Closer"
I don’t think theres a way to have this list and not have this song on it. Absolutely iconic in every way, I listened for years as a youth to this and imagined that having sex while this song was playing would be the way I wanted to die…kinda still is.
In my opinion, one of the saddest love songs of all time. Costello’s inner monologue with himself — coming to grips with the fact that not only will he never get the girl he loves, but he has to silently exist by her side as a friend and watch her die a slow, miserable death at the hands of other’s abuse is heartbreaking. Additionally, “My aim is true” just might be the second best way to say “I Love You” EVER.