To help set the mood this Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a rhythmically sweet surprise that’s sure to elevate your evening: a 95-song playlist, filled with the croons of only Texas-born artists. Whether you’re uplifting your partner with heartfelt gifts, pampering yourself with a candlelit dinner or ‘thank u, next’ing romance with a much-needed Galentine’s Day, let this Lone Star State playlist move as your muse.
To begin, here are four enriching and underrated highlights from our playlist, perfect to start and end your Valentine’s Day.
'Valentine,' Willie Nelson
“You’re the sweetest of all sweethearts / Won’t you give your heart to me / Can’t you see? I love you Valentine.”
For eight decades, this Texas icon has dominated the country scene with his progressive and impactful anthems, and this appropriately titled ballad perfectly transforms ‘I love you’ into a delicate, nearly four-minute poem. Though a gentle melody, Nelson gushes about his partner with conviction. It’s a sweet assertion that makes this song a perfect melody to dedicate to your Valentine.
'Be with You,' Beyoncé
“There is nothing I won’t do for you / I know my soul connected me to you, I feel so safe when I’m alone with you / I’m holdin’ back nothin’, saving it all for you.”
This playlist wouldn’t be complete without Beyoncé. In both her solo and Destiny’s Child catalog, we’ve seen the Houston native tackle love in captivating ballads and silky R&B diary entries. The minute the slow burn of “Be With You” drips through your speakers, you’re instantly enveloped in a romantic symphony. Debuting on her first solo album Dangerously In Love, this underrated gem oozes sultriness in a way only Beyoncé can serve. She warmly croons sweet reassurances that could make her sweetheart (and yours when you turn this on) blush, uniquely featuring interpolations of Bootsy Collins’s “I’d Rather Be With You” as a perfect topper.
'Blind Man,' Xavier Omär
“I can love you with my eyes closed / I don’t lose sight of your beauty 'cause your heart is fine gold, baby.”
Formerly known as SPZRKT, this San Antonio songwriter has been melting his affectionate lyricism against soulful arrangements since 2012. He possesses a rich, often overlooked consistency in the romantic department, which makes him a perfect addition to this list. Serving as the opening track from his The Everlasting Wave EP, “Blind Man” finds Omär swooning how bountiful his partner’s beauty is through delicate harmony. The song’s an endearing masterpiece, penned with sweet compliments and sure to keep your Valentine in a confident mood.
'The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite),' Quincy Jones featuring Barry White, Al. B Sure!, James Ingram, and El DeBarge
“Tell me a secret / I don't just wanna know about any secret of yours / I wanna know about one special secret …”
Where can we start with this song? The synergy between all four voices seducing the mic with their soothing charm is swoon-worthy enough, but we’ve got to highlight Galveston native Barry White. He opens the jazzy number with “tell me a secret,” easily transcending listeners to a garden filled with magic. Under Quincy Jones’s golden ear and unmatched eye for talent, this production is a buttery number, perfect for both young and mature audiences. And for an extra dose of rhythmic love, give White’s solo track “Staying Power” a listen, too.
Listen to the full playlist below.