Guest DJ: Love Songs With Jay Som And Japanese Breakfast : All Songs Considered Just in time for Valentine's Day, Jay Som's Melina Duterte and Japanese Breakfast's Michelle Zauner share some of their favorite love-themed music.
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Guest DJ: Love Songs With Jay Som And Japanese Breakfast

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Guest DJ: Love Songs With Jay Som And Japanese Breakfast

Guest DJ: Love Songs With Jay Som And Japanese Breakfast

Guest DJ: Love Songs With Jay Som And Japanese Breakfast

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/585068174/585208666" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A drawing of Melina Duterte and Michelle Zauner by Margo Hurst (@margoshmargo). Jay Som and Japanese Breakfast are touring the West Coast from Feb. 15 to Feb. 24. Margo Hurst/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Margo Hurst/Courtesy of the artist

A drawing of Melina Duterte and Michelle Zauner by Margo Hurst (@margoshmargo). Jay Som and Japanese Breakfast are touring the West Coast from Feb. 15 to Feb. 24.

Margo Hurst/Courtesy of the artist

Today, two good friends pick love songs for Valentine's Day.

Melina Duterte, best known for her project Jay Som, and Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast felt like the perfect choice to talk to us this week: They both know how to write about love, and they're both playfully entertaining on social media. They each sent me a list of love songs, with neither aware of what the other had picked.

This conversation took place in three cities: Melina was at NPR West in Culver City, California, while Michelle was at our NPR bureau in New York City. In fact, they'd begun the conversation before I arrived at NPR's studio in Washington, D.C.

It was a conversation that included everything from songs they know from middle school to song choices inspired by their parents' love.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for Stuff Like That There

Yo La Tengo

  • Song: Friday I'm In Love

"Georgia Hubley's voice is one of my favorite voices in music. I think, post-Thurston and Kim, [Hubley and Ira Kaplan are] the ... enduring rock couple, and I hope that their relationship endures. I think that they're just a lovely couple and I love their band so much. And all of their music just sounds so effortless." —Michelle Zauner

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Song
Stuff Like That There
Album
Stuff Like That There
Artist
Yo La Tengo
Label
Matador
Released
2015

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Cover for Crash

Dave Matthews Band

  • Song: Crash Into Me

"I'm sorry, but I love that track, and I've been listening to that nonstop. That's a good love song right there." —Melina Duterte

"I definitely was really into that love song when I was, I think, in middle school. That was what a love song was supposed to be." —Michelle Zauner

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Song
Crash
Album
Crash
Artist
Dave Matthews Band
Label
RCA
Released
1996

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Cover for Always & Forever

Heatwave

  • Song: Always and Forever

"Fun fact: This is my parents' song. This is their love song. They actually danced to it at their wedding. And I remember, as a young kid, I used to think this was the corniest song ever, because they would wake up in the morning on their anniversary and dance to this." —Melina Duterte

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Song
Always & Forever
Album
Always & Forever
Artist
Heatwave
Label
SSP
Released
1994

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Cover for Now

Kim Jung Mi

  • Song: Haenim

"He's like the Phil Spector of Korea without... you know. And his name is Shin Joong Hyun. He's a really well-known '70s psychedelic rock composer and guitarist, and he wrote this song. ... It's about chillin' in the sun. My aunt told me that my mom and her used to sing this other song of his. I just wanted to include some Korean music on there and maybe my mom could have convinced my dad to dance." —Michelle Zauner

YouTube
Cover for 69 Love Songs

I Don't Want To Get Over You

The Magnetic Fields

  • Song: I Don't Want To Get Over You

"If you're in the midst of a breakup or about to fall in love, you should listen to all 69 Love Songs in a row and then continue with whatever direction your love was going." —Bob Boilen

"That's a great way to spend Valentine's Day." —Melina Duterte

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Song
69 Love Songs
Album
69 Love Songs
Artist
The Magnetic Fields
Label
Domino
Released
1999

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Cover for Everybody Works

Jay Som

  • Song: Lipstick Stains

"When I wrote that, I really wanted to capture that feeling of being infatuated with someone, so I made it this very short-lived song. The lyrics are also kind of the same way. Someone leaves this imprint on you. It's very passionate, and you don't know how long it's going to last." —Melina Duterte

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Song
Everybody Works
Album
Everybody Works
Artist
Jay Som
Label
Polyvinyl
Released
2017

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Cover for Speaking in Tongues

Talking Heads

  • Song: This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)

"I think there's something so special about the way David Byrne sings the song. The words are so delicate and careful, but he sings it so firmly. ... It's just perfectly executed. He doesn't really have to say 'I love you' to make that come across as like a love song." —Melina Duterte

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Song
Speaking in Tongues
Album
Speaking in Tongues
Artist
Talking Heads
Label
Rhino
Released
1983

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Cover for Psychopomp

Japanese Breakfast

  • Song: Everybody Wants to Love You

"Honestly, I love that song so much. I was listening to that yesterday and I was like, [singing] 'Everybody wants to love you!'" —Melina Duterte

"It's so annoying." —Michelle Zauner

"Stop, you know you wrote that hit song." —Melina Duterte

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Song
Psychopomp
Album
Psychopomp
Artist
Japanese Breakfast
Label
Yellow K
Released
2016

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Cover for Soft Sounds from Another Planet

Japanese Breakfast

  • Song: Till Death

"The song was so hard to sing. ... I wrote the song in the studio and when I came up with the piano part, I was like, 'Is this too cheesy? It feels very like, you know, something out of Lady And The Tramp or something.'" —Michelle Zauner

YouTube
Cover for CTRL

SZA

  • Song: The Weekend

"I think it's the most modern take on, you know, love and polyamory in a healthy way." —Melina Duterte

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Song
CTRL
Album
CTRL
Artist
SZA
Label
Top Dawg Entertainment
Released
2017

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Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Speaking in Tongues
Artist
Talking Heads
Label
Rhino
Released
1983

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?