When it comes to wooing, there are few things more effective than a good song.
Music taps into our emotions and our reward centers, releasing pleasure chemicals like dopamine when the song is right.
Basically, music has the power to make us feel really good, or, in some instances, a certain kind of way.
That’s why there are so many love songs and so many of them are such huge hits.
But away from the spotlight, in the giant sea of lesser-known songs and album cuts, there are also plenty of love songs that haven’t gotten their due.
So, whether you’re trying to romance someone new or put the big love back into a long-term relationship, here are a few love songs we think you should definitely have in your romance rotation that might have slipped under your radar.
Best Love Songs You May Not Have Heard
1) Life Is Better With You – Michael Franti
Who it’s right for: Your long-term love
Why we think it’s lesser-known: If you know a love song by Michael Franti, it’s probably “Say Hey (I Love You),” because “Say Hey” was Franti’s only song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
His other songs chart Alternative, like this one did.
He’s also had two Gold albums, but the album this song is on wasn’t one of them.
That doesn’t mean you haven’t heard it, but maybe you haven’t.
Why you need it: This song is nice. It’s just nice.
It’s incredibly sweet without being cloying and should definitely tap into all those feel good emotions you have about your partner.
2) I’m In – The Kinleys
Who it’s right for: That person you’ve fallen hard for and are just waiting for the sign
Why we think it’s lesser-known: This song peaked at #35 on the US Country charts. (A damn tragedy.)
And the original version released by Radney Foster, who co-wrote it with Georgia Middleman, didn’t chart at all.
While The Kinleys did have one Gold album, you guessed it, it wasn’t the one this song was on.
Why you need it: This song is such a good falling in love song, one of the best, and this is the best version of it.
It’s got an open-hearted spirit, is a little bit sexy, and captures its theme to perfection.
3) Love Song – Scott Clifton
Who it’s right for: The person who saved you from the darkness
Why we think it’s lesser-known: Scott Clifton is better known as an actor than a musician.
He’s released a couple of EPs, a couple of full-length albums (the last in 2014), and has never charted a song.
So, we feel pretty confident on this one.
Why you need it: The contradiction between dark and light in this song is beautiful. Both musically and lyrically.
And Clifton’s vocal stylings are intriguingly unique.
4) Frightened – Toby Lightman
Who it’s right for: The person who found you in the darkness
Why we think it’s lesser-known: This is an album cut from an album that was never certified anything by an artist who had only one Top 20 hit on the AC chart.
So while a few hundred thousand people may have heard it, we reckon it’s not many more than that.
Why you need it: Kind of like the song above, this song acknowledges the fear in love and the uncertainty of giving into it.
And it’s just really, really pretty.
5) Perfect Soul – David Ford
Who it’s right for: The person you’re trying to convince about you who digs a jazzy-bluesy beat
Why we think it’s little known: David Ford has never really hit.
Don’t worry. He won’t be offended by that. He wrote a perfect song about it called “Every Time.”
He records his own albums, plays small venues, mostly in the UK.
So, the likelihood you’ve heard any song by him is reasonably slim.
Why you need it: It’s, by far, the most fun of the love songs on our list.
6) Something To Believe In – Linda Eder
Who it’s right for: The one
Why we think it’s little known: Linda Eder is best known as a Broadway star, though she’s only appeared in two Broadway musicals and one of them fizzled.
As such, her songs chart about as well as any moderately-known Broadway singer’s, which is to say not at all or for a blip on the AC charts if they’re lucky, and her albums are never going platinum.
Why you need it: Because it don’t come to play. It’s big and it’s wonderful.
This song is a straight-up love ballad by a big-voiced singer that ain’t afraid of a choir and some seriously brazen electric guitar.
7) Stay Forever – Hal Ketchum
Who it’s for: The one you want to be the one
Why we think it’s little known: This song did pretty well for Ketchum when it was released in 1995, reaching #8 on the Country charts.
But Ketchum was never a huge stat.
Of his 11 studio albums, only one went gold. (Nope. This song wasn’t on it.)
Still, if there’s a song on this list you’re most likely to have heard, it’s this one.
So, maybe this is less of an introduction and more of a reminder it’s out there.
Why you need it: This song is very simple and very sweet. And sometimes that just really gets the job done.
8/9) If I Didn’t Have You & Marry Me – Amanda Marshall
To finish things off, we have two – YES, TWO! – songs by Canadian singer-songwriter Amanda Marshall, who absolutely owns this list.
To say anything less than that Marshall wrote and recorded what have to be two of the most sublime love songs most people have never heard would be to grossly understate it.
These songs. Just… these songs.
Who they’re for: The person you want to pour your heart out to (“If I Didn’t Have You”)
The person who is your forever person (“Marry Me”)
Why we think they’re little known: Both of these songs were singles, and both of them charted.
The albums they’re are on also went triple platinum and platinum, respectively.
Also in Canada.
And Canadian platinum is 80,000 units. So, you do the math.
Why you need them: Holy, holy, holy goddamn these songs are good.
Honestly, I’m gonna go all in and state they are nothing less than poetic perfection.
They are also completely different.
“If I Didn’t Have You” has the passion, “Marry Me” the softness.
And if you’ve never heard Amanda Marshall sing, it may be just what your life has been missing.
Still looking for that perfect love song? Here are some more lovey-dovey articles to check out: