The UK's amazing electro-soulsters Stubborn Heart share with PopMatters an exclusive Valentine's Day mix for this most romantic of days.
Hailing from London and Oxford, Stubborn Heart became a UK buzz act last year with the release of an unmarked white label 12-inch, "Need Someone". Mixmag piled on the high praise, saying of the record that it, "demonstrates how schooled they are in a vintage sense of groove, but also how modernist they’re capable of sounding. Call their style what you like, this is a luscious record." Stubborn Heart have an amazing palette of musical influences, ranging from the best of '60s and '70s soul to '80s and '90s new wave and electronic music.
The band will be releasing their self-titled debut via One Little Indian on March 5th, which we are eagerly awaiting as their genre of electronic soul is pretty much irresistible.
Below you can stream and download the mix for your date night and Stubborn Heart take us through the mixtape track-by-track, explaining the song choice and sharing a bit of history with us as well. After that, please enjoy Stubborn Heart's latest two videos as a run-up to their album release.
01 "Black Hearted Love" - PJ Harvey & John Parish
I heard this song again recently. PJ Harvey delivers every time, not many artists you can say that about.
02 "That's The Way Love Is" - Marvin Gaye
My favourite singer with one of the last singles he did before "What's Going On" took him off into the heavens.
03 "Love The Feeling" - Leroy Hutson
Hutson was one of the giants of '70s soul music. I saw him in concert a couple of years ago and his voice was still beautiful. He replaced Curtis Mayfield in the Impressions and worked closely with Donny Hathaway.
04 "Love's Supposed to Be That Way" - Leon & Mary Russell
I only discovered this recently. Joyous, uplifting number. They divorced soon after.
05 "I'm Still In Love With You" - Al Green
What can you say? If you're doing a mix themed around the word Love you have to have some Al Green.
06 "So in Love With You" - Leroy Hutson
Just a little bit more Leroy.
07 "Love" - Junior Delahaye
I don't know much about Junior Delahaye. Just that he's another sweet vocalist from Jamaica that released tunes on the legendary Wackie's label.
08 "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" - Nick Lowe
Nick Lowe is a London legend and a fine songwriter. He produced Elvis Costello and was once married to Johnny Cash's stepdaughter but none of that's important, he just doesn't know how to write a bad song.
09 "Love Me Tonight" - Attitude
I love the first few bars of this tune. I could listen to them over and over again and often do.
10 "Don't Stop Your Love" - Keith Sweat
Teddy Riley is a hero of ours and this was one of his earliest productions. Still rocks. I saw Keith Sweat in concert once and he had a bed on stage. Nuff said.
11 "Must Be Love" - Cassie
Cassie is a great singer who should be much bigger than she is. One of my favourite beats of recent years.
12 "Love Pressure" - Sepalcure
Sepalcure is a collaboration between Praveen Sharma and Machinedrum from the USA. This came out in 2010 and they've got a new album dropping soon on the Hotflush label.
13 "Purple Love" - Silkie & Mizz Beats
Silkie is a dubstep producer who's been around a while and Mizz Beats has done music for the great Eglo label. This came out on the much respected Deep Medi label. We just used the arpeggiated bit from the intro because it's niiice. And because it's called Purple Love.
14 "Computer Love" - Zapp
One of our favourite tunes of all time but we only used the title hook. Sacrilege. Needs to be heard in full at least once a month.
15 "To:Love" - Ahu
This is a gorgeous song sung by the Turkish vocalist Ahu and produced by the hugely talented Paul White. Love it.
16 "Love Me" - Department of Eagles
What a sublime vocal delivery. It's Daniel Rossen from Grizzly Bear outdoing the King on this little heard cover.
17 "You Don't Love Me" - Willie Cobbs
Many people know this song by Dawn Penn but don't realise it was written by Mr Cobbs a million years ago. A true gem
18 "Try My Love" - Troy Dodds
This is a song I've danced to countless times at various Northern Soul nights that I used to frequent. Feel-good music that always makes me smile. And dance.
19 "My Wants For Love" - The 5 Royales
The 5 Royales were a groundbreaking band in their time that had a huge influence on James Brown. You should hear what their guitarist Lowman Pauling was doing back in the '50s, way ahead of the game. He wrote 'Think' and 'Dedicated To The One I Love' but died penniless and forgotten.
20 "You Always Hurt the One You Love" - The Mills Brothers
The Mills Brothers were one of the first, if not the first black band to break into the mainstream. They sold 50 million records making beautiful songs like this. Vocal perfection.
Now that you've enjoyed Stubborn Heart's Valentine's Day picks, it's time to sample a bit of their music as well, including their last two videos...