Stubborn Heart - 'Lovetape' Valentine's Mixtape (PopMatters Premiere)

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...

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.