UK rockers Nothing But Thieves released latest single ‘Real Love Song’ last month ahead of third album Moral Panic arriving in October. It’s a self-explanatory title – the anthemic track is a real love song, one that doesn’t indulge the romanticised ideal and instead explores the more painful side when it comes to matters of the heart.
The song began to form after the band were asked by an interviewer why they didn’t have a lot of songs about relationships.
“The answer was that songs like that have been done to death and they rarely capture what love is actually like for most. Songs tend to be idealistic or Hollywood,” they explained.
“‘Real Love Song’ was an attempt to write a song about love from a self-aware perspective. It’s about the darker side of love – the painful, unrequited kind. Its love lost or love never gained.”
Following that thread, each member of the band has today shared with us their favourite love song – from Joni Mitchell to Toto. Read about their picks, and check out the playlist below.
5 Perfect Love Songs, According To Nothing But Thieves
Conor: Joni Mitchell – ‘Both Sides Now’
The best love song ever written for me is ‘Both Sides Now’ by Joni Mitchell. Not only lyrically does it contemplate the reality of love, seeing love from both angles, two ‘pictures of the same bridge’; but the two different recorded versions show firstly a Joni in her youth, a performance showing hopefulness, of rolling with the punches and picking yourself up for more, and secondly an older Joni singing with regret and retrospection on loves lost, a performance with real residual pain. Doesn’t get better than this song for me.
Joe: Nick Cave – ‘Into My Arms’
Favourites are always tricky ground but I firmly believe ‘Into My Arms’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds is one of the best love songs ever written. (Which is why there is a name check in our song ‘Real Love Song’) It is beautifully simple yet complex in heart. To me, that’s the holy grail.
Phil: Toto – ‘Hold The Line’
Big fan of this song and I’ve always thought it was an interesting idea that love doesn’t always come to you when you deserve it and you don’t always feel it when you should.
James: The Temptations – ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’
It’s impossible for me to pick my favourite love song but I’ve landed in motown as most of the songs are about love. The Temptations are an incredible 5 piece vocal group and their song ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’ is an emotional vocal performance with a great 60s big band sound behind it.
Dom: Elvis Presley – ‘Can’t Help Falling Love With You’
I bond over few things with my beautiful Italian grandmother ‘Nonna’. However, when it comes to pasta and music we’re very much on the same page. I remember performing a very poorly executed acoustic version of this one year. She loved it. We then had linguini to celebrate.