Listen to this: Hozier and Saoirse Ronan, Gwen Stefani and more

By Nicholas Jennings

Valentine’s Day is the time to shower that special person in your life with love and affection. Some do it with cards, flowers, gifts or a romantic dinner, while others opt for a mixtape of their favorite love songs. Spotify is making that task easier with its Valentine’s Day Love Notes, through which one can send a hidden message with a love-themed playlist.

Some of this week’s hottest songs have a message that seems perfectly suited to Cupid's big day. Coincidence? We think not. Along with lovey-dovey numbers from leading American and Canadian artists, there’s a provocative charity single with a timely message from Ireland’s bestselling indie-rocker.

Gwen Stefani: “Make Me Like You”
Although recently divorced from Gavin Rossdale, Gwen leaves (ahem) no doubt about her feelings for boyfriend Blake Shelton, her country-star fellow coach on TV’s The Voice, on her new single. Taken from her forthcoming album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like, it’s an upbeat dance tune about the carefree early days of a relationship.

The song is brimming with romantic lines, one of which Gwen posted along with a photo of herself on her Instagram page.

#makemelikeyou  gx

A photo posted by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) on

Matt Dusk & Florence K: “Somethin’ Stupid”
The Canadian crooner pairs up with Quebec’s Florence K for a cozy remake of the love song made popular by Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy. The harmonies are heavenly, sung in English and French, and the video features Matt and Florence going for a sunny cruise on a yacht, driving in the countryside in a vintage car and snuggling by the fireside.

Taking his romantic style global, Matt has also partnered with Poland’s Margaret and Japan’s Karen Aoki for versions of “Somethin’ Stupid” recorded specifically for those markets.

Hozier: “Cherry Wine”
Best known for his 2013 smash “Take Me to Church,” the Irish star has re-released his song “Cherry Wine” to highlight the issue of domestic violence. The stark, bittersweet song, written from the male perspective of an abuse sufferer, has 4.5 million views on YouTube.

A new video for “Cherry Wine,” starring Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan of the movie Brooklyn, gets released on Valentine’s Day. Says Hozier: “With the song, I tried to get across the difficulty of coming to terms with and facing up to domestic violence and the dynamic of an abusive relationship.” Hozier’s Twitter feed is promoting the single, which will benefit domestic abuse charities worldwide.

Hello! music columnist Nicholas Jennings surveys the pop landscape each week to find the most dynamic tracks to add to your playlist.

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