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The mixtape was created for this: picking just the right song to gently stir a girl or boy’s heart toward romance. It’s an old, time-honored tradition, and whether it’s on a cassette or an iTunes playlist, the mixtape will long remain a classy way to get that special someone to hold your hand. It’s a delicate matter, of course, because you don’t want to come on too strong. So save the Marvin Gaye for later, start with something earthy and warm.

There’s a reason AT&T has recently been using the long-deceased Nick Drake‘s well-crafted folk music to hock its wares—-his music evokes such an immediate nostalgia and authenticity that it’s easy to forget the company’s coverage is terrible. Drop the needle on “Which Will” (or really anything from Pink Moon), and get lost in it.

The masters of longevity, Yo La Tengo, have stuck around for over two decades because they’ve got heart. “Our Way To Fall” shows the band at its softest and most sentimental, with honest, conversational lyrics that somehow escape sounding overly maudlin. If nothing else, the fact that songwriters Ira and Georgia have made it as both a band and a couple for this long ought to be inspiration enough to believe in new love.

The ever-adorable Vandaveer, which most often tours as a brother-sister duo, is deeply charming with its fragile harmonies. “Dig Down Deep” utilizes a rousing—-but not too rousing—-three-quarter time to get the blood flowing. If all goes well, maybe you can bring your new sweetheart to see Vandaveer play at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Va., this Thursday.