Updated: Feb 22, 2021
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Yes folks, it’s February! You know what that means?
This year, locked down and in the house with your other half all day long...
... you really WON’T have an excuse for forgetting! SKIP TO THE LIST!
Note from the Ed: We understand that Valentines can be a hard time for some.
People have lost loved ones, and loneliness can feel magnified when others are celebrating their relationships. If you are feeling low on this holiday, please reach out for help from professional services that are waiting to hear from you.
Samaritans: Call 116 123 for FREE (UK)
Cruse Grief Helpline: Call 0808 808 1677
Normally, my ‘significant other’ and I don’t do Valentines. However this year more than ever, it feels not just necessary but NEEDED! Everyone needs a little pick-me-up as we close in on nearly 365 days of Covid. It does us the world of good to be reminded that we SURVIVED this year, and furthermore, someone is happy that you’re still in the world. More of us will be grieving the loss of loved ones this year, and looking to show our affection to those who have made it through. We have also had to sacrifice some of our greatest pleasures in 2020. Travel abroad is nigh on impossible. Live music and concerts have had a death-blow, and a lot of us are missing quality time spent connecting with others in person.
So I’ve compiled a few lists of Valentines gifts - one for each of the blog focus points.
Valentines Gifts for the Music-Lover in your Life.
If Music be the Food of Love… Play On! We all know how a great piece of music can salve the soul. You can set the romantic mood, boost your mood after a break-up or wallow in the solace of a ballad.
When my partner and I are at a loss for words, taking time together with soothing tunes is our go-to. When we are bored of an evening, we love a game of guess the song - using Spotify to quickly line up intros. (I’m shamefully good at awful 90s songs). While separated by Covid lockdowns (in 2 different countries in the UK) we have enjoyed sending and receiving musical discoveries via links in our messaging apps.
As a vocalist myself, I am really missing performing live, and also being an audience member at live gigs. Experiencing live, local music is one of the ways that I feel best connected to a country that I visit. Right now - and it feels like for a long time to come, buying a concert ticket for valentines is just a no-go. So here’s some alternative gifts for… The Guitar-Hero of Your Heart.
Everyone know someone who loves to shred in the shower or is master of the air-axe. If your beau is a Guitar fan, the range of accessories and trinkets is endless! If they own a real guitar, it's usually best to leave them to pick the tech - but there are still plenty of rocking gifts. Even if they prefer other amps for the sound - Marshall have got the styling DOWN for accessories. Start budget friendly with a Jack Plug Key Rack. Hit a nice middle financial frequency with a Marshall Bluetooth Speaker (or even a Speaker and Headphone Package). Turn it up to 11 with the Marshall Drinks Fridge - where else would you keep your rider?!
Marshall Styled Key Rack: https://amzn.to/2MBItjH Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker: https://amzn.to/3jdcWAE Marshall Bluetooth Speaker & Bluetooth Headphones Bundle: https://amzn.to/2YJKjSd
Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth Speaker - Black (UK): https://amzn.to/3pIJcON
Marshall Styled Fridge: https://amzn.to/3tdk0lB If bulk isn't your thing, and you'd rather they hold your heart when they play, you can give the kind of roses that guitarists prefer - Rosewood Heart Plectrums. You can also give the gift of ENDLESS plectrums, with a Pick Punch. This nicely stamped Guitar Pick Pendant, from Not On The High Street, beats the style and class of any I found on Amazon.
Heart Tones - Indian Rosewood - Individual Plectrum: https://amzn.to/3pCSICT
The Vinyl Valentine. Love is a never ending circle - like an wedding band... or a record! There's nothing quite as romantic as the crackling of a record while looking out on the rain. If your household is just getting started with vinyl, this Portable Record Player looks nice and natural in wood, but comes with all the tech specs you could want. It plays 3 speeds, connects via bluetooth to allow you to stream your smartphone music through the built-in speaker. Alternatively you can use headphone jack, USB, Aux and RCA ports.
Record Player Vinyl Turntable - Natural Wood: https://amzn.to/3pHZur9
As with guitars, people nursing serious collection tend to have the tubes and amps under control - but there's always room for some themed accessories and home decor... These Vinyl Record Coasters strike some people as cheesy on first glance, but they're super thin and subtle when in use. The drinks cover the record label centre, leaving a simple black surround. I also love these Handmade Record Bookends by the company Newfangled Things. I love anything that's up-cycled! So naturally, re-used Record Bookmarks or Notebooks by Zombie Vinyl Art also make the cut! For some reason vinyls turned into clocks just make me shudder, but the coasters, bookends, books and bookmarks seem a little less obtuse!
Coaster Vinyl Record Coaster Set of 12: https://amzn.to/3j1JVbk
Vinyl Record Bookends: https://amzn.to/3tlDnch
Recycled Record Bookmarks and Notebooks: https://amzn.to/2Ml7qjP
We'll be looking at a few ways to make visual representation of your favourite song in this list. These Personalised Lyric Record Posters spiral the song's words into a record image - and can be customised with colour, message and framing options. I personally prefer light words on a dark record background - but each to their own! Or you could just display an actual record in a nice box frame! The downsides of this is finding the actual record you love enough to display... then the sacrilege of rendering it mute by mounting it! Still the option is definitely there should you wish!
The Sight and Sound Soulmate.
There's a lot of really tacky stuff knocking around where the idea of 'let's just whack some musical score on it' seems to have strangled out the subtlety of the gift. Here are some slightly more demure ways to turn a meaningful song into a visual or physical thing of beauty. Let's start with another print poster, a bit like the lyrics posters above, but this time it's a Favourite Song in WaveForm. I think it's a bit more abstract and does nicely for people after a minimal or graphic aesthetic. You can customise the Song, Frame, Colours and Message, and they do a nice Metallic Foil option too. You can go even more personal and have a wave form Poster of YOUR VOICE saying "I Love You" - which is bound to be music to anyone's ears.
I Love You Visual Voice Poster: https://amzn.to/3czuCW0
If your beau prefers to wear their musical taste on their sleeve (or some other appendage), this Custom WaveForm Ring from Not On The High Street is pretty tasteful. I personally collect charms (for my bracelets) which have significance in my life. Again, I don't fancy unimaginative treble clefs splashed all over my ears and neck, but I do love a good Music Related Charm. Also-rans include the custom Favourite Song WaveForm Keychain, which boasts the benefit of being UK Made. But possibly my favourite of the wearables bunch is the Love Tuner Necklace! You can tell it's a whistle of some description, but it's pretty unobtrusive as a pendant, and the story behind it is just GREAT! The whistle emits sounds at the 528hz frequency - also known as 'The Love Frequency'! The whistle is said to have relaxing and even immunity-boosting benefits, while assisting in meditation breathing.
Custom WaveForm Ring: Not On The High Street
Thomas Sabo Double Quaver Charm: https://amzn.to/36AKRyr
Favourite Song WaveForm Keychain: https://amzn.to/3oyd9j3
Lovetuner Antique Silver - Ball Chain (Antique Silver): https://amzn.to/3oyd9j3
The Music MAKER.
Of course, we could just leave a list of every instrument going here... but at MakeTracksTravel, we like to think we're a bit more creative and thoughtful than that! Here are some more left-field choices for people who want to have a go at MAKING music. I've given a music box as a gift before - but this DIY Music Box Kit takes it to a new level! You can use the included punch to customise 20 reels into different songs on the mechanism. It's a lovely balance of creativity and tinkering. This STEM Synth Music Kit is actually designed for ages 13 and up! Perhaps it's just what your special someone needs - a little trip back to childhood! If they can't be bothered fitting together all the pieces, the Stylophone Original Pocket Electronic Organ is the fast forward route to retro! If you're going for a more chilled out and healing vibe, Steel Tongue Drums have become very popular of late. Word to the wise, it's worth investing a little more upfront to get quality. The Acelot company make a precision cut piece with a really nice tone, and it comes with note stickers, finger picks, mallets and a decent travel bag too.
DIY Mechanical Music Box Movement Kit: https://amzn.to/2LccExu
STEM Synth Music Kit: https://amzn.to/3pVHud7
Stylophone Original Pocket Electronic Organ: https://amzn.to/3tkuQGs
Acelot Steel Tongue Drum, Carry Bag Package: https://amzn.to/3pMEdMX
JUST GIVE MUSIC!
Of course, you could always just give MUSIC itself. There is still a great joy to the physical ritual of opening a physical ALBUM, reading the inlay notes, enjoying the artwork and that 'first listen'. Physical purchases direct from the artist is the best way to support them. For footloose and minimalist types, there's always a Spotify or Apple, or Amazon Music gift card or Subscription. Each of these companies have varying lengths of free trial periods.
Note from the Ed: I am an Amazon Associate. Some of the links in this post help you find the items mentioned in the article. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Tell me in the comments below - are you celebrating Valentines this year? Which of these gifts is on your wish list? What are you giving this year?