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10 Best Modest Mouse Love Songs of All Time, Ranked

When people look at indie rock, many will likely see Modest Mouse as one of the most mentioned bands. Their reflective, exploratory musical style greatly influenced rock and its indie predecessor, with beautiful open soundscapes becoming many people’s summer hits since the band’s humble beginnings in 1993.

As with most indie rock, love is one of Modest Mouse’s core themes. Read below to find Modest Mouse’s 10 best love songs!

1. Sleepwalking 

Album: Interstate 8
Released: 1996

We have a mighty love song starting off our list. Modest Mouse ditched the quirky chaos and obscure instrumentals for a no-nonsense love song that’s more than worthy of a first dance at a wedding. The lyric “I fell in love and I needed a road map, to find where you lived so excited” sums up the beauty of this track.

From the lyrics to the loving, delicate instrumentals, it’s a song that screams devotion from start to finish. I’d also strongly argue that it’s one of their best songs to date. 

2. Baby Blue Sedan

Album: The Lonesome Crowded West
Released: 1997

I feel that the brilliance of The Lonesome Crowded West was dismissed somewhat after people found This Is A Long Drive…, but without this album, we would not have the vast majority of the introspective, world-questioning indie rock we have today. 

Matching its slightly depressing instrumental appearance, “Baby Blue Sedan” is a song about a couple losing touch with each other and drifting further apart. The occasional major chord brings a glimmer of hope to the track (and the situation) before returning to the harsh reality this track sings of.

Related:  10 Best Punk Rock Love Songs of All Time, Ranked

3. Here It Comes 

Album: Everywhere And His Nasty Parlour Tricks
Released: 2001

In a somewhat similar vein to “Baby Blue Sedan”, “Here It Comes” also reflects on difficulties in relationships. In this song, a couple is experiencing problems and either arguing frequently or simply struggling to communicate with each other. 

It feels like this song is a mild rant towards the other person, who according to the protagonist of “Here It Comes” won’t cooperate and try to remedy the relationship.

4. Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Animals

Album: This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About
Released: 1996

Few songs have had such an impact on me as “Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Animals” has. It has a distinct sadness in its reflective instrumental tones, as it looks at a man’s life in full which, according to him, didn’t amount to much. 

The core focus of this song, however, appears to be emphasizing making ourselves happy over anyone else. That kind of self-love is needed more in this world, and so I think everyone should listen to this track at least once. Especially for the incredible switch at 3:14.

5. So Much Beauty In The Dirt

Album: Everywhere And His Nasty Parlour Tricks
Released: 2001

While the focus of this song is to enjoy the little things in life and learn to let the make you happy, I think it also works as a love song. 

The summer, careless vibe this song creates is a perfect song to enjoy the sun with someone you love, tell them how you feel about them, and simply see where life takes you. After all, love doesn’t have to be all about relationships.

Related:  10 Best Sublime Love Songs of All Time, Ranked 2023

6. Float On

Album: Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Released: 2004

I’m sure some would argue this isn’t much of a love song, but I would disagree based on the feeling this song creates. Whether we’re having a bad day or a good day, all will be well in life eventually. 

The feeling of love comes from the fact that lead singer Isaac Brock wrote this song after  losing two close friends in life and feeling like he needed to see the good in the world. 

7. Talkin’ Shit About A Pretty Sunset

Album: This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About
Released: 1996

Similarly to “Float On”, this one isn’t quite as romantically aligned as the others in this list. “Talkin’ Shit About A Pretty Sunset” is a song about a man who is blaming everything else for their misery, when one of the primary causes is his perspective on life. 

The powerful, sad, yet beautiful and hopeful power of this song’s instrumentals fills me with a feeling of love and melancholic happiness. It’s a shame Modest Mouse never captured the magic of This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About again, but maybe that is part of this album’s magic. 

8. Ionizes & Atomizes

Album: This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About
Released: 1996

“Ionizes & Atomizes” shows off the eclectic brilliance of Modest Mouse in the best album of their discography. It’s slightly chaotic and jumpy, yet also somehow calming and well-paced, as it explores a man’s struggle coming to terms with his partner leaving him.

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It may not be a happy love song, but Modest Mouse aren’t exactly experts in that field. 

9. Grey Ice Water

Album: Building Nothing Out Of Something
Released: 1999

Here we have another sad love song from Modest Mouse. “Grey Ice Water” almost feels like a follow-up from “Ionizes & Atomizes”, where the protagonist delves into self-isolation while trying to forget about the person he loves. 

The peculiar winding guitar tones in this track help add to the feeling of confusion that comes with dealing with such troubles in romance, but the track also reminds us that we shouldn’t hide away when we face trouble. Support is always on hand. 

10. Little Motel

Album: We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Released: 2007

Finishing off my list is one of Modest Mouse’s softest tracks and also their most well-produced. It sounds very ‘clean’ for this otherwise fairly raw band, and sounds different from much of their discography.

This song sings of the end of a relationship, but wanting to hold on regardless and fix things, even if they’re irreparable.