When you think about angels, what comes to mind? Shimmering, ethereal beings in white? Porcelain figurines on fragile doilies on your grandmother’s bedside table? Or perhaps you think about the special people in your life who help make every day magical? Either way, music is rife with lovely angelic metaphor, from electronic dance to hip-hop and pop R&B.
If you’re looking for the perfect song to dedicate to your personal guardian, a tune to help you get spiritual, or even some soft shoulder to cry on, we suggest one of these 10 songs about angels.
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Shaggy – “Angel” Feat. Rayvon
If you were anywhere near a middle school in the year 2000, you know this song was the soundtrack to a generation’s worth of first loves and playground flings. Those crushes were doomed to fail by lunch, but this song remains an absolute classic. Shaggy’s voice will always be iconic, and Rayvon used his time on “Angel” to carve a place in heart-throb heaven.
The xx – “Angels”
From 2012’s sophomore LP Coexist, this hallowed and haunting romance cuts us down to the core of our being. It’s open and honest, though it tiptoes toward your heart with all the trepidation of a new love from one who’s been hurt before. “Angels” is a redemption song for everyone who feels their heart is too dark to ever see the sun again, and yet, love always finds a way.
Crywolf – “Angles”
Swim in an ocean of synths and emotions as Crywolf sings a song that’ll move you to tears. Love is a many splendid thing, and this angel heralds the coming of a love you can’t fight. Don’t be afraid to take your lovers hand and wander into that forest of feelings, and don’t be afraid to lean into the amazing breakdown in the second half of this song.
Interpol – “Say Hello To The Angels”
Switching the vibe up a little, we get into some good post-punk, goth revival with New York City’s Interpol. There’s enough jangly guitar to knock the sense out of ya, or at least the trepidation. Dive headfirst into sexual conquest and emotional abandon. Maybe this isn’t a song about angels your priest would recognize, but they’re heaven-sent nonetheless.
Fifth Harmony – “Angel” (Prod. by Skrillex)
Sometimes, you’re a devil in angel’s clothing, and that’s when you put a song like Fifth Harmony’s “Angel” on the speakers. Did you know Skrillex produced this beat? You can definitely hear his touch in the pitched-up vocal melody and the rumbling bass. Just another example of how angelic the dance crossover champion can be in the pop arena.
Lido – “Angel”
Lido once said his album Everything is like living a breakup in reverse, and his song “Angel” comes near the end, so it’s still got that shimmery, otherworldly quality to it. Let your soul fly toward the sun with this bedroom vibe. It’s a sweet chill out soundtrack for makeout moments or solo sit backs. It’s also got a really nice sing-along chorus and a booty-shaking breakdown.
Paul van Dyk – “For An Angel”
Get carried away by these classic trance chords as one of the greatest in the game elevates the dance floor to heavenly heights. Paul van Dyk doesn’t need a cheesy vocal to get his message across. This song is for that special person in your life, the one who’s always got your back, the wind beneath your wings, and the one that stole your heart. It’s truly a song about an angel, or, well, “For An Angel.”
Mariah Carey – “Angels Cry” Feat. Ne-Yo
Is there any greater living angel than Mariah Carey? She may not be perfect, but she’s got pipes of pure gold, and the only thing that could make things better is a duet with Ne-Yo. You can’t prepare yourself for this classic R&B moment. Love may be a thing of the past, but when angels cry, it sounds like sweet serenity.
Gareth Emery – “Concrete Angel” feat. Christina Novelli
If you’re still reeling from the beautiful soundscape of Paul van Dyk and you’re looking for more in that vein, definitely check out this beacon of musical light from Gareth Emery. Christina Novelli is an angel on the mic as she weaves softly in and out of the bouncing rhythm. It’s got the lively energy of a city in full swing, and the promise of excitement of the neon night.
Luciano – “Rise of Angel”
We end the night on a sweet, synth melody that is as playful as it is poignant. There’s something decidedly innocent and fun about this quirky melody, but it’s also serene, and maybe that’s the kind of cherubic balance angels are all about. At 16 minutes, this epic keeps going when you feel you can not. Enjoy.