Sex, it’s biological, you’re probably either having it or want to have it. Music, it’s food for the soul, and again something almost everyone enjoys. Bringing them together can often bring about a transcendent experience. While the music people get down to is often as varied as people themselves, when you ask people about love makin’ music many of them will point at songs like ‘Let’s Get It On’ by Marvin Gaye or ‘How Does It Feel?’ by D’Angelo, sometimes they’ll just utter bow-chika-wow-wow as some sort of ode to classic porno-funk, but what about the alternative rockers? What do they like to get down to? In this week’s playlist I’ll share my favorites. It’s a longer playlist for obvious reasons, but even then it might seem a bit lengthy. I’m just trying to accommodate for those of you who helped put New Mexico at the no. 1 spot for length of time spent having sex. So here they are without further ado.
1. “Lullaby” – The Cure
So you and your partner are in your room alone. You can tell the tension is starting to rise. Briefly after sharing a kiss you start to feel the imminent, fireworks are about to fly. But let’s not get too ahead of yourselves. You’ve got an empty house, so why not make it special? To set the mood you put on some music. I can think of no better make-out song than ‘Lullaby’. The tone is sensual, the soft whispers of Robert Smith creates the perfect backdrop for intense kissing and maybe even a little dry-hump if you’re into that whole reliving high-school bit (I know I am). You’ll be tempted to start stripping down your partner, but wait. Just focus on kissing them, let them know how hot you find it merely being in their presence (actions speak louder than words!)
2. “Intro” – The XX
Now that you’re nice and worked up, you can start getting down to the nitty gritty. ‘Intro’ provides a great opportunity to maintain the existing pace and the slinky male and female vocal croons keep the visceral nature of your encounter right where it needs to be. Clothes are coming off, bodies are being touched and most of all desire is burning. The ever important foreplay is now in full effect, petting may be getting heavier, but it’s still not time to get down to business.
3. “Odessa” – Caribou
A song about the probable failing of a relationship doesn’t necessarily seem like it would be a good song to make love to, but between the funky bass line, shimmering shakers, pulsing synthesizers and Dan Snaith’s haunting voice, you can’t help but feel a sense of sexy danger. Sex is an intense emotional act and for whatever reason, other intense emotions can often be construed as sexual. ‘Odessa’ in the context of the bedroom is very much a case-study of that phenomenon.
4. “We Own The Sky” – M83
If you’ve so far resisted temptation, now is the time to cave. This song should coincide with that magic moment. Fireworks are flying, it’s really happening. “We Own The Sky” is an epic spacey opus that musically captivates the feeling of weightlessness. You can’t help but be in awe of your mere existence in there here and now. You’re sharing the most intimate of moments with someone you love and you’re both floating, lost in the unbearable lightness of pleasure and emotion. You are one.
5. “Baby” – Donnie and Joe Emerson
While it may seem indulgent, “Baby” picks up where M83 left you. You’ve floated back down to earth, but now you’re lost in the physical pleasure and satisfaction of love (actually just a bunch of chemicals in your brain, but there’s no room for science, logic, or reason in the bedroom). The pace is the same, but the intimacy has only become deeper.
6. “So Many Details” – Toro y Moi
You may have been wondering if I’d ever push the tempo up, and now is finally the time. Remember, this is love making, not a one-night stand, not a quickie before class, and you’re with the one you love, not some random person you found at the bar. It’s ok to take some time. “So Many Details” helps kick it up a notch. Between the pulsing bass drum and hi-hats and mysterious synth flourishes, the song leaves the listener tingling, which is exactly what you should already be feeling. Again the lyrics may not invoke images of star-crossed lovers, but the longing in Chaz Bundwick’s voice plays off of the whole sexiness-in-intensity manner mentioned earlier in this post.
7. “Wild” – Beach House
Honestly I like this track better in the context of the album it is off of, but the reverb heavy guitars and synth casts a warm, sexy glow over its listener and it’s no different here. Depending on your level of sexual experience or preference this is where many listeners will be reaching the end of their encounters. But for those of you still going, it’s merely a resting point before the end of this list.
8. “Pyramids” – Frank Ocean
I’ve tried to abstain from historical perspectives of sexy music for most of this playlist, but Frank Ocean just cannot be ignored. His 2012 masterpiece Channel Orange took the R&B world by storm and set a modern precedent for Neo-Soul. It was so well loved that a hip-hop forum user calling himself PhD wrote a guide about how to use the album to get down. “Pyramids” is the centerpiece of Channel Orange and it serves the same purpose here. It’s a long song with a lot of changes, great tempos and nothing is more sexual than Frank Ocean’s voice. As PhD says “Don’t say shit. Let Frank speak for you. You can’t out-sexy Frank.”
9. “Lover’s Spit” – Broken Social Scene
This song is less sexy and more romantic, but seeing as you’re probably lying about in post-coital bliss that is a good thing. Reflect on what just happened. Kiss your partner. Cuddle. This is the good life. If you haven’t finished up yet, just take a moment, look your partner in the eyes, stop to think to yourself “If this isn’t wonderful, I don’t know what is.”
10. “Hours – Teen Daze Remix” – Tycho
Tycho is well known for their moody ambient synthscapes. This song provides both a relaxing backdrop for two post-climactic or as a good opportunity to finish up. Either way at 5 minute and 5 seconds it provides a bit of utility for which ever camp you happen to fall into.
BONUS: “Reckoner” – Radiohead
So Spotify doesn’t have Radiohead’s critically acclaimed album, In Rainbows which forced me to completely restructure my original list, but I’m going to go ahead and throw this little gem of advice out there for you. Put on this album and start going at it. It’s one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had. Thank me later. ‘Reckoner’ is a song that really surprised me. It seems kinda whiny and maybe even annoying, but in the moment his voice sounds soulful and longing, the syncopated ride cymbal pattern produces a sensation that I can only describe as audial rain, and the slinky-clean tone of the guitar really provides space for the listener to let go of themselves and live in the moment.