The perfect tunes to play

Five undeniably sexy songs you can play for your partner

Love songs are overrated and overplayed. No matter how many times I hear Whitney Houston croon “I ... will always love you ... ,” I will not feel the slightest inclination to “rock the casbah.” Lyrics don’t necessarily make a song sexy—vocal timbre and harmony can have a more profound effect. Here are a few songs that can help to set the mood for you and your valentine.

1. Portishead, “Only You”

This is undeniably the sexiest song you can play for your partner. The song starts off with a casual jazz beat that pulls the song irresistibly forward.

Beth Gibbon’s voice is rich and sultry, as she sings about her desperation for the one and only person who can save her from “these clouds of illusion.” She dominates the song with her feelings of yearning.

Although the lyrics don’t convey her resolution, an instrumental section at the end of the song conveys some very sexual imagery.

The slow jazz beat continues, with flowing stringed instruments and keyboard, as if to suggest that Gibbon gets the satisfaction she craves.

2. TV on the Radio, “Staring at the Sun”

“Staring at the Sun” refers to sex in a very tasteful and subtle way, but if you listen carefully, you can distinguish the lyrics “your mouth is open wide/the lover is inside.” It’s hard to decipher most of the other lyrics in this song, but the instrumentation is its most powerful element.

The driving bass provides a steady backbeat throughout the song, creating a dark and almost haunting sound.

3. Slowdive, “When the Sun Hits”

The opening lyrics of “When the Sun Hits” are “sweet thing I want you,” set against a beautiful, overlapping harmony.

Slowdive subscribe to a genre called shoegazing, which relies heavily on droning and repetitive riffs, as well as distorted and amplified sounds. Lyrics are hidden behind layered sounds.

In this case, the song is carried by a set of never-ending dreamlike guitar riffs. The effect is surreal.

This song is just indescribably beautiful, and should be saved for the most special of moments.

4. Sigur Ros, “Olsen Olsen”

A list such as this is expected to have at least one Sigur Ros song. Olsen Olsen is a consistent build-up of instrumentation, climaxing with an explosion of sound.

It takes its time, though—about six minutes, to be exact.

5. Do Make Say Think, “Goodbye Enemy Airship”

This 12-minute piece is steadily riveting. The rhythms are jazz-oriented, and the melody seems to stretch on forever.

Goodbye Enemy Airship probably won’t set the mood, but it will certainly provide you and your partner with a good soundtrack for your festivities.

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