So, last week I covered “Bad Sex”. This week, it is the better side. The songs that I actually see as being sexy.
/Tuesday Ten/142/Good Sex
And no, most of these have not soundtracked events in my life. The problem is, I’ve done a list about lust before, which rather crosses over with this, so I had to think a little more. I’d love to know what songs you think should be on this list. And I got through this list without featuring Mazzy Star, Collide or One Dove.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me, or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
What a pretty song. There is something about shoegazey stuff like this that is frequently inherently sexy, to me – perhaps it is the vocals becoming near-wordless melodies so that it can float in the background rather than desperately tapping you on the shoulder for attention. And there is no better example in recent years than this. A dreamy, floating song that totally belies the usual image of HEALTH – as loud, brash “noise” rockers – instead of going for this languid sound, that frankly suits them so much better. It should also be noted that the video is not totally worksafe, even it was edited for Youtube. The original is on Vimeo.
/I L U
/Disconnect From Desire
And here is exhibit B for this argument. Although here, the vocals are centre-stage, and whichever it is of the Deheza sisters that sung this, it is a gorgeous, dreamy song. Clearly a song with sex in mind, this is a yearning, wistful song detailing the need for someone who is remaining just out of reach. Inhabiting every thought. The video – not exactly safe for work – makes the obsession and sexiness all the more explicit (even if the puppets are all a bit weird).
/First We Kiss
That need is often something exploited in songs about sex. And here it is again, with the beat initially tapping out the lyrics of the “heart beating against the wardrobe”. That expectation, that hope of what is to come. That the song climaxes in an instrumental fury is perhaps no accident…
Unlike most, or all, of his peers, Chino Moreno of the Deftones has long understood that you can get just as much emotional power from a soft voice as a scream, not to mention having a much wider palette of influences than said peers, too. So ballads, or more mellow tracks, at least, never feel out of place on a Deftones album – in fact, they are absolutely integral to the sound. And this track, of an album of songs about fantasies, of half-rendered memories, and frankly naked lust at points, stood out as one of his best ballads to date. There are tender lines praising beauty (I love the imagery of the first line or two, seemingly a suggestion of loving his partner as they are, without makeup, without clothes, etc), and there are lines suggesting so much more. But it is all about the delivery, and the chiming guitars that ebb and flow with it. Somehow Deftones manage to make what would normally be bludgeoning music sound sexy. Some feat.
Hopefully this album – despite its popularity – won’t end up being yet another being relegated to “coffee table favourite”. It is a beautifully understated album, one that weaves its way through the shadows and darkness of night, without ever raising its voice any great deal. And that is the way I’d rather it remained, too. Crystalised is one of the most sensual moments, and part of it is the interplay between the two vocalists – if they aren’t or were never a couple, they do a damned good job of making it sound like they are or were. It is like listening in on intimate pillow talk between lovers, that time where even the most minor, throwaway statement sounds like a declaration of love.
One album that did end up as a coffee-table favourite, but transcended that to remain a modern classic, was this album. Nominally trip-hop, but frankly it was so different to anything out there that is never really fitted into any particular genre, it was very much an album that demanded late-night listening. And I’m not sure I want to know just how many “sessions”, as it were, that this album has soundtracked at one point or another. This song, though, is another of those based around a pair of lovers, some kind of unusual thought conversation between them. Bickering, playing and detailing in the briefest detail what they will do. It does have a darker side, though, in the domineering vocal of Tricky’s, and Martina Topley-Bird’s seemingly unhappy partner trying to get through things. Bizarre fact: apparently this song was inspired by a Shakespearean Sonnet…
I’ll admit it now – Björk Guðmundsdóttir’s voice is one I find really sexy, for the most part. Her unusual voice, coupled with the playful nature of some much of her music, often makes her songs quite captivating anyway, and her musings on the human condition are often immense fun. But this song is full of the joy and anticipation that comes from a new relationship. Thinking about the future, overthinking everything in fact – getting ahead of oneself with the possibilities that might happen. But then again, they might not. But that energy that comes from those hopes (and dreams?) is an awesomely exciting time, it always is. It kinda runs with my philosophy of enjoying things as they happen, and don’t think too much about the future just yet. Although this song then falls on the sword of reality not working out to be as hoped. But it is the feeling that’s important in the first place.
/Journey Through The Land of Shadows
First discovered thanks to Amanda Palmer (it being a notable highlight of Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, this playful song suggests all manner of filth and fun, and desire, and fantasy. I think it can be suggested that Mikelangelo is having enormous fun coming up with as many sex and food references as he can, some of which are rather more pleasant than others. But it is the atmosphere and his marvellous deep baritone voice that elevates this beyond just the fun.
/Written In Blood
/This Is Forever
Yeah, so I only caught up with this recently. But still, this has a marvellously sexy, sleazy quality to it. A tale of late-night desire in a club, the kind of night that only happens to most people once or twice at best, where the unattainable person actually ends up being the one you get together with, and like in the Björk song previously, the mind gets ahead of itself in hope and desire. The video, once again, makes the whole thing implicit – although you can’t help but feel they took home the wrong girl…
Bet you weren’t expecting this here. But for me, there is just something about this song – provided you don’t think about Andrew Eldritch while imagining the lyrics. Maybe it’s the thought of a pretty girl in ribbons. But that’s all I’m saying on this.