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Romancing The Tune

We all have a special corner in our music collection that gets dusted off for a very special purpose once every week – or, if you’re a bit lazy, once every month (not that I’m judging. Okay, yes I am. Loser.). There may be no outward sign that these albums or songs have an important role in our life, but subconsciously, they are tagged with one clear intention. And that intention, ladies and gents, is romancin’. By which I mean, sexy time with your lady and/or man friend.

I don’t exaggerate when I say every music collection in every home has that corner – I don’t care if you’re 17, 26 or 43 – you are bound to have a set of albums that gets things cookin’. Yes, that means your sister, your best friend, your mum & dad… even your grandmother... have spinned some Barry White, some Marvin Gaye, or even a little John Mayer for a bit of sassy-time set to a backdrop of rhythm.

As suggested by the traditional examples listed above, this shared human behaviour by no means implies that we choose good music, up to date music, cool music or even particularly sexy music. Anyone over the age of 30 has, at one time or another, cranked some Nine Inch Nails or Deep Forest without any sense of irony. And the over 20 crowd has certainly put Britney to good use (and why wouldn’t they?). Surely though, it’s time to expand our horizons a little. And, if I may be so bold, suggest that not all great shagging songs need be necessarily about shagging.

And that, friends, is where I come in. I make no claim to be an arbiter of such things (actually, yes I do, but anyway), so I’ve surveyed one million of my closest friends, family, frenemies, and contemporaries (special thanks to Johnno Ma (Lost Valentinos), Eleanor Dunlop (Cameras), Benjamin Law, Maggie Eckford and Jacinda Fermanis) to glean from them just what they spin, while they… you know, spin. It’s about time we see what 2010 (and 2009) can offer the humble supplicant searching for a musical accompaniment to his or her midnight ministrations.

Firstly, there are the obvious choices; if it’s beats-per-minute, match-the-heartbeat that you’re after, you know you’re on to a winner with our electro pals. You can’t go wrong with Charlotte Gainsbourg (she’s French so that’s like, bonus points) or Caribou. Pumping, thumping and energy-sapping fun is what we are talking.

Next are the slinky sounds that tap into a quieter, more intimate feel. When it’s all about the love you’ll be needing some Panda Bear (the most popular suggestion by far), Laura Viers’ July Flame, The National’s High Violet or Teen Dream by Beach House (although I’d suggest you avoid the teens themselves, unless you are one). Let’s face it, this is rock music kids, so there’s plenty o’ love to go around (for more suggestions, scroll to the bottom). You could also give Real Estate’s self titled offering a go, or Crazy for You from Best Coast (another very popular choice).

Ruling out a song just because it’s specifically about shenanigans would be unfair, and we here at Side Street Sydney are anything but unfair. Thus, you would be remiss to ignore tunes like All the Pleasures of the World by The Crayon Fields, Desire by Ryan Adams, Slippery Slidey by Elana Stone or Toothpaste Kisses by The Maccabees.

Finally, we come to the hot & sweaty; the albums to be pulled out when you want something toe-curling and just a little bit sexy-angry. You can’t go past The Black Keys’ Brothers. It’s dark and brooding as only dirty bluesy rock can be. In this category, it’s often all about the front man or woman; your PJ Harveys, your Shirley Mansons et al. Which brings us, inevitably, to Alison Mossheart, she of The Kills and Dead Weather. From the first, you’ll be very satisfied by Midnight Boom and from the second, Horehound. Both powerfully fierce and guitar-driven records with that essence du Mossheart you’re looking for.

Music is all about sex, so they say. Some is good, some of it is not. Some of it is sexy and some of it is not. I just know a good tune makes the world go around, and who doesn’t want to have a great song to associate with some of the more fun moments in life? I think Ms Mossheart, in her Dead Weather guise, summed it up best when she sang, “You know I look like a woman but I cut like a buffalo”. I may not know what that means, but I do know it’s sexy as hell.

More options to consider:
• Deerhunter – Rainwater Cassette Exchange
• Washington – I Believe You Liar (frankly I think this suggestion is a little creepy. It’s an album about her family. Ew. Seriously.)
• The Veils – Sun Gangs
• Bertie Blackman – Secrets and Lies
• Liars - Sisterworld
• Sia – We Are Born
• The XX – XX
• Jónsi - Go

words: Kristen Hodges
image lovingly stolen from Fucck it up


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