The Well-Played List 2-14-2014, Valentine's Day edition: Sexy, romantic, mood-setting music

Favorite odes, albums, artists and full playlists for the Valentine's Day weekend.



In honor of today's Valentine's Day "holiday" and to coincide with this week's Lust List, I called on the CL Music Team along with the Well-Played List's rotating crew of tastemakers — local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two — to respond to this week's Well-Played List email with their favorite sexy or romantic mood-setting music. Check out the rather diverse selection of odes, albums, artists and even full playlists below - one even comes with instructions! I've included a Spotify Playlist as well compiling selections from each of these, all for your Valentine's weekend listening pleasure. And on that note, what's your favorite mood-setting music? Tell us in the comments…


When it comes to mood-setting music, I have a couple of fallbacks. Some are old standbys, like Mazzy Star's So Tonight That I Might See (1993) and Among My Swan (1996), John Coltrane's Blue Train and Junior Boys' So This Is Goodbye (2006), specifically "Equalizer" and "In The Morning" (the latter a perfect morning-after ode). The Brazilian Girls' self-titled first and Talk to La Bomb (2006) touch on both sensual and more loving moods, while Queens of the Stone Age and MuteMath tickle my more raw, primal, gritty sex funny bone. On a more recent note, the 2013 eponymous debut from Pillowfight is pretty sexy-groovy and stands out in my mind whenever I think about slowing things down a bit, as does that Gayngs LP, Relayted (2010), despite its weirdness. Check out Gayngs doing a Daytrotter Session cover of Sade's "By Your Side" after the jump, along with the rest of this week's entries ...

My no-holds-barred mushy boo time Valentine's 2014 Playlist:

"O Grande Amor" — Getz & Gilberto (feat. Antonio Carlos Jobim)
"Our Way to Fall" — Yo La Tengo
"Shining Star" — Manhattans
"Always and Forever" — Heatwave
"My Love" — Paul McCartney & Wings
"Heartbeats" — Jose Gonzalez (Knife cover)
"Swept Away (Sentimental Version)" — The Avett Brothers
"Pequeña Serenata Diurna" — Silvio Rodriguez
“Just the Way You Are” — Billy Joel
"You're the Best Thing" — The Style Council
"Triste" — Elis Regina
"Come on, Let's Go" — Broadcast
"I'm Wishing on a Star" — Rose Royce
"Never My Love" — The Association

This playlist, "Mood Setter," was designed to stimulate erogenous zones by combining the yin and yang of modern R&B: bedwetting R&B vocals vs. well-amplified, low-frequency sine waves (to physically rearrange the nether parts). Keith Sweat's DNA was added via FTP for good measure. Starts heavy with The Weeknd, which leads into some flossed-out bass ballads softened up with amply feminine accents (bits of lady voices, soft echoes, string "pads", etc). Finishes with appearances by Bibio, Prefuse 73, Giraffage, and Flume. Subwoofer required.


Here are five recommended albums that are sure to set the mood and make this the most romantic Valentine’s Day of all:
1. Sade, Stronger Than Pride (1988)
2. Teddy Pendergrass, Teddy (1979)
3. Al Green, Let’s Stay Together (1972)
4. Luther Vandross, The Night I Fell In Love (1985)
5. Marvin Gaye, I Want You (1976)

KEITH ULREY | owner, Microgroove, New Granada Records
Well. If you're going for an unadulterated in-your-face raw dripping-with-sex mood with a tip of pure bedroom filthiness, you need look no further than Mr. Greg Dulli and his Afghan Whigs, particularly 1993's Gentlemen full-length. Just sexy. No, wait, dirty. No, sexy ... or ... This is one of may all-time fave albums, but I always feel like I need to take a bath after listening.

NIKKI SMITH | Writer, music connoisseur.

Pink Floyd, "Young Lust"(1979) “Ohh I need a dirty woman, Ohh I need a dirty girl…” Every time I hear these words, I can’t help but picture an old school movie where a guy meets a girl in a bar and takes her home and just before they take it to the bedroom to do the deed, this song comes on, setting them up for a fantastic journey down the path of deep and dirty passion. Lyrics like those make for a completely holiday-appropriate ode.

Tycho, Past is Prologue (2006) About a year ago, my boyfriend at the time introduced me to Tycho, and soon after, it became a staple in my music life. Strictly acoustic, the style of music is perfect to listen to as the background for really anything, but with V-day right around the corner it got me thinking about how perfect something like this would be for “setting the mood.” Each song flows from one to another so smoothly that once it’s on, hours can go by, and before you know it, you and your lover are lost in the sheets, entranced in the music, caught up in the moment, allowing all thoughts to melt away save for the ones about the two of you making sweet sweet love.


Spoon, "I Turn My Camera On" (2005) Okay, so it's not very romantic, but Britt Daniel's falsetto and oozing swagger in "I Turn My Camera On" make this my ultimate sexy song. Plus, the video has him reverse-swallowing a woman's leg, so that's...something, right?


My Bloody Valentine, Loveless (1991) It's the perfect album for when you want to make out and also cry a little.

There’s definitely an art to making a perfect Brown Chicken Brown Cow mix; obviously, everyone’s into different things. It’s easy to give you our critic’s picks, but ultimately it’s only gonna be sexy if you think it is. Here’s a few tips to get you started:

1. Make a huge playlist of the tracks that do it for you. I make these master lists for everything — running, cleaning the house, roadtrips — and keep adding whenever I hear something that fits the mood. In this case, you’ll probably find entire albums that you can pull in (The XX, Washed Out, Frank Ocean…) and in a pinch, can just hit shuffle.
2. Ask yourself two questions: who’s it intended for (compatibility with their musical taste is key,) and how are you feeling (frisky or snuggly.)
3. Narrow down your choices. Pull out songs that just don’t seem to “fit” with the others.
4. Pace it out (foreplay.) Make sure the songs flow into each other.

Here’s the top 10 that pop up in my mind frequently, and the one that timelessly defines sexy songs to me — Radiohead’s “Talk Show Host.”

MELANIE CADE | Mojo Books & Records

Hunx and His Punx, Too Young To Be in Love (2011) We've played this album in-store about 10 times too many over the past couple weeks. Classic song structures and a '50s girl group sound could lead one to fear cloying bubblegum sweetness. One would be wrong. Seth Bogart's underlying punk aesthetic couples with a raw enthusiasm, a driving ebullience for gorgeous results. And Shannon Shaw's (Shannon and the Clams) vocals are nothing short of soulful. A lovely Valentine's Day pick, assuming you like your romantic swellings tempered with a dash of darkness. (I do).

NICOLE aka ELAWGRRL | Photographer, Only Music Has the Answer
Various Artists, "You Are Loved 2014" — I've been curating and listening to my annual You Are Loved mix for Valentines Day. This year's compilation features songs from a variety of indie, americana and punk bands with a heavy dose of Florida love including tracks from Fake Problems, You Blew It!, and Have Gun, Will Travel along with my current obsession of the moment - Wild Cub's "Thunder Clatter." Check out the Spotify version here while you tell someone why you love them.

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