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50 Songs That Probably Aren't on Your Sex Playlist (But Should Be)

50 Songs That Probably Aren't on Your Sex Playlist (But Should Be) Image
  • Posted on 12th Jun, 2022 15:17 PM
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Indie music can be sexy, too.

Your go-to sex playlists might already be filled with sensual R&B hits from yesteryear like the undeniably timeless “Pony” by Ginuwine and legendary '90s ballad “I’ll Make Love To You” by Boyz II Men. And while these songs certainly deserve their place in your collection, we'd like to suggest adding some cool, unexpected tunes into the mix. (Yes, indie music can be sexy too.)

Look no further for slinky guitars, plenty of breathy vocals, and of course, ambient indie pop. This 40-song musical epic is the sex playlist you’ve all been waiting for but didn’t even know you needed. Listen below.

“Lucky” by Dehd

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In 2019, Chicago trio Dehd carved out inspiration from the early 2010’s when artists leaned heavily into the 1960’s. This chain of mimicked nostalgia had its basis in chill-wave, a sub-genre that kept the breezy simplicity of 60’s surf rock, but added a grainy, lo-fi filter. Dehd tapped into the genre’s sweetness with “Lucky,” a track that playfully turns its head to a romance’s potential end: “Lucky to have / People in my life / With the power to break my heart,” lead singer Emily Kempf teases, opting for coolness over contempt.

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“Patience” by Charlotte Dos Santos

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On “Patience,” singer-songwriter and producer Charlotte Dos Santos creates an Erykah badu-like encapsulation of female divinity and grace. “The universe knew about me and you,” she sings in a near-whisper.

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“Give Me A Kiss” by Lolo Zouaï

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In 2019, the title track on Lolo Zouaï’s debut album lamented life’s slow start: “Dreams come and go, I stay / Dreams come and go, I stay,” she sang. Fast forward three years and things have certainly picked up. The French-American singer-songwriter - who emerged on the scene writing for H.E.R. - is now an opening act on Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia tour, next to names like Megan Thee Stallion and Caroline Polachek. On the 2022 single “Give Me A Kiss,” she mixes synthetic pop and James Blake-style reverberation for a dark and sexy take on synthetic pop.

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“belong with you” by Nilüfer Yanya

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“belong with you” isn’t really a love song. It’s more so an encapsulation of frustrating infatuation, the kind that latches on and won’t shake off. “Don't ask me why / I got caught up in love this time,” Nilufer Yanya begs.

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“Freak” by Shygirl

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To set the scene: it’s 6a.m., you’ve arrived home from a rave, you’re decked in black leather, and you’d like to keep the vibe going. Shy Girl is the only suitable soundtrack. The South East London artist makes music for the city’s dirtiest techno basements, and then smacks a thick layer of sex appeal on top. “Never take me home / Won't ever meet your mum / But your daddy's on the phone,” she promises on “Freak,” an undeniably grimey and perfectly industrial cut.

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“Coy Boy” by Blue Iverson

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“Coy Boy” is completely instrumental, yet it still sounds exactly like its title. It’s a sweet and straightforward funk electric guitar ballad from Dean Blunt, the ever-booked London producer.

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“Mary” by Alex G

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There’s speculation that “Mary” is Alex G’s reluctant love letter to weed, as he oscillates between singing her graces and lamenting her ability to “leave you to rot.” But regardless of its intended receiver, the track is a melodic and sweet slow burn for blurry Sundays spent in bed. “Listen to me baby / I don’t mind / I want to be with you and waste my time,” he says, finally caving in.

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“The More I Feel” by Ouri

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“The More I Feel” is a song that fills the room. It’s a cluttered and ethereal standout from Montreal-based artist Ouri, who has quickly become an exciting, new fixture of the experimental pop and ambient scenes (and everywhere they intersect). “The More I Feel” is clouded with piano keys mixed with rattling metallic punctuations and a bongo providing a steady hand, all beneath the angelic whispers of Ouri.

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“Unlock It” by ABRA feat. Playboi Carti and Boys Noize

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Atlanta artists Abra and Playboi Carti link up for “Unlock It,” a song that utilizes Abra’s 80-style vocals and Carti’s dark rap for a sexy track worthy of a good dance.

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“Be Careful” by Kaytranada feat. ThunderCat

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“I only got dressed up for you,” ThunderCat admits as an inimitable funkiness of a Kaytranada beat pulsates. “Be Careful” is laced with simple grooviness and cute one-liners from the dance duo.

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“Baby” by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

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Close your eyes and enjoy this sweet, sweet cover of Donnie & Joe Emerson’s 1979 psych rock hit.

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“I Wanna Be Adored” by The Stone Roses

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Sometimes you just need a little 90’s alternative rock to set the mood.

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“High For This” by The Weeknd

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We’re considering this indie because it’s off of The Weeknd’s OG mixtape, House of Balloons, and it’s the epitome of sexy.

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“Open” by Rhye

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Sorry, this needs no explanation. Rhye’s falsetto leaves us speechless.

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“505” by Arctic Monkeys

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The thought of making Alex Turner “completely crumble” is enough reason to listen.

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“Intro” by The xx

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The hottest instrumental—maybe ever.

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“Two Weeks” by FKA Twigs

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A larger than life expression of love, lust, and animalistic pleasure.

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“Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex

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Let Greg Gonzalez’s intimate lyrics take you way: “Your lips, my lips/ Apocalypse.”

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“Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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In this alt-classic, Karen O pleads to former flame and Liars frontman Angus Andrew. (Fact: The namesake acronym stands for “my Angus please stay.” Swoon.)

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“Let’s Get Lost” by Beck and Bat For Lashes

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The idea of getting lost (physically or mentally) is overly romanticized, but this collaborative track is totally underrated.

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“I Feel You” by Depeche Mode

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On a song with more rock influences than ever, the English icons sing, “You take me there/You take me where/ The kingdom comes.”

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“Give It to Me” by HOMESHAKE

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There’s something so sensual about the Montreal-based musician, Peter Sagar’s hypnotic use of synths.

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“Chamakay” by Blood Orange

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This sultry song is off of Blood Orange’s album Cupid Deluxe. Cue the sax!

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“Baby Blue” by King Krule

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Archy Marshall’s swooning vocals flicker in and out like a candle’s flame in this intimate ballad.

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“Little Bit” by Lykke Li

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We’re a little bit in love with this Lykke Li song.

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“Autumn Sweater” by Yo La Tengo

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Whether or not it's sweater weather, stay warm out there.

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“House of Cards” by Radiohead

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“I don’t want to be your friend/ I just wanna be your lover,” Thom Yorke desirously pleads in the opening lyrics.

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“Ribs” by Lorde

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A totally underestimated make out song.

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“Talk is Cheap” by Chet Faker

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Most of Nick Murphy’s tunes are sexy, but we prefer this one.

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“Island” by Wet

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Kelly Zutrau’s whispy vocals could add a bit of sweetness to any scene.

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“Hannah Hunt” by Vampire Weekend

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You can thank Ezra Koenig's light, silky voice for making this song so hot. That slow, persistent rhythm doesn't hurt, either.

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“Warm On a Cold Night” by HONNE

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Absolutely the ideal track to snuggle to.

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“The Fall” by Rhye

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The mysterious songwriter gets two mentions here, because if all else fails you can just press play on his entire discography.

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“Tearing Me Up” by Bob Moses

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The duo earned mainstream recognition with this dancefloor hit, that just so happens to also work well in the bedroom.

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“When I’m Small” by Phantogram

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Another sultry, moody track to get caught up in.

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“Fallingforyou” by The 1975

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It’s time to make yourself familiar with this little-known song off The 1975’s EP, IV.

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“When You’re Smiling And Astride Me” by Father John Misty

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Erotic lyrics aside, Father John Misty is all you need.

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“How Soon Is Now?” by The Smiths

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And of course, this playlist wouldn’t be complete without The Smiths. “We invented indie as we still know it,” Johnny Marr told The Guardian. Nothing's sexier than that kind of confidence.

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“Little Bit” by Erika de Casier

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Erika de Casier blends Aaliyah-like vocals with soft glitchy undertones to take the angelic “Little Bit” a step past the analog age, even with its clear early '00s soft pop influences.

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“Bouncing” by Nick Hakim

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“Bouncing” starts off sweetly enough: a flurry of haunting coos that are quickly interrupted by a loud bass drum thud and an unnerving static guitar reverb. But Nick Hakim maintains the song’s initial softness with his own ethereal vocals that guide the track’s general psychedelic chaos. It’s a bit heady, but there’s a bedroom appeal to the woozy insanity.

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“Trust Me Baby” by Empress Of

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Empress Of slips in and out of Spanish as she convincingly pleas for trust and intimacy over a bed of pop perfection.

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“Gladly” by Tirzah

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Tirzah’s declaration of “all I want is you” is so casual, it seems to just barely separate itself from the whirling synth around it. But it's the singer's nonchalant delivery throughout the track that makes “Gladly” so convincingly cool and undeniably sultry.

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“Stay Flo” by Solange

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“Stay Flow” nearly sounds tantric, as Solange bounces up and down, smoothly repeating a handful of mantras about “(holding) it down” and “(taking) it to the face"—phrases just vague enough to make sense for the circumstance.

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“I Won’t Mind” by Raveena

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This piano ballad is a feat in sincerity that is only made possible via Raveena’s convincingly euphoric high notes and bone-chillingly beautiful falsetto.

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“drip bounce _ 7_24_18” by Toro y Moi

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The closing track on Toro y Moi’s 2019 Soul Trash is set like a sweet little post-dinner mint. Chaz Budnick steps away from the rest of the album’s more house-adjacent tracks, and instead ends with a smooth sailing acoustic outro.

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“Precious Possession” by Anna Wise

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“Precious Possession” finds Anna Wise alarmingly available, playfully leaning into the idea of ownership in partnership. “Will you call me your girlfriend?” she asks coyly, almost jokingly, while still delivering a flawless R&B track that stands on its own.

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“Smoke (Remix)” by Yves Tumor feat. Blood Orange and Ian Isaiah

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“Smoke (Remix)” has the nonchalant air of an interlude on a classic album, but it luckily doesn’t stop itself after the first thirty seconds. Instead, it goes on for nearly five full minutes as it blends together the holy trinity of kaleidoscope artists, each uniquely suave and vibrant in their own genre-defiant right.

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“Pull Up” by Abra

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With the perfect mix of shit-talking and seduction, Abra’s “Pull Up” is a slinky declaration of confidence.

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“Pull” by Spooky Black

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At the pinnacle of Tumblr’s effectiveness as a music discovery platform came Spooky Black, a viral teenage sensation for those who were very online. Much of the spectacle around him had to do with the midwest teenager’s ability to make beautiful lo-fi love music that sounded like it came from someone twice his age.

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“Plastic” by Tiffany Baira

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“Plastic” is a satisfyingly clean, Y2k-infused pop track that comes with a heightened sense of self. Tiff Baira invokes the certain melancholia that comes with the bubblegum-pink life of sugar daddies and barbies, deftly painting the realities of the sex life of a 20-something in New York.


Stream all of the songs in the playlist below and make sure to follow Harper's BAZAAR on Spotify. Follow

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