“Drinking wine, feeling fine
Waiting here to find the sign
That I can understand”
“Drinking wine, feeling fine
Waiting here to find the sign
That I can understand”
Let’s be real — sometimes it takes more than candles, rose pedals, and whatever else you’re in to (no judgment here) to set the mood. You can play the stereotypical Marvin Gaye or Miguel, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, “the mood” is different each time — for example, a song to set the tone for when one of you is going through a difficult time (so, like, grief babymaking) will most likely not set the proper “mood” for when you’re both coming home from a great night, slightly buzzed, and majorly frisky (I mean, unless that’s your thing). “The mood” varies, and so should each babymaking song. Here’s a playlist with a mix of indie, hip-hop, electronic, and a whole lot of ~sensual~ music accompanied by rom-com worthy situations for each song:
1. Good For You by Selena Gomez, A$AP Rocky. “Let me show you how proud I am to be yours/ Leave this dress a mess on the floor” You’ve been dating your significant other for a little while now, and it’s really good, but you’re so paranoid of it becoming stale. You’re unconsciously desperate and almost obsessed with pleasing your partner. You constantly think of ways to surprise him/her and prove that you’re worth it. (Side note: You’re worth it. Don’t ever prove yourself to anyone.)
2. All The Time by Bahamas. “I’ve got all the time in the world don’t you want some of that” Two words: Afternoon delight. You wanted the both of you to play hooky from work to, ummm, “spend time” with each other, but you have that 10:30am conference call that you cannot miss. So you both go to work, but both rush home to “eat lunch.” 😉 😉 😉 You both go back to work slightly frazzled, a little messy, but with a bigger smile and a bit more energy. Hey, lunch must’ve been really delicious today!
3. One Time by Marian Hill. “You like the hit and run/ You say it’s all for fun” This song is straight-up sensuality and swagger. You meet someone at the bar (who’s not creepy or douchey or ditzy – idk it might be the tequila talking), and you’re surprised at how decent the conversation is. You initiate conversation because you apologize for your drunk friend bumping into everyone in a 10-foot vicinity, and he/she flashes you a 1000-mega-watt smile (idk again, everything’s kind of blurry). You talk a little about your music tastes, your careers, and your mutual dislike for Donald Trump, and wow, you’ve never met anyone this refreshingly normal at a bar before. It goes without saying that you mutually agree that tonight, despite what Marian Hill is crooning about, you will have a one-night stand (and promise to pretend to still be sleeping when the other is tip-toeing out of the apartment the next morning).
4. Powerful by Major Lazer, Ellie Goulding, Tarrus Riley. “There’s an energy/ When you hold me/ When you touch me/ It’s so powerful” You’re at your friend’s overly packed holiday party, and as you’re trying to make your way back to the bar to fill up your glass, you bump into your old ex (the one that you really and wholeheartedly loved even when you broke up and cried for weeks and watched PS I Love You over and over again). You’re both kind of startled, but in a crowded room full of people, it’s just you two. And, honestly, it feels comforting to see such a familiar face. He/she asks if you want to get some air, get a drink elsewhere, or really anything to be alone together. (Side note: This has probably already happened in roughly 85-120 romantic comedy movies probably starring either Kate Hudson or Katherine Heigl.)
5. Talk is Cheap by Chet Faker. “I wanna make you move with confidence/ I wanna be with you alone” You’re both coming back from a great dinner filled with plenty of laughter and happiness. As you walk home arm-in-arm, you realize how much you admire him/her — literally everything about the person, even the annoying way he/she puts the carton back in the fridge even though there’s about a millimeter of juice left. When you both finally arrive home and are unwinding, but still basking in the greatness of the night, you both mutually want to show each other just how much you really feel for one another. (Side note: This song is meant for your FOR REAL, ride-or-die, legitimate lover/soulmate/best friend/person. Chet Faker should not be taken lightly.)
6. Two Weeks by FKA Twigs. “My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in” You’ve been dating your significant other for a while because, let’s be real, things can get real freaky when FKA Twigs comes on. No need to go into detail with this one *insert awkward/nervous emoji here*.
7. Black Mambo by Glass Animals. “Slow down/ It’s a science/ He’s been waiting/ To bring you down” You’re at an informal, mini-reunion with all of your old college pals, and you’re having a genuinely good time catching up with everyone and feeling like absolutely nothing’s changed. One minute you’re chugging beer with your one friend you always thought was attractive but never had the guts to cross that line, and the next minute you’re asking that friend: “What if we actually did hook up back then?” More than a few minutes after that (or at least I’d hope so), your “What if?” becomes a “What now?”
8. Slip by Elliot Moss. “Whoa, whoa, whoa” You’ve been dating this person for a little while now, but the relationship (if you can even officially call it that yet) is still brand spankin’ new. Everything’s a little awkward at first, and you’re both cautious and a little timid, but there’s also a sense of urgency. You fumble, you stumble, you mumble. Everything’s tame, but you both know how pivotal this moment is.
9. Four Walls by Broods. “I wanna make you feel how I feel when I’m listening to love songs/ I wanna take you to the peak of everything that you are” Everything’s perfect, and you both love each other a ridiculous amount. But then your company transfers you to a branch in a different country, and you’re stoked because this is your dream and exactly what you’ve been wanting to do — the ultimate next step in your career and your life. And then you remember your significant other. You both talk about it over and over again, and you both realize it wasn’t meant to be at this time. You ache because you know that in another life, in other circumstances, you would 100% be together, but not right now. You spend your last night in your home country in the place you know best.
10. Often by The Weeknd. “I usually love sleeping all alone/ This time around bring your friend with you/ But we ain’t really going to sleep at all” You swore you would stop hitting up your friend-with-benefits/routine booty call, but it’s Saturday night and you’re bored. So your FWB comes over to innocently watch the game with you and drink a couple of beers. But then you’re both staring at the game timer as it slowly ticks down second-by-second, and oops wow, you didn’t even realize you were holding your breath with your fists tightly clenched. It goes to commercial, and in a nanosecond you look over at each other, make knowing eye contact, and then — touchdown, goal, score, home run (who even knows what sport you two were “watching”).
11. Pony by Ginuwine. “My saddle’s waiting/ Come and jump on it” When you feel like getting your Magic Mike on.
It’s #BulkingSeason, and if you’re like me, you need all the motivation you can get to power through an intense workout. Whether it’s during cardio and I need that extra push for 5 more minutes on the treadmill, or it’s lifting day and I need to get pumped to pump iron (5-pound weights count, right?) — I’ll always have an aggressive playlist blasting through my almost broken, off-white/brown-ish Apple headphones. I don’t know if it’s just my gym that plays not-so-great music, but I don’t consider Echosmith or Jack Johnson to be workout music — love ’em both, but no, just no. Release your inner juice head with this workout playlist:
1. Wild for the Night by A$AP Rocky, Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam. (“Okay, feelin’ good and strong!”) This mash-up is equal parts EDM and hip-hop with two artists who are at the top of their game in their respective genres. The combination of Skrillex’s extraterrestrial, dubby beat and A$AP’s vocals gets at least an extra 8 minutes out of me (umm, maybe that’s pushing it actually) on the treadmill.
2. UFO – Trap Edit by Vigiland. (“I wonder how many more songs there are until I’m done. Maybe like 5?”) The Swedish duo (was NOT a part of Swedish House Mafia — I’ll admit I sometimes categorize all DJs hailing from Sweden under the trio of super-DJs) remixed their electro house song and made it into a trap banger. With this song playing, you can’t really tell if I’m shuffle-dancing or running.
3. Speakerbox by Bassnectar, Lafa Taylor. (“Okay, after this song, I’m probably at least 10 minutes into the workout… right?!”) A part of Bassnectar’s latest 16-track mixtape, Into the Sun, “Speakerbox” is intense and straight-up aggressive. I’m not a huge fan of Bassnectar, but this track’s rude beat and angry-sounding vocals amp me up and keep me going.
4. NRG (Skrillex, Kill the Noise, Milo & Otis Remix) by Duck Sauce. (“Aw, this song’s nice and light and airy!”) Providing a little break from the almost hostile trap- and rap-heavy playlist, this song gives you some lighthearted NRG (lol).
5. Syclla by RL Grime. (“SOS: my shorts are riding up.”) RL Grime serves up a main dish of trap with two extra sides of trap on this track. This is what I’d consider a “dirty” beat. As soon as the beat drops, this song gets your heartbeat going (ya know, as if it wasn’t already obnoxiously beating out of your chest, but hey, at least you’re burning extra calories?).
6. ‘Till I Collapse by Eminem, Nate Dogg. (“If I pretend I’m in Marine bootcamp right now, I can keep going until at least the end of this song.”) The stomp-stomp-clap beat made famous by Queen’s “We Will Rock You” will never get old to me. Also, how much more perfect can this song get for a workout with its mini-motivational talk in the beginning: “‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired,/ Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up./ But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength/ And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up/ And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.” Dawww thanks, Eminem!
7. Born To Rage – USA Version by Dada Life. (“I think I’m dying.”) These guys are straight up wild, and released 39 versions of “Born To Rage” based on which country you’re from. It’s a huge anthem with a big beat that will definitely keep you going strong (I mean, it just doesn’t feel right to walk to this song).
8. Radio by Santigold. (“I’m dripping. Wow, I sweat a lot… is this normal?”) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This track is pure (Santi)GOLD.
9. Turbulence – Radio Edit by Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke, Lil Jon. (“Oh God, I don’t know if I can make it.”) At this point in my workout, this intense banging beat is the only thing that can help me finish my workout strong.
10. 2AM (Matoma Remix) by Astrid S. (“Oh thank sweet baby J — I’m done. I need to air out before I go back into the car.”) The perfect cool-down song.