50 Ways To Woo Your Lover

Happily coupled for some time, I no longer need to make seduction playlists; regardless, here are a few dozen declarations of love, lust, infatuation and devotion that I’ve always kept within reach, most of them spanning my lifetime—a good chunk from those bountiful mix tape/CD years (The Delays’ soaring “Nearer Than Heaven” appeared often) with a select few from beforehand (Ella, Nina) and just as many from the past decade (Alvvays, Years & Years). Revisiting some of these songs again feels like a throwback to that period when I was constantly falling in love (or so I thought in many cases.)

Otherwise, anything that fit thematically was up for grabs here, from stuff everyone knows (Diana, Stevie) to obscurities everyone should (Emm Gryner, Stew). Queer artists are naturally present (Erasure, KD Lang, Pet Shop Boys, Tegan & Sara), as are acts whose general demeanor would initially seem to preclude them from appearing here (Velvet Underground, The Smiths.) My one rule was to include tracks without that overused word “love” in the title, though I made an exception for one song so exquisitely charming and resonant that I couldn’t possibly leave it off.

Listen to/watch this playlist here.

  1. Alphabeat, “Fascination”
  2. Alvvays, “Archie, Mary Me”
  3. The Association, “Everything That Touches You”
  4. Blossom Dearie, “They Say It’s Spring”
  5. Catherine Wheel, “I Want To Touch You”
  6. The Delays, “Nearer Than Heaven”
  7. Diana Ross, “Upside Down”
  8. Echobelly, “Nobody Like You”
  9. Ella Fitzgerald, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”
  10. Emm Gryner, “Symphonic”
  11. Erasure, “Let’s Take One More Rocket To The Moon”
  12. Field Music, “Stay Awake”
  13. The Go-Betweens, “Finding You”
  14. Hot Chip, “One Life Stand”
  15. Hunters and Collectors, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”
  16. INXS, “Not Enough Time”
  17. The Judybats, “Ugly On The Outside”
  18. KD Lang & The Siss Boom Bang, “The Water’s Edge”
  19. Living Colour, “Solace Of You”
  20. M People, “Excited”
  21. Marshall Crenshaw, “Whenever You’re On My Mind”
  22. Matthew Sweet, “I’ve Been Waiting”
  23. The Magnetic Fields, “It’s Only Time”
  24. Nina Simone, “My Baby Just Cares For Me”
  25. Pet Shop Boys, “Liberation”
  26. Prince & The Revolution, “Take Me With U”
  27. REM, “At My Most Beautiful”
  28. Roisin Murphy, “Unputdownable”
  29. Roxette, “How Do You Do!”
  30. Roxy Music, “To Turn You On”
  31. Rubber Rodeo, “Anywhere With You”
  32. Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us”
  33. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, “All Over Again”
  34. Shelly Duvall, “He Needs Me”
  35. Sleater-Kinney, “Oh!”
  36. The Smiths, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
  37. Split Enz, “I Got You”
  38. Stars, “Elevator Love Letter”
  39. Steve Wynn, “Out Of This World”
  40. Stevie Wonder, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours”
  41. Stew, “Reeling”
  42. Sylvester, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”
  43. Talking Heads, “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)”
  44. Tegan & Sara, “Closer”
  45. They Might Be Giants, “She’s An Angel”
  46. Van Morrison, “Sweet Thing”
  47. The Velvet Underground, “I’ll Be Your Mirror”
  48. XTC, “Great Fire”
  49. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Hysteric”
  50. Years & Years, “Shine”

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