Indie Songs of Sex
April 20, 2011 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Suggest some non-mainstream songs about sex, the erotic, and especially seduction. Bonus points if Australian.

I'm participating in a digital radio workshop hosted by a community radio station here where we aim to produce & host our own shows. My show's going to be about sexuality and the erotic, and I'm looking for music to play.

I saw the other AskMefis about sex and music, but almost all the recommendations are Top 40 tracks, which our station doesn't do. The station aims to showcase non-mainstream music, and we've got a push for Australian music, new music (within the last year-ish), and music with female involvement.

The first episode I'm working on is about seduction, hence the request for songs about that, but anything of a similar vibe works too.
posted by divabat to Media & Arts (45 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

Australian, female, but unfortunately mainstream: "I Touch Myself."

There are probably some lesser-known Divinyls tracks you could mine, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:54 PM on April 20, 2011

Not Australian, but the first thing to come to mind was Lovage. Also, as I was reading the question I had my music on shuffle, and a Lovage track came on so .... it's a sign!!

Since you're looking for individual song recommendations, try this one..
posted by mannequito at 4:55 PM on April 20, 2011

Response by poster: Oh they don't have to strictly be Australian - the only dealbreaker requirement here is that they not be Top 40, but the rest is fungible.

(huh, I didn't know I Touch Myself was Aussie...)
posted by divabat at 4:59 PM on April 20, 2011

Anything by Peaches!
posted by zagyzebra at 5:02 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: mannequito: That Lovage song is great! Can't seem to find a place to buy the track though...
posted by divabat at 5:05 PM on April 20, 2011

Just how non-mainstream and female-involved do you want to get? There's Granville Bantock, a Victorian composer who set the poems of Sappho to music. (He did the same with the Song of Solomon and other ancient erotic works.)
posted by Ashley801 at 5:07 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lovage - Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By on Amazon. Doesn't appear to have mp3 downloads but the entire album is amazing and worth paying for.
posted by kdar at 5:09 PM on April 20, 2011

Response by poster: Ashley801: If there's a way to get those MP3s today that would be AWESOME. *note to self*
posted by divabat at 5:10 PM on April 20, 2011

Suggest some non-mainstream songs about sex, the erotic, and especially seduction. Bonus points if Australian.

Ooh, I know this one. Penelope Swales.
posted by zamboni at 5:12 PM on April 20, 2011

non main-stream, but Australian and obvious - anything by Nick Cave that isn't a religious song or a murder ballad. try Heathen Child off the most recent Grinderman album. 'Breathless' is another good one (as the Bad Seeds)

Snowdroppers' Good Drugs, Bad Women is Aussie, about sex, and pretty misogynistic. there's no official video, unfortunately.

there's got to be a few Magic Dirt or solo Adelita songs that fit. try 'Girlboy' by Magic Dirt. can't find a video, but the lyrics work: "Makes me feel cool when I say your name
Especially now when I masturbate
Makes me feel cool when I'm in control
Of the power you dish out like a salad roll
Watch me now as I pull down the blind
Take off your shirt and show me your white side"

it's Aussie and female-fronted

Jane Badler has just done an album with SiR that's apparently some kind of lounge cabaret seductive thing

Rowland S Howard - Dead Radio. Aussie. '
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:20 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

A good number of cuts off of 69 Love Songs.
posted by Rinku at 5:24 PM on April 20, 2011

Rob Clarkson - With My Hand on My Heart and My Futon The Mattress
Rob Clarkson - Don't Sleep With Your Best Friends
Rob Clarkson - Only With Boys Now
posted by pompomtom at 5:28 PM on April 20, 2011

Plenty of club tracks, but K-Alexi made an all-time classic.
Also, Sheila - Love Kiss
posted by rhizome at 5:37 PM on April 20, 2011

The album Liquid by Recoil is intensely sexual and quite dark. Want. Breath Control. Recoil is a side project by a former Depeche Mode member, so it's not that non-mainstream, but it's not like it's a billboard chart topper.
posted by aubilenon at 5:40 PM on April 20, 2011

Proposition by Liz Janes
posted by carsonb at 5:43 PM on April 20, 2011

Map of Tasmania by Amanda Palmer.
posted by ottereroticist at 5:45 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

Not new or Australian, but Leather by Tori Amos
posted by hansbrough at 5:47 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

First thought: I got someone into bed in college in about two minutes flat with Peter Murphy's His Circle and Hers Meet (lyrics here).

- don't know if it's outside your parameters, but The Beatles' I Want You (She's So Heavy) is a great musical depiction of that sort of semi-obsessive sexual yearning for someone. Also David Bowie's Cracked Actor also may be out of the indie parameters, but it's a great dirty song about hot, cheap sex!

- oh, the mighty Polly Jean!! PJ Harvey, Ecstasy and This Is Love

- The Gossip, On the Prowl

- Billy Bragg, Sexuality

- Lucinda Williams, Right In Time

- Crowded House, When You Come (Aussie connection, though their popularity in Aus probably disqualifies them; not sure if this particular track was a hit, though)

- Divine Comedy, Generation Sex

- Happy Mondays, Bob's Yer Uncle

- XTC, I'd Like That

- And to finish, a cynical little ditty: Alex Chilton, No Sex
posted by scody at 5:54 PM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

Here's the full trifecta: The Cannanes - Not Quite Right
posted by Sys Rq at 6:05 PM on April 20, 2011

Gang of Four - Damaged Goods

The Night Marchers - Open Your Legs (sorry, couldn't find a link to this one)

T.S.O.L. - Code Blue

Milemarker - Sex Jam Two: Insect Incest
posted by camneely at 6:15 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seeing Scody's Lucinda and raising her.
posted by Danf at 6:17 PM on April 20, 2011

Velvet Goldmine- David Bowie
Right Hand Man- Joan Osborne
posted by kimdog at 6:29 PM on April 20, 2011

Is Lykke Li too mainstream? If not - Get Some.
posted by unliteral at 6:37 PM on April 20, 2011

Esthero - If Tha Mood, from her Wikked Lil' Grrrls album
I couldn't find a studio recording of it on YouTube, but it sounds great on the album. Since it's hard to understand her in the live recording, here are the lyrics.
posted by wondermouse at 6:43 PM on April 20, 2011

The Weeknd - What You Need
posted by acidic at 7:10 PM on April 20, 2011

Runaway Train by Kasey Chambers. . .an Aussie! Also an old favorite in the Danf household.
posted by Danf at 7:22 PM on April 20, 2011

baterz - fifteen
posted by russm at 7:55 PM on April 20, 2011

TISM's Everyone has had more sex than me is Aussie as fuck.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 8:26 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

CSS - Let's make love and listen to death from above
Deer Tick - Spend the Night and Dance of Love
Dionysos - Cunnilingus mon amour (the song itself starts 30 seconds into the video; if you don't speak french, it's about a hamster who happens to be named Cunnilingus)
Hawksley Workman - Striptease

I'm afraid none of those are new or Australian, though. Maybe Architecture in Helsinki's Heart it Races might qualify, for at least one of those categories?
posted by monkeymonkey at 8:30 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

Machine Gun Fellatio - Mouth, Amorous, Pussytown, Not Afraid of Romance.

Dirty Australian songs!
posted by evilbeck at 9:03 PM on April 20, 2011

I think Gravy Train!!!! would be right up your alley.

The Grates are Australian. Here's "Trampoline."

If Prince is too mainstream, how about Arto Lindsay covering Prince?
posted by hydrophonic at 9:46 PM on April 20, 2011

another Rob Clarkson - The housemate who brought a moaner home.
posted by wilful at 9:56 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Grates are Australian. Here's "Trampoline yt ."

I followed them around but forgot about them. Seconding Trampoline. Or 'Message'.

You need Abbe May. Perth female blues singer who mostly sings about sex. Hawaiian Disease will make you melt.

Brand New's Sic Transit Gloria is about the unwilling/nervous seduction of the narrator. I think
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:36 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you take it? by The Wet Spots
posted by blackkar at 11:01 PM on April 20, 2011

MOMUS and MOMUS and in case you missed it MOMUS. I don't know another songwriter who speaks so frankly about sex.

Even better, six of his earlyish albums were given away for free on his livejournal, seeing that they're now out of print. Timelord in particular is a touchstone for me but HERE'S a link to some blog with further links to each of the albums individually. You'd probably like Tender Pervert or Hippopotamomus more.
posted by solarion at 1:21 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Australian Indie...(I'll probably keep coming back with l'esprit de l'escalier suggestions):

Nick Cave: Hard on for Love.

Art of Fighting: Just Say I'm Right (which is about sex & seduction but in far more bittersweet, grubby, poignant, resigned kind of way: "by the time i wake you’ll be no-one i know / just a see through shadow at the bedroom window [...] Just say I'm right")
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:03 AM on April 21, 2011

Another Art of Fighting: Give me Tonight. They do bittersweet so well.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:08 AM on April 21, 2011

Melissa Ferrick - Drive
posted by lydhre at 6:00 AM on April 21, 2011

Man, as an obscure public radio DJ you think this would be right up my alley, but I'm coming up mostly blank. Still, here's what you get off the top of my head.

Thick Dick - Orgasm is a great song, but good luck googling it.

Louis XIV - Paper Doll.

Freestylers - Push Up.

The cover of U.K. Girls (Physical) by Goldfrapp although they might be too mainstream.

And who could forget The Magnetic Fields - Underwear?
posted by saveyoursanity at 7:20 AM on April 21, 2011

I don't think these ones have been mentioned yet. Sorry, none of these are from the last year.

Headless Chickens - Mr. Moon

Don't leave me alone tonight
Cause I need so much to feel your golden touch
Mr Moon you walk upon the water
You shine like oil on machinery
You're sharper than a knife
And I'll love you all my life

and more mainstream, there's Neil Finn - Sinner

Those things I should keep to myself
But I feel somehow strangely compelled
Under moonlight I stood wild and naked
Felt no shame just my spirit awakened

Crowded House - Whispers and Moans

Then I wake up in your room
To share one piece of your life
I'd give anything to be a fly upon the wall
And hear your whispers and moans

posted by Sutekh at 8:00 AM on April 21, 2011

While the band is very mainstream, what about Berlin: Sex (I'm A...) (or the extended version).
posted by no relation at 9:47 AM on April 21, 2011

Maybe a stretch, but Bill Callahan has a bunch of songs about sex--"To Be of Use" (most of my fantasies are of making someone else come...), "Nineteen" which is about losing one's virginity, "Dress Sexy at My Funeral" (about the triumph of life/sex/vitality over death), etc.

Songs: Ohia's "Captain Badass" (so a hot kiss is alright/and a long kiss is alright/and all night is alright) and "Hot Black Silk" maybe? And "Nervous Bride" (women are dressed up and they are up to no good/you're dressed up for liberation). His pal Scout Niblett has a few songs where she's refreshingly frank about wanting to have sex in a matter of fact tomboyish sort of way (can't remember which offhand..."Fire Flies" where having a crush on a guy coincides with her wanting to watch fireflies go at it, and "Miss In Love With Her Own Fate" where she sings about the rhythm playing drums getting her off I think? And "Dinosaur Egg" at the end when she sings I'd much rather be a golden ball of light/but still have sex).

Barcelona's "Everything Makes Me Think About Sex".

Will Oldham has tons of raunchy songs (he of if I could fuck a mountain/I would fuck a mountain and "Boy, you have cum in your hair and your dick is hanging out" fame). Arab Strap too--"Dream Sequence" which is lyrically a pretty horny song has, after all the smutty talk, the concluding line one day we'll be old and we'll both be past our peak/so until then all we can do is master our technique. For a super cynical downer take there's also "Packs of Three" though it might be too explicit (it was the biggest cock you'd ever seen/but you've no idea where that cock has been/you said you were careful/you never were with me/I heard you did it four times/but johnnies come in packs of three). And for a little happier, that song with the line you can be my teenage Jenny Agutter swimming naked in a pond. And on the dating/seduction front, "Speed Dating" and "Serenade" (don't get me wrong, I've always had plans for your lips and my lips/the first time I saw you/I saw all my future right between your hips/you're...the kind of girl I want to bathe and dance with/but just ignore me 'cause I understand/I only go for girls I've got no chance with). They also have a song about abortion ("Pro [Your] Life").

And as mentioned, Liz Phair is like, the queen of this, albeit a very cynical one. She has an early demo or two somewhere coming into her own as a teenage girl and wanting to have orgasms and asking her mom to take her to buy a vibrator and her mom wouldn't do it, or something. "Animal Girl" isn't about sex so much as teenage girl body freakout "whoa" revelation, also.

Thalia Zedek's "Evil Hand".

For seduction/allure there's always Twilight Singers/Afghan Whigs as 90% of Greg Dulli's persona is the smooth talking horny cocky but self-loathing asshole who wants to get in your pants. Upbeat examples: "66", "Somethin' Hot" (I dream a while about your smile/and the way you make your ass shake, "The Killer" (she smelled exciting/I wanted some).

As for S-K, there's "Turn It On" which is kind of, ahem, frisky towards the end (it's too warm inside your hands/it's too hot, it's too good/it's just that when you touch me I cannot stand up/oh I fell until I fell down...turn it on, turn it on, turn it on!).

Dunno if by "sexuality" you're including non-erotic depictions of being gay/queer, but in terms of downers, speaking of S-K there is no finer gay anthem than "Call the Doctor".

Section 25's "Dirty Disco/Je Veux Ton Amour" comes to mind for sleazy seduction, as does Ike Yard's "Cherish 8".
posted by ifjuly at 11:30 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cars Can Be Blue's "Dirty Song" (strange YouTube video but I think better than the other extremely strange option) lives up to its name. Female lead singer and very indie; I don't even know how I know it, but it has an unfortunate tendency to get stuck in my head.
posted by Devika at 3:09 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Scala version of "I Touch Myself." Way, way more female; way, way less top 40. Moves from Australia to Belgium, though. :P
posted by Starmie at 6:31 PM on April 21, 2011

Je t'aime (moi non plus) - Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin (lyrics)

Shave 'em Dry - Lucille Bogan (lyrics below video)
posted by knilstad at 8:38 PM on April 21, 2011

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