As the adage goes, “Music speaks what words can’t express.” As love month continues to envelop upon us, many will show appreciation for their partners, FUBUs, and situationships. And while we’re not all natural Shakespeares, music can help us set the tone from the first date to the bedroom.
If you’re struggling to find tunes to amp up the mood for the deed, check out our recommendations below, each apt for a specific relationship setup. From casuals to hopeless romantics, we got it covered. As always, feel free to comment below your faves that you would’ve wanted to see on this list.
“LOVE” – Kendrick Lamar
Perfect for: When you’re asking for something serious
In the online age where dating is as simple as swiping left and right, and labels range from FUBUs to situationships, unconditional love gets rarer by the day. Kendrick Lamar assures his partner Whitney Alford of this devotion and asks her if she feels the same in LOVE. With lines like “If I didn’t ride blade on curb, would you still love me?” (“Blade on curb” is a term for expensive cars), LOVE searches for authenticity in a time when it’s in short supply.
“BMW” – Because
Perfect for: When you’re both at your horniest
Sometimes there’s no need for subtlety; a simple “DO ME” will suffice. BMW by Because is an example with its graphic imagery of a couple who does the deed on the road because they can’t help themselves. The song spares no details on positions and scenarios, perfect for couples who prefer a bit of adventure.
“Eba” – kiyo
Perfect for: When you’ve found “The One”
In our Complex Philippines interview with kiyo, the 23-year-old artist shares that his career started with dropping lo-fi tracks on Facebook, so it’s no surprise that his best love songs feature the chillest beats paired with the smoothest flows. Eba, a synonym for “Iba,” sees kiyo profess his love for someone different from the rest. With lyrics like, “Panghabangbuhay hindi lamang pang-era / Pag kasama parang perya, kapag wala ka walang eksena,” the track is a celebration of finding “The One.”
“Ngayong Gabi” – Al James
Perfect for: One night stands
We’re not all hopeless romantics. Sometimes, two people just need each other to warm their beds. Al James tackles living in the moment with Ngayong Gabi. Will this relationship last more than a night? Who gives a crap? We’re here, we exist at this moment, we feel great, and that’s all that matters.
“Favorite Vice” – Arthur Nery
Perfect for: When you’re afraid to be vulnerable
Arthur Nery dropped one of the best OPM albums of all time back in 2019 with Letters Never Sent—and that’s a hill I’ll die on. Choosing the most sensual song from the list is also the ultimate Sophie’s Choice; it’s almost impossible.
But while Binhi and Higa get the most airtimes, Favorite Vice should also get the nod for tackling the very-real struggles of opening up to someone. Having sex is easy, but being vulnerable and trusting your partner is where sh*t gets real.
“Sanctuary” – Joji
Perfect for: When you’ve found your safe space
When the world seems intent on collapsing, it pays to have a safe space. Sure, it can be your family and friends, but it’s a different kind of “magic” when a stranger turns into your most trusted partner. Call it cheesy, but in a time full of uncertainty, sincerity is what we need.
“u&i” – James Reid
Perfect for: When you’re both in your little bubble
If you’re one of the two people in the world who still can’t take James Reid seriously as an artist, now is the time to get on board. The former teen actor continues to evolve his R&B sound through his label, Careless Music, most recently with his album lovescene. The LP’s lead single, u&i, captures that blissful feeling of giving zero care to what anyone thinks about your relationship, which is very apt in the social media age where everything is for public consumption.
“hooked/good lover” – Jess Connelly
Perfect for: When you choose to live in the moment
Society puts unnecessary pressure on relationships with questions like “When will you get married?” and “When will you have kids?” Whatever happened to just enjoying what we have now and letting life takes its course? Jess Connelly chooses to live in the moment while being indifferent to the worries of tomorrow. hooked/good lover is the definition of “it is what it is.”
“Can’t Want You” – crwn, August Wahh
Perfect for: “Will they/won’t they” relationships
Relationships are rarely straightforward. There are a lot of uncertainties and emotional stakes involved. But what if someone is too good to pass up, but your commitment is in flux? August Wahh and crwn provide no answers, only raw feelings in Can't Want You.
“YK” – Cean Jr.
Perfect for: When you’re all in
Amidst the chaos of dating comes a time when you find the person you wholeheartedly know is your endgame. The intense combo of chemistries and feelings is overwhelming, bordering on movie-like, but it is assured at the same time. Cean Jr. captures this yearning that hopeless romantics will die for in “YK.”