We all know the typical songs to play when you’re in the mood for romance. Now I’m not knocking the classics, but if I can sing along to one of those songs while in the car with my parents, I’m definitely not putting it on when I’m with my boyfriend (see: Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”). With an endless supply of talented indie bands creating beautiful background tracks for your most intimate moments, don’t sell yourself short with overplayed songs. I’m sharing some of my best “Makeout Mix” tracks with you, so use wisely.
5. Amos Lee – “Keep It Lose, Keep It Tight”
With silky smooth vocals, a basic string-centric arrangement, and memorable lyrics (“I’m in love with a girl who’s in love with the world”), this song has been on every mix I’ve made for years. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and deserves a spot on this top five list.
4. Brighten – “We Are The Birds”
Sure, Brighten lifted the chorus, “If you’re a bird / I’m a bird” straight from the tearjerker The Notebook, but since that is the most romantic movie I’ve ever seen, all is forgiven.
3. Copeland – “You Have My Attention”
Paying homage to an incredible indie rock band, “You Have My Attention” is the most appropriately-titled track on this top five. With its lush orchestration, airy vocals, and romantic, pious lyrics (“Speak but a whisper / I’ll hear a sermon”), who wouldn’t want to listen to this while setting the mood?
2. Jimmy Eat World – “Polaris”
Jimmy Eat World is unquestionably a sweet spot in my iTunes library. With seven albums full of emotional love songs, it’s hard to pick just one, but the rock ‘n roll-tinged “Polaris” wins with the lyrics, “You say that love goes anywhere / in your darkest time, it’s just enough to know it’s there.”
1. Death Cab For Cutie – “Transatlanticism”
Clocking in at nearly eight minutes, this is the epitome of a slow-building, mood-setting indie song. Slow to start and as poetic as you’d expect from Death Cab, it culminates with the repetition of “I need you so much closer.” Swoon. You’re welcome.