It’s that time of year, and as an erotic romance writer, people always ask me if I listen to music while I write. The answer is an emphatic — “No.” I need to only listen to the characters in my head, my muses as I call them.

I do, however, listen to music that inspires what I write. In fact, I have a novel that I’m working on in the New Adult category that was entirely inspired by Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. What better place to get inspiration for angsty, college-aged people falling in and out of love than Taylor Swift, right?

But really, when it comes to songs that inspire my writing, it almost always comes from Indie Rock. And with Valentine’s Day here yet again, I’d thought I’d share my TOP FIVE picks for the sexiest Indie Rock songs you should have on your playlist.

#5 Maroon 5’s “Secret”: Okay. I realize Maroon 5 is no longer an Indie band. But this first album was stellar. The beat, the mood, and the lyrics. Yeah. Pretty sexy. What has happened to them? No clue but hang onto this whole album and you’ll remember they were once an Indie Rock band with integrity and grit. “Cool these engines, calm these jets…and as you wipe off beads of sweat…” ‘nuff said.

#4 “Sweater Weather,” The Neighborhood: “One love, two mouths…goosebumps start to raise…” Almost everything this band writes is markedly sexy and romantic even in a painful way. Their last album fell a little short for me but there’s something beyond romantic about being held in the “holes” of someone’s sweater. Sigh.

#3 “Every Other Freckle,” Alt J: Okay. I write erotic romance, but this feeling. THIS: That idea that you just can’t get enough of a person, that you want every other freckle and then some. You just can’t get enough. “I want to share your mouthful…I want to do all the things your lungs do so well…I want every other freckle.” Plus, the rhythm is just perfect for..well, you know.

#2: “Fire and the Flood,” Vance Joy: This almost made it to #1 for me. It’s so emotional that even as he’s singing it, his voice shakes with passion. I love that. This is the penultimate in romantic for me. That feeling of love that overwhelms and engulfs you. It’s ALL we can feel. The song doesn’t have the sexy factor I need for Valentine’s Day, so it came out just a little short but as far as romantic, I can’t find one better — conflicting emotions of the that fire and flood. That kind of love is painful. I highly recommend it. ;) “Since we met, I feel a lightness in my step/ You’re miles away but I still feel you…I’ll always feel you in my blood.”

And my….drum roll, please, # 1 INDIE ROCK SONG for Valentine’s Day goes to — “I Wanna Be Yours,” Arctic Monkeys. Do I really need to explain why? Mmmmm…This takes that beat you need, that almost angst, and couples it with the sexiest lyrics on the planet Earth and you’ve got yourself a song “as deep as the Pacific ocean.” It’s the idea that he just wants to breath her in, all-encompassing, and nothing else. He wants to choke on her. And really? What girl doesn’t want THAT?

Get your playlist together, find the perfect person, and may I say, have a sexy Valentine’s Day, all senses engaged.

(R.B. O’Brien is an erotic romance writer, blogger, and poet. See her website here for more information.

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