Desire fuels passion. Lust is the passionate yearning for something or someone. Admittedly, we often lust over the wrong things. No matter what you’re lusting over, here are songs handpicked by us about that all too familiar feeling.
“From Eden” by Hozier
If there’s any artist that writes absolute masterpieces about love and desire, it’s Hozier. “From Eden” is comically written from the Devil’s point of view, in which he admires someone innocent and pure from afar. He tries to woo the other person despite knowing that the relationship would be disastrous. While not your typical love song, it is very catchy nonetheless.
“Work Song” by Hozier
“Work Song” is about a worker that thinks of the love of his life as he toils away all day. This song represents the strength that a loving, supportive partner can give you. And of course, it contains the iconic lyrics: “When my time comes around / Lay me gently in the cold dark earth / No grave can hold my body down / I’ll crawl home to her.”
“Like Real People Do” by Hozier
This is by far my favorite Hozier song of all time (can you tell I’m a fan?). To me, this song represents the hope, innocence, and renewing energy of finding a new relationship after a not-so-great one. With calming, gentle vocals, “Like Real People Do” radiates the warmth, security, and indescribable happiness that a healthy love gives you.
“Gorgeous” by Taylor Swift
“Gorgeous” is a song about meeting someone so attractive that you can’t act normal around them. Taylor Swift can’t even talk to this person, singing, “I can’t say anything to your face, ‘cause look at your face.” Instead, she channeled those emotions into this song.
“I Think He Knows” by Taylor Swift
“I Think He Knows” is a song about the very beginning of a relationship. Taylor Swift sings about having a crush on someone and “drawing up the plans” to start a relationship with them. She “thinks he knows” about and reciprocates her feelings, but the song ends without confirming or denying that reciprocation. I guess listeners will have to be left in anticipation and uncertainty like Taylor Swift herself at the moment captured in the song.
“FFF” by Zara Larsson
Short for “falling for a friend,” “FFF” is a song about developing romantic feelings for a friend that you previously viewed strictly platonically. In the song, Zara Larsson wonders if her new feelings are reciprocated and worries that expressing them will ruin the friendship. She doesn’t want to lose the person entirely.
“Eres Mía” by Romeo Santos
Romeo Santos is a master of turning the most unhealthy concepts into catchy and oftentimes romantic songs. “Eres Mía” (which literally means “You Are Mine”) is about a possessive man who is unable to get over his ex. The song opens with lines that translate to “They tell me your boyfriend is stale and boring,” and only gets more toxic from there. It’s a fan favorite, especially among couples on the dance floor.
“Supermodel” by SZA
SZA is extremely vulnerable in “Supermodel.” She touches on her insecurities of her looks, admittance of infidelity, and acknowledges that she likes the validation from her ex’s attention. I feel like “Supermodel” helps examine how so many people feel like they need to be in a relationship in order to prove that they are worthy of love.
“Jenny” by Studio Killers
Chances are, if you’re a queer woman/femme, you may have already heard “Jenny” before. The female singer is in love with her seemingly straight best friend Jenny. The chorus, “I wanna ruin our friendship / We should be lovers instead / I don’t know how to say this / ‘Cause you’re really my dearest friend,” reflects the fear of ruining a perfectly good friendship due to what could be deemed as selfish reasons. It’s a fun pop song, and was the first sapphic pop song I ever encountered.
“Angel Baby” by Troye Sivan
Troye Sivan pours his heart out to his “angel baby” in this ballad, describing the feeling of wanting to experience forever with them, noting that nothing else in life could come close. He believes that his lover gave up heaven so they could be together. The song is sweet and blissful, yet rejuvenating. Troye sings about how this love literally invigorates him, bringing him to life.
“Somebody” by Keshi
This song may be one of Keshi’s most sensual, and listeners may not be used to the deviation from his usual soft and sweet demeanor in songs, but they aren’t exactly complaining. “Somebody” is about the intense feelings of wanting to be with someone physically, and Keshi isn’t afraid to make that known. Despite the forward lyrics, the vibe of the song is sultry and relaxing, with a hint of curiosity and excitement as he sings for the person he wants to get closer to him.
“Only Girl” by Kali Uchis ft. Steve Lacy and Vince Staples
“Only Girl” weaves the story of an ill-fated couple, one who is apprehensive with their affections (Uchis) due to past disappointments, and a lover dying to make it up to them (Lacy and Staples). The lyrics are resonant, a mutual connection that is slowly dying despite every effort to make it work. Despite this, their feelings for each other remain and they debate whether they can make it work one last time.
“PrettyGirlz” by WILLOW
In this slow and euphoric song, WILLOW describes the beauty of women from a sapphic perspective. The beauty of women to WILLOW lies in their self-assurance and passions, how women truly know themselves, and their ‘light’ that encompasses the beauty that they project into the world. “PrettyGirlz” celebrates women openly and unabashedly in all of their forms.
“Love Affair” by UMI
Tiptoeing the line between wanting more or denying that you could ever possibly care this much about another human being. UMI sings from the point of view of being stuck on that particular person and not knowing what the next move is. Questions pop up throughout the song, wondering if they’re good enough, if they’re ready for love, if the relationship should evolve. They can’t tell if they’re looking too deeply into minuscule moments or if it’s mutually significant. Even if they did want to be more exclusive, there are hints of commitment issues and any personal insecurities send them into panic mode every time the other person gets closer. The song speaks as though undermining what’s really happening will quiet those worries. Right… sure… keep telling yourself that it’s just a crush as if your heart doesn’t beat in your ears whenever they’re around or as if you aren’t drowning in thoughts about them every time you’re apart.
“Every Summertime” by NIKI
This song was trending not too long ago and is most likely the song from Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings: The Album that you’ve heard the most. This is a well-deserved reputation in my opinion because the song is so catchy and mystical-sounding that I feel like you just can’t hate it. It begins sounding classy and old-school before transitioning into a wispy dreamlike chorus that’s sure to enchant your brain. It matches the same energy as “my parents in the ‘90s” posts (of parents who are still together) that show off how cute the couple was in their young love stage. This song is for the couples who never grow tired of each other and still feel excited to see each other no matter how many years have passed.
“LMLY” by Jackson Wang
In such simple words, this song holds the story of your relationship not being the same as it used to be, with one person still feeling strongly about the other. The other person feels that the magic is gone, but the narrator felt like the breakup is one-sided, seemingly oblivious about the extent that any problems that had arisen. He claims that he at least needed a warning, but maybe his lust distracted him from the signs. Over time, the entire relationship had changed. One half was never not cold to the touch. They just didn’t work well as a couple anymore, but he didn’t think things would end this way. So suddenly. One person wants to keep trying, the other person knows it’s time to give up. At one point, you just have to accept that there are some things that can’t be fixed. Even if you love each other, you don’t always have to be together romantically if you aren’t compatible. Jackson Wang said it best when he sang, “there’s no drug quite like denial.”
“Chaise Lounge” by Wet Leg
Unabashedly sexy, unabashedly sexual, Wet Leg’s smash indie hit “Chaise Lounge” finds a strutting bassline flirting playfully with a catchy guitar hook, while the Isle of Wight duo Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers speak-sing lyrics that, while not exactly substantive, don’t need to be because they’re so much fun to sing along with.
“Winterbreak” by MUNA
The all too familiar (at least to some) feeling of traversing the pitfalls of an on again-off again relationship is captured beautifully in this track off LA-based alt-pop band MUNA’s 2017 debut effort About U. “Baby I think we both know/this is a love we won’t get right/ still if you said that you wanted it/ I know I’d always have one more try” soars the chorus as sung by vocalist Katie Gavin, who has been public about the fact that several of the songs on the group’s first record are about the tumultuous relationship between herself and producer Naomi McPherson. When we think of a song dealing with lust, we often think of it through the lens of excitement, and in “Winterbreak” MUNA reminds us just how frustrating-and sometimes even sad- lust can be.
“Straight” by Michael Darling
With a languid 6/8 melody and rich production, Madison, Wisconsin-based multi-hyphenate Michael Darling brings to the table a gut-punch of a serenade in “Straight,” his third fully produced single. While the hook is catchy, the content of the song is really what makes it memorable, with Darling commemorating the frustration of a deep infatuation with someone who doesn’t bat for the same team.
“Rico Acid” by Emily Blue
Chicago-based indie pop powerhouse Emily Blue is a force to be reckoned with, from her soaring vocals to the glitchcore style of her early work, perhaps best displayed in her 2017 single “Rico Acid.” The song finds Blue as narrator, tentatively weighing the merits of going home with someone new, knowing full well that she has safety and security in someone else. “I kinda like you/no I don’t love you/ love someone else I still hold above you” – Above all else, Blue captures the one thing lust brings to the table that sometimes true love does not- a sense of danger and excitement.
“Silk Chiffon” by MUNA (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
This cheery song describes the love between two women. The falling and the growing crush. Comparing the feeling to silk chiffon and the softness of it. It describes the fun of getting to know someone and the precious moments with them as you grow closer. It brings it to everyday settings like CVS and ties it into moments you will never forget.
“invisible string” by Taylor Swift
This beautiful song narrates the idea that all long your person was meant for you. Every hurt by past relationships brought you to the right one. The idea of the invisible string between you and you person has been there your entire life, you just had to grow and deal with hurt to get to where they were. “One single thread of gold tied me to you” is the line that sticks out the most in this song. It gives you the lovely feeling that the human experience and love are always connected.