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Mood Enhancers

Indie record store employees pick old and new albums to help you get down, Valentine's Day style.


Embrace the lascivious drawl of Lydia Lunch.  

Ed Zed, Rough Trade
64 N. 9th St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg; 718-388-4111
Old Flame: Queen of Siam by Lydia Lunch (1980)
"Lydia's lascivious drawl on this album is the musical equivalent of having a silk rope coiled seductively around the neck. Slowly she reels you in like an exotic and deadly spider, laughing a little at your pain."

Modern Romance: Melt Yourself Down by Melt Yourself Down
"The visceral white-hot energy exuded by this album makes every inch of me bristle with jittery tension. Swaggering saxophones, pulsing funk bass lines, everything drenched in dirt — this is one damned sexy record."

Brian Gempp, Record Grouch
986 Manhattan Ave., nr. Huron St.; 212-242-3000
Old Flame: Isn’t Anything by My Bloody Valentine (1988)
"Though many might lean towards Loveless as MBV's slouching scruffy paean to love, Kevin Shields’s earnest and most heartfelt work emerges first on this record. 'Soft As Snow,' 'Cupid Come' (Yikes!), and 'Feed Me With Your Kiss' aren't lyrically subtle, but the texture and sonic vocabulary are both hot and randy. This record merges grainy rave and heated romance—so many artists owe so much to this aesthetic, but they don’t even know that yet."

Modern Romance: Blue Rider by Zachary Cale
"With this heavy surname, Zachary Cale carries a lot of weight as a singer of deep, lyrically provocative imagery, some of which touches on the mystery of love and power of desire, as well as longing and the blues…This album nests itself in this liminal space between love and loss, desire and fulfillment, emotions imagined and unrealized."

Gerald Hammill, Other Music
15 E. 4th St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-477-8150
Old Flame:
The Fame Recordings by Dan Penn (2012)
"Dan Penn wrote many of the hits coming out of Muscle Shoals in the early sixties—old R&B staples like 'Do Right Woman,' 'I’m Your Puppet,' and 'You Left the Water Running.' Featuring Penn’s own original song demos and late-night sessions that he cut with the Fame [Studios] house band, this record at hand is a stunning listen from front to back, featuring well-known hits and obscurities, too."

Modern Romance: Rival Dealer EP by Burial
"Since his 2007 breakthrough full-length, Untrue, William Beven, a.k.a. Burial, has released three extended-play albums, which delved even further into his richly cinematic world of beats and bass. His latest collection follows suit, yet his trademark use of samples from film dialogue, rappers, soul singers, phone messages, and other found sounds speaks directly to the listener in a more powerful and compassionate way. With a deep and dark sense of passion and love, Burial brings the listener into a warm and welcoming world where his thoughtful embrace soothes the soul."

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