Mood Enhancers

Embrace the lascivious drawl of Lydia Lunch.Photo: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images

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.”

Doug Paisley gonna sing it to you right.Photo: Andy Sheppard/Getty Images

Sommer X. Santoro, Black Gold Records
461 Court St., nr. Luquer St., Carroll Gardens; 347-227-8227
Old Flame: Leader of the Pack by Shangri-La’s (1965)
“I love playing doo-wop and girl-group 45s with a bottle of wine and maybe even a lit scented candle or two when I’m feeling romantic at home, but sometimes you need to throw on a full album when you’re getting down to, ahem, business. Something classic and dreamy like the Leader of the Pack album by the Shangri-la’s does the trick, with the desperate, tender vocals of the Weiss sisters to croon you.”

Modern Romance: Desperation, by Oblivians
“When I’m chugging beers and dancing with my hubby, and ‘Come a Little Closer’ by Oblivians (on their newest release, Desperation) starts playing, well, there could be gross public displays of affection.”

Matthew “Milli” Milligan, Permanent Records
181 Franklin St., nr. Huron St., Greenpoint; 718-383-4083
Old Flame: Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound (2013)
“An amazing collection of various artists from seventies Minneapolis…this was the local funk and soul that influenced Prince before he hit the big time. He even plays lead guitar as a young session musician on a song or two! Not only are the tunes exactly as smooth as you’d hope for on V-Day, but after reading the extensive liner notes included, you can really impress with your knowledge of unbearably obscure regional funk. Boom.”

Modern Romance: Strong Feelings by Doug Paisley
“I went to go see Doug Paisley last night at Joe’s Pub and he was just so charming that I can’t think of anyone better to help reveal your sweet and sentimental side this year. Beautifully well-played country music with even better lyrics…as far as I’m concerned, if this doesn’t woo ‘em, they ain’t worth wooin’.”

Jeff Ogiba, Black Gold Records
461 Court St., nr. Luquer St., Carroll Gardens; 347-227-8227
Old Flame: Spleen & Ideal by Dead Can Dance (1985)
“This 1985 neoclassical post-punk masterpiece is the perfect record to set the mood to on Valentine’s Day. The dramatic arrangements throughout the album are powerful enough to swoop my lover and I away to a distant and cozy place.”

Modern Romance: In the Garden by Liquor Store
“To remain in theme of my ideal ‘escapist holiday romance,’ I’d have to go with the latest album from the rock-and-roll group Liquor Store. In the Garden is a wild a ride from start to finish, mimicking the joys and turbulence of any love affair worth experiencing. To put it in short, if you can’t party with the one you love, you may want to reconsider everything.”

Mood Enhancers