Seven Music Duos With Intense Sexual Chemistry

The boy-girl indie rock groups we’re most likely to imagine naked.

By Jessica Gentile

1. Matt & Kim

Status: Unclear
Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino have so much bouncy energy it's hard to believe they're not expending it on each other every night — or perhaps they are, or maybe they're just too tired after performing their hyper-kinetic live shows. They dated in college and then formed a band, but as for now their relationship status remains ambiguous. As as far as platonic (or not) pals go, they're definitely comfortable seeing each other naked, considering they stripped their way through the streets of Times Square in their video for "Lessons Learned."

2. Jenny and Johnny

Status: Sleeping together
Their debut album released earlier this year is called I'm Having Fun Now, and we bet they are. Because let's face it, if you were in a band with Jenny Lewis, you'd be sleeping with her too. (We did vote her the nineteenth sexiest frontwomen in rock after all). Unfortunately for us, Johnathan Rice is the only guy who gets that honor.  But at least we get some twangy folk songs out of their relationship. As far as consolation prizes go, that's not so bad.

3. Mates of State

Status: Married with kids
Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been married for nearly a decade and still emanate the sunny optimism of newlyweds. These two are almost as painfully adorable as their music — a hyper cavalcade of synth-pop (pretty much the sonic equivalent of kittens sliding down rainbows). To add to the tweeness, she's even been known to perform while eight months pregnant, no easy feat when you're pounding the keyboards and belting your heart out to a crowd of sweaty (likely single) indie kids. 

4. Beach House

Status: Just friends
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally are more likely to put each other to sleep rather than you know, actually sleep together. Not that's necessarily a bad thing. It's just that their music is so ethereal and atmospheric, with organ drones and shrouded reverb, that it can almost lull you into unconsciousness. Luckily, Victoria's haunting, Nico-like vocals keep us awake and wanting to hear more from this charmingly spacy duo.

5. Sleigh Bells

Status: Just Friends
As Sleigh Bells, Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss make music that's almost as explosive as their chemistry.  On their debut album Treats, he crafts abrasive beats with amped-up distortion while she playfully coos cheerleader chants and sweet-nothings in her ultra-girly voice. Together they create an aural assault that's about as surprising and seductive as finding out the bookish girl two cubicles down is really into S&M. Yet while they may excel at making boning music, amazingly, they're not boning each other.  We find that hard to believe, especially given how hot Alexis looks wielding a baseball bat in a schoolgirl outfit.

6. She & Him

Status: Married (but not to each other)
More than enough has been written about indie dreamboat Zooey Deschanel's classic come-hither good looks, but she's also a pretty good singer-songwriter. Luckily, guitarist/producer M. Ward brings more than his share of musical talent to the equation. The pair might sing some love-lorn duets (take their cover of Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me" for instance) but these two are keeping it on a strictly professional level. Zooey's taken after all, married to the equally endearing (or annoying, depending on who you ask) indie dreamboat, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard. 

7. Phantogram

Status: Just Friends
Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have been friends — and only friends — since high school, or so they claim. Regardless of their relationship status, one thing's for certain — their creative partnership has lead to some of the freakiest trip-hop we've heard in a while. (Yes, trip-hop still exists.) The band, which released its first album this year, manages to combine electronic beats with eerie psych-rock reverb in a strangely refreshing way. Let's hope they stay friends, or whatever, for a lot longer.

Commentarium (60 Comments)

Oct 18 10 - 12:25am

Hansard and Irglova? White Stripes are old news I guess, I never imagined Meg White naked, but this topic takes me there, i'm sure she was very loving.

Oct 18 10 - 12:33am

White Stripes was definately the first thing I thought of when I saw this article title.

Oct 18 10 - 12:50am

what the hell, i thought matt and kim were fucking engaged to each other

Oct 18 10 - 1:02am

I guess you could throw Die Antwoord in there too, minus Dj Hi-Tek. That would be a very pale baby.

Oct 18 10 - 1:20am
Vinegar Bend

Are you sure Matt and Kim are just platonic? That's not the impression I've gotten

Oct 18 10 - 3:43am

Matt & Kim dated in college - then broke up. And as for now their status is pretty ambiguous.

Oct 18 10 - 7:08am

The Ditty Bops! Abby and Amanda have been a couple for over a decade and play off each other wonderfully.

Oct 18 10 - 9:27am

Am I the only one who finds Zooey Deschanel to be a pretty lousy singer? And I say that as someone who thinks she's totally cute. I love M. Ward, but She & Him -- meh.

Oct 18 10 - 9:57am

What about The Bird & The Bee ?

Oct 18 10 - 11:16am

I have to agree @mm zooey is adorable but i never could get into her music

Oct 18 10 - 11:17am

What about Hall and Oats?

Oct 18 10 - 1:16pm

Agree that M. Ward is way too good for Zooey Deschanel. I know she's an Indie darling and all, but since I first saw her in Almost Famous I've wondered what the big deal was about. She's a pretty face, a very pretty one at that, but nothing more.

Oct 18 10 - 1:37pm

Eurythmics anyone?

Oct 18 10 - 2:14pm

pomplamousse! they're woooonderful

Oct 18 10 - 2:19pm

Hall doesn't like the mustache.

Oct 18 10 - 2:21pm

Nice one, Moops

Oct 18 10 - 3:36pm

The Vaselines, got a new record out. don't know what they look like after 20 years though

Oct 18 10 - 3:43pm

why such a straight set of indie bands?

Oct 18 10 - 4:09pm

This does not assure musical competence...

Oct 18 10 - 4:12pm

Dresden Dolls? Or are they disqualified because a) potentially separated b) already almost naked most of the time?

Oct 18 10 - 4:17pm

I expected Jenny and Johnny, the rest was just a crapshoot...

Oct 18 10 - 5:40pm

The Submarines?

Oct 18 10 - 7:04pm

how do you not include Alison VV Mosshart and James Hince from The Kills? Even though he's married now they are just so hot together!!

Oct 18 10 - 7:45pm

School of Seven Bells

Oct 18 10 - 8:36pm

over-rated! *clap clap, clapclapcalp*

Oct 18 10 - 9:44pm

LOL @jac

Oct 18 10 - 11:28pm

torbin and Amy from stars, pretty much the entire arcade fire...

Oct 18 10 - 11:31pm
Rizz Rustbolt

The Ditty Bops. Such a wonderfully cute couple, onstage and off.

Oct 18 10 - 11:40pm

No way, no Pompolamoose? Or Dresden Dolls, when they were practically f*cking onstage with a drum set and keyboards? Or even Evelyn Evelyn, which would probably be a freaky sort of incestuous contortionist miracle, but would still be hot?

Oct 18 10 - 11:46pm

I'm so unhipster, I do not know any of what you speak lol

Oct 18 10 - 11:53pm

HOW THE HELL DID THE HANDSOME FURS NOT MAKE IT IN THIS LIST? Dan Boeckner and his wife make uber-sexual music !

Oct 19 10 - 12:02am

or Jack White and Alison Mosshart? too hard-hitting for this list? the sexual chemistry makes me uncomfortable...

Oct 19 10 - 12:20am

why isn't the white stripes on here?

Oct 19 10 - 1:50am

I guess you guys have never heard of Handsome Furs.

Oct 19 10 - 1:53am

I'd be willing to bet Matt & Kim are beyond platonic.

I went to a show of theirs a few weeks ago, two different men proposed to Kim and she told Matt it'd been seven years and basically asked him what he was waiting for.

Oct 19 10 - 5:01am

The Ting Tings
Ashford & Simpson (kidding!)

Oct 19 10 - 8:58am
Roy Lee Harwell

Ok, I'm officially the last person on the planet to hear the Sleigh Bells. They are rad. As if I couldn't love Nerve any more than I already do. I wish Pitchfork would just enjoy and celebrate music in the manner the editors and writers here do.

Jul 22 12 - 11:59am

Sleigh Bells sucks hard, therefore your taste in music... SUCKS :_(

Oct 19 10 - 11:51am
Jo Dern

Wow, incredible. You really did pick some good ones dude.

Oct 19 10 - 12:08pm

Most "indie" music suxs. It is an outlet for musicians with no musical talent.

Oct 19 10 - 12:31pm

If anything indie musicians have MORE talent. At least more that the mainstream overedited and autotuned musicians...

Oct 19 10 - 1:23pm
Jet Plane

You guys didn't mention Handsome Furs. They are so married and so all over eachother.

Oct 19 10 - 1:30pm

Listening to Mates of State is like being stuck on a train with a really drunk person who's fighting with their boyfriend / girlfriend on their cell phone. Somewhere between yelling and just talking waaay too loud. They won't shut up and they have no idea how annoying they are to the other people on the train.

Oct 19 10 - 4:33pm

Dresden Dolls

Oct 19 10 - 7:13pm


Oct 19 10 - 8:35pm

What about How to Destroy Angels? Trent Reznor and his Mariqueen Maandig. Sure, she's really the only one that sings, and they're not singing about sex, but the music is deep and ethereal, and drives with its rhythm and bass. Exactly what I think about when I think of 'sexy' music. Also, Mariquee's voice is very, very sexy.

Oct 19 10 - 8:36pm

Oh, and when is indie music going back into the indie realm? I'm tired of all this crap on commercials, cuts from Sunday Night Football, and the like. I listen to a lot of 'underground' punk, ska, hardcore, metal, etc, but honestly, this stripped down sound has totally worn me out. I blame Apple commercials.

Oct 20 10 - 1:04am

yes but what about tegan and sarah? i see how they look at each other.

Oct 20 10 - 1:48am

Um yeah, Tegan and sarah are sisters.

Oct 20 10 - 2:59pm

The Bird and the Bee!!

Oct 21 10 - 11:06am

I'm insulted at the absence of flight of the conchords

Oct 21 10 - 1:49pm

UK Article in which Matt & Kim talk about having been a couple for 7 years.

Oct 22 10 - 4:04pm

Handsome Furs?
Amazing and Adorable

Oct 22 10 - 10:32pm

The Kills just oooooze sex onstage. But Jamie's dating Kate Moss....

Oct 26 10 - 2:49pm

Sexual tension? Check out the Civil Wars.

Mar 07 11 - 9:27pm

uh, yeah.

Oct 28 10 - 9:01pm
Jeremy Harris

Come on, really? The Kills should have been top of the list.

Dec 02 10 - 7:43pm

Before Dawn is an awesome husband and wife duo that sounds nothing like any of the above!

Dec 03 11 - 11:56am

Set your life more simple get the loan and all you require.

Dec 12 11 - 9:55pm
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