I try to use as much theory as i can in writing a song. For one that i just "wrote", i used the Lydian mode (which is the raised 4th).

It is in A Lydian, so the notes are A, B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#.

I cant think of a cool chord progression. What im really looking for are the chords that cause a little stress in the song. I have the progression E, C#, G#, A. Sounds cool to me, im just drawing a blank for anything spectacular.

I was also playing around with 9ths but i couldn't come up with anything.

Give it a strum and tell me what you think.
Take the chords from E major. That's what A Lydian is based off of. Try starting on different chords, and use 7ths.
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ive actually just finished writing an instrumental in lydian this weekend, and theres a part where it breaks down and its just chords, and i did a I-IIImi-VIImi-II7 progression, i also used the augmented fourth chord a lot throughout it
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In a scale, each chord built of of each scale degree gets assigned a roman numeral. The first note/root is I, and so on.

So in his case, he means to take the root major chord, the minor chord built off of the third scale degree, the minor chord built off of the seventh scale degree, and then go to the dominant seventh chord built off of the second scale degree.
I like the progression you've got there You say that you want tension in this piece, but this part (E C#m G#m A) would work well as a resolution. Try A - B7 - C#m7 - G5 - B7 - E, maybe that's the kind of tension you want.
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