For those who know me, it’s no secret that I’m a huge audiophile. Music is my muse, and I often use it for inspiration when I’m in a creative slump. It’s also fantastic tool for getting the brain working in new directions. Some artists and albums are especially good at eliciting this. They take my writer’s block and demolish it with a sledgehammer of sound. They get me excited to hammer out the story.
What makes an album good to write to? First of it should be a playthrough album (or close to it). Stopping your flow to skip a song is a pain. It should also be visually compelling. How can music be visually compelling? Texture, variation, unique style. Below are some of my favorites, and the types of writing I use them for.
The Dear Hunter
Works well for writing: Combat scenes, Romantic interactions, Struggles, Personal Battles
This theatrical band has been in regular rotation for me for the past year and change. There’s so much raw emotion and talent here that it pushes me to want to convey the same in my characters. These are my favorite two albums of theirs.
Works well for writing: Themes of resistance, overcoming odds, fighting “the man”
One of the best rock bands in existence (in my humble opinion). These three musicians create a wall of sound so powerful it will knock you on your butt. One of my favorite albums, Resistance, is an homage to George Orwell’s 1984. Highly appropriate for times like these, wouldn’t you say?
Works well for writing: Traveling scenes, homecoming, creating beautiful scenery
This band hails from Jacksonville Florida. They have a really great mellow tambre and interesting percussion that lends itself nicely to writing traveling, or homecoming scenes. My favorite track is “Welcome Home, Son”
Works well for writing: mystery, world building, describing weird plantlife
I’ve only recently discovered this album (I know, about 5 years late), and all I can say is, I love it. There’s beautiful classical music, intricately layered acappella, and funky syncopated beats.
Works well for writing: female characters, traversing cityscapes
This band is more ambient and electronic than the others. It has some powerful beats, male/female vocals, and lots of emotion.
That’s my list for now. Do you listen to music when you write? If so I’d love to hear your favorites. Let me know in the comments below!