Hi, all. I got the idea for this blog post from Carolyn Parkhurst's excellent website. I'm going to list a few of the artists/songs I've been listening to lately while writing. Maybe this will help you get into a good head-space while you write your WIP. I'm working on a young adult crazy fantasy novel at the moment; think: Alice in Wonderland meets The Outsiders and you'll begin to see what I'm getting at.
I don't like a lot of lyrics with my tuneage, especially when I'm trying to write a complicated scene, so I've found that these artists are great for that. If there are lyrics involved, the singers' voices are sweet and soft and don't elbow in on my thoughts.
Just click on the little icon at the end of each description to be taken to sites where you can hear samples of the music. Some of these albums are better for listening to while writing certain scenes than for others. Here goes:
1.) Milky Way by Danger Beach
This is my favorite new find in a long, long time. There's something about Danger's haunting surfer guitar licks (Danger Beach is really LA Thomas of "Assassins 88" fame -- yeah, I never heard of them either) that really puts me in the mood to write a heavy scene. Or a scene that involves lots of surreal elements. For me, his songs evoke the beach from a bygone era. I used to live on the West Coast, so his tunes are deeply resonant to me.
2.) Contra by Vampire Weekend
Going against my pre-stated disdain for lyrics in songs I listen to while writing, I love this album. The dude sings so fast, and in such a weird register that I only hear as background noise, that this is perfect writing material. It's upbeat (usually) so it's good to listen to while writing an action scene.
3.) Viscous Solid by Aeroc
I know basically nothing about this group, but I got hooked on them while listening to Pandora. Check them out, they may not be your cup of tea. I find them mind-numbingly boring when paying full-on attention to them, but for background writing music, for whatever reason, their music helps put me at ease. Ideal for writing scenes where characters are being contemplative.
4.) Leaves in the River by Sea Wolf
Again: lyrics. I love that I set up these rules for myself and then watch as they drift away like...leaves in the river. Anyway, the lyrics are not encumbering, but hypnotic and shimmery and they open the mind. It's not a big deal that all of the songs on this album sound the same. I mean, that would be a big deal if you were actually listening directly to the music, but for ambient sound, it's aces.
This is just a sample of what I've been listening to lately. Hopefully these songs help you relax and write well, as they do for me. Do you have any suggestions for good writing music? Let me know in the comments below!