I'm somebody who likes an abundance of tunes, there isn't really a genre I don't like, but there are ones that I listen to more than others. Maybe I've described most people's musical interests. Whatever, for me, the best writing music is either soft rock like 'A.A Bondy', 'Lucy Rose', 'Eels' and 'Frank Turner'. OK, most of Frankie's songs are quite energetic, but still. The other kind that works wonders for me when I write is instrumental stuff, I think the kids these days call it 'chillstep' which is pretty much dubstep turned down a notch. But, having said that, some dubstep works well for me while writing.
Headphones also help me focus, it blocks out everything else so it's just me and the melodies. It usually means that I won't hear the phone go off or noisy people outside, (especially when the school nearby shuts down) and I've only started using headphones while writing and I'm surprised it's working. I'm a terrible person for putting things off and I do put off my writing, for some reason though, music doesn't drag me down the wrong path at all. It used to, but with headphones, it doesn't. If I end up listening to the same songs while writing the same piece for a while, they'll constantly remind me of that piece. For example, I remember back at uni when I wrote my first novel, (that western one I mentioned a few blogs ago) I listened to loads of 'The Killing Tree' and the songs, 'Replace My Heart' and 'Look Alive' always reminded me of that novel. They still do. I always associate songs with my writing, in fact, music in many ways plants the seeds for my stories.
Lately, I've been listening to 'A.A Bondy' and he plays just some of the most perfect songs I've heard. Such songs you can't quite put your finger on, but when they get their hooks in you, you've had it. Tunes such as 'A Slow Parade' and 'I Can See the Pines Are Dancing' inspired a short story I wrote the other day. In fact, 'When You Were Young' by 'The Killers' inspired another short story I wrote and read out to the writing group I go to. They liked it a lot. I like to think that music and literature, a lot of time at least tell the same story, but in different languages. Songs have the energy of a musical score and a lyrical edge, yet stories rely entirely on the language and it's up the writer to inject their own personal style to make it sing. Authors such as John Green and John Steinbeck have a lyrical tone with their writing and yes, I know they wrote different things, but they have a way of writing that's not only addicting, but somehow pleasant to read in the same way a song can be to listen to. I remember when 'Rise Against' released their new single 'Satellite' in 2011 and I couldn't stop listening to it. It reminds me of that, a song that's like nothing you've heard before and you're positive you'll never get tired of it. You do, eventually. It's still a great song, but I don't care how good a song is, when you listen it day in and day out, it'll lose it's appeal. Books do as well if I read the same one over and over. That's why I choose to read my favourite ones maybe even once a year so every time it feels somewhat new. That's how I enjoy my favourite films and videogames as well. Well, some games anyway.
There are just too many songs out there that remind me of what I wrote and when. One of my favourite ever albums, 'Under My Skin' by 'Avril Lavigne' reminds me of my Borderlands fan-fiction I wrote in college and 'Scar' and 'Middle of the Bed' by 'Lucy Rose' remind me of the zombie novel I wrote last year or so. And songs like 'Long Live the Queen' and 'A Love Worth Keeping' by 'Frank Turner' remind me of making a live show at college all those years ago. So, so many songs out there. Writing with great music playing through a pair of headphones is one of the most absorbing things you can do. If you fancy listening to white noise, then do that. Some people do. Or, if you prefer to listen to nothing, but silence, I don't blame you. It's nice, but for me, nothing beats the soundtrack of a great tune.
Songs of the Week:
- 'A Slow Parade' by A.A Bondy
- 'I Can See the Pines Are Dancing' by A.A Bondy
- 'When the Devil's Loose' by A.A Bondy
- 'Mightiest of Guns' by A.A Bondy
- 'Miss Atomic Bomb' by The Killers
- 'Sleepwalking' by The Chain Gang of 1974
- 'It's Late' by Tim McIlrath
- 'All the Things She Said' by Simple Minds
- 'Nine is God' by Wavves
- 'Demon to Lean On' by Wavves
- 'Afraid of Heights' by Wavves
- 'Are You Alright?' by Lucinda Williams