Last Updated on August 19, 2023
This post was inspired by something similar over on D.J.Kirkby’s delightful blog, so this idea is far from original, but the music listened to while trying to be creative is a topic that comes up often in writing circles, so I thought I may as well stick my oar in.
I have been playing in bands and putting on shows since I was about fourteen years old, and music is so a part of my soul that I think my perspective is slightly skewed from the accepted norm. For many years what music represented (and how creative it was) seemed so much more important to me than how good a tune was, which I now realise is a bit silly really – a good tune is a good tune regardless, any further analysis (especially ethical) only detracts from ones enjoyment.
That being said, I have been writing about music for about ten years now, and my deep entrenchment in the alternative/ underground/ punk(ish) music scene (through publishing my own zine, and writing for others) can’t be ignored as a contributing factor in my tastes.
Enough of that guff, on with the music!
Rather than dissecting this very small selection of the music I listen to whilst writing (maybe in a Nick Hornby style) I’m going to let the music speak for itself, and hope that maybe you discover something new here that you go on to investigate further. Scratching below the surface of commercial music to discover the remarkable gems that lay beneath is a truly wonderful thing.
I listen to a lot of instrumental music while I’m writing, I find the lyrics in some of the more politicised music I listen to just too damned distracting. The harsh truth is that a lot of the music I listen to while writing sits in the background, I like the company, but not the influence!
I have tried to make this selection as varied as possible, so if there’s something you don’t like (and please do give these tracks a chance) then don’t run away, try the next track!
One final point – just because I’ve described my tastes in music as ‘alternative’ don’t assume that means they’ll be noisy and/ heavy or punky!
I love the swing and swoop of this band, it’s epic but endearing.
I’m not afraid to admit the majesty in some tracks by MONO has brought be close to tears before.
Okay, so this one does get a little bit heavy…
Hopefully if you’ve made it this far into proceedings then you’re overcome any fear you may have had of heavy guitars, Pelican create some really beautiful music.
And this last choice is a bit cheeky because it’s a band I play in! The video was made for us in Hungary.