While I don’t believe that listening to Mozart as a baby makes you smarter, I can’t deny that music has a profound effect on my productivity as a writer. I took part in an activity a while back as part of a Teens Can Write, Too blog tag, where I talked about how music influences my writing. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite songs and albums to write to as of this year.
Bad Blood by Bastille – I find this album very relaxing to write to. The gentle, tolerably repetitive beats and catchy melodies help me to stay on my toes and motivated. My favorite tracks on this album are “Flaws,” “Pompeii,” “Things We Lost in the Fire” (super-mild language warning in that track, “sure as h*ll”), and “Bad Blood”. I’d rate this album PG, to be on the safe side, but the lyrics to these songs are generally squeaky clean.
“Written in the Stars” by The Girl and the Dreamcatcher – This style of music is soooo not my thing, but the lyrics to this song really speak to me. The music video shows the singers painting things, but the lyrics have more to do with creating an original story and characters that leave an impact, no matter how large or small, on the world. That’s why it’s on my writing playlist. 🙂
The Ossuary by Kevin MacLeod – This epic tracklist is like a story of its own, and takes you through a dark and mysterious plot. I like to listen to these pieces when I’m writing mystery, fantasy, and science fiction stories – it reminds me of the soundtrack for a film that has not yet been made, and it’s up to you to write the screenplay.
“It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons – This is another great “get motivated” track. It’s peppy without being sickly sweet. With Imagine Dragons songs, you have to be careful – some of their songs are really sad in tone, and that can put a damper on your writing. This song and “On Top of the World” are some really catchy and optimistic-sounding, and are often on my writing playlists.
I also frequent a handful of online radio stations that play the golden oldies of a previous generation’s childhood. Two of my favorite stations right now are from Radio.com: one is devoted to Sixties music, and the other is exclusively Seventies songs. There’s a bit more variety to these stations – while the local music stations tend to gravitate towards 70s progressive rock and metal, which I also enjoy, it’s nice to hear some old-time Motown hits every now and then. These particular online stations let you fast-forward over up to 5 songs at a time, and on those rare occasion when something disagreeable plays (oh, I dunno, like Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m [Attractive]?”), that really comes in handy. The ads are a little annoying too, but they’re brief enough.
Something else I’ve recently discovered on YouTube are these 60+ minute playlists of music that people compile for when they write, be it for school, work, or fun. Everyone has different musical tastes, but it’s interesting to see what works for others. As I’m writing this post on my lunch break, I find I’m enjoying this playlist from a YouTuber named Levi, of music from various film and video game soundtracks. This playlist of classical music “for brainpower” is also pretty nice. Check ’em out! 🙂