Songs To Write To

There has been some talk lately about getting people to post the songs/albums that they listen to while writing, so I thought I would lead off by posting five of my current favourite artists and links to some of the sounds that are currently helping me put pen to paper. Hopefully this inspires a few others to make a similar post (or leave a comment with links to your fave writing music) so that we can all broaden our musical palette and get a sense of the music that makes our writing tick.

Balmorhea – All is Wild, All is Silent

Balmorhea’s third album is a swirling masterpiece. The musical landscape these Texan’s create slowly draws you in and then let’s the fireworks ignite. And importantly there is enough silence to let the words come freely. Here’s links to two songs from the album – Remembrance and Settler (a great live version)

Tortoise – Beacons of Ancestorship

Tortoise’s latest blends scrappy rock, cool jazz and fuzzed out synth-pop… sometimes all in the one track. They are band that never let you get too comfortable… each change in dynamic making your blood surge and hopefully the words along with it. Check out Prepare Your Coffin and album opener High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In.

Because of Ghosts – This Culture of Background Noise

Recorded at the legendary Hotel2Tango in Montreal, the Melbourne 3-piece have taken their spidery melodies and scratchy percussion to new heights. While their crescendos may make your limbs buckle (in the best kind of way), the journey to the top and down again is studded with beauty. Just watch the clips for “…in 2050 when we know we’ll all be dead anyway” and Dreaming is Essential.

Explosions in the Sky – The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

I saw this band a while ago and they made my ears melt. Their blistering guitar attack and percussive drive is both melodic and angular. This album has been on regular rotation in my house since its release in 2003 and it has lost none of its shine. Get a taste here: First Breath After Coma and The Only Moment We Were Alone (live… where they are at their absolute peak!)


Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

For me, the band that started it all… I discovered Lift Your Skinny Fists through a review in The Big Issue and it changed the way I listen to music. Their sprawling instrumentals blend rock, chamber music, samples and field recordings to create some of the most cinematic music of our times. My writing would not be the same without them. So to finish, here’s Antennas to Heaven pt 1 and Antennas to Heaven pt 2



Filed under who listens to the radio?

13 responses to “Songs To Write To

  1. I find music with words distracting when I’m trying to write so it’s always instrumental jazz for me. Especially Oscar Peterson, his lyrical narrative swing I find perfect.

  2. Pingback: Songs To Write To « Mark William Jackson

  3. Mark William Jackson

    Nice choices Graham, I’m afraid mine are a bit more classical…

  4. Pingback: Songs to Write to « ashley capes

  5. Godspeed and Explosions in the Sky. Brilliant…generally, but also to write to. Couldn’t agree with you more. When I get a spare mo I’ll do Music To Write To list as well, though Sigur Ros and offshot Riceboy Sleeps will be on that list, no doubt about it. And, erm, the soundtrack to BBC’s Brideshead Revisited. I wrote to that when a kid, and still do. Heaps. Weird huh.

    • gnunn

      Sigur Ros is another band that has filled my head with sounds and my pages with words… they were so close to making the cut, but Balmorhea’s latest album is just blowing me away and I couldn’t leave it out. Look forward to seeing your post!

  6. Wow, Graham – I’ve got some work to do here, ‘Because of Ghosts’ are the only ones I really know – and even then it’s because you’d highlighted them before, I think!

  7. Pingback: When You Are (Recordings) & Music that Inspires « Utopian Fragments

  8. interesting albums graham, shows big diversity with your usual recommendation. i have never managed to like E in the S – not sure why, there is something in them i love and something that do not pass my ears well.. even less god speed! – too fast for me. surely for writing.
    i love the In 2050… cool sounds…… thank you for all the music

    • gnunn

      I know a few people that have never really made the leap with Explosions. After seeing them live I have never looked back… really mesmerising in the live setting. Glad you liked Because of Ghosts… one of my favourite Australian bands!

  9. Pingback: A Poetic Aside… « Another Lost Shark

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