Tag Archives: Remembrance

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?

The first sounds of 2010

The new year is unfolding before us… two skys have opened and already my mind is filling with song. There is always much anticipation at this time of year and I too am anticipating great things for 2010. So, whatever you do, wherever you are, may creativity rush through you unbridled… And to colour that rush, here are some of the sounds that I will carry with me throughout the year…

Gregor Samsa – Jeroen Van Aken

Classical glissandos of piano, muted drum rhythms, weeping strings and vibraphone come together with harmonious intensity, while the vocals simmer, whispering their truths. Jeroen Van Aken, taken from Gregor Samsa’s latest album Rest, is the birth name of artist, Hieronymus Bosch, but rather than descending into the at times apocalyptic visions of Bosch, the song takes us to the edge with dazzling restraint. The langorous quality of these songs, welcome you in and hold you dreamlike. This is an album of lasting beauty.

Balmorhea – Remembrance

Balmorhea are one of those rare bands, unafraid of stillness. Their latest longplayer, All Is Wild, All Is Silent, is swirling with folk instrumentals, each song conjuring the majestic atmosphere of Steinbeck’s dustbowl America. Gently picked guitars (and banjo), fleet drums and emphatic piano lines colour the landscape; their sound as vast as the sky, often emptying into silence. This is an album to slow the spin of life. To make you drop anchor and hear the pin drop.

Machine Translations – Oh Ma, The Sea Is Rising

This is taken from the 2009 DVD/CD release, Last Hope, a collection of short films, inspired by the ocean, set to the sounds of artists such as Explosions in the Sky, Smog, The Dirty Three, Holly Throsby and of course, Machine Translations. The collection was put together by Andrew Kidman and takes a collage approach, collecting moments that highlight the intense power and beauty of the ocean. This is so much more than a surfing film, which it is often referred to as… For anyone who has ever lost themselves at the hem of land and sea, this will sweep you away.

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Filed under who listens to the radio?