I’d drink white wine from a coffee mug with the window cracked and my heart split open. I had this stupid blog where I kept all my feelings and these songs made me feel really vulnerable and if you’re going to share all your feelings with hundreds of strangers then that’s the kind of music you need. You need music that can gut you.
I’ve gone through phases with writing music. Before mp3s and iTunes and Limewire and streaming music, it wasn’t so easy to put a bunch of different songs on a list and listen to them so you’d have to pick entire CDs. So in the 90’s I would write to random stuff like Sarah McLachlan, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Mazzy Star, Beethoven, Ida, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Beatles’ The White Album, the Stealing Beauty soundtrack.
The thing about writing music is the words. So you try to find some songs without words, and songs that are slow. Or you pick songs with words you know so well that it’s almost like there actually aren’t any words at all. If I’m writing about something other than my feelings or your feelings, then I’ll just listen to classical music on Pandora. I recommend that.
So these are songs you could write to if you wanted to. None of the words are too distracting, but it sets a mood.
What do you listen to when you write?
Ave Maria – Franz Schubert
Swimming Pool – Freezepop
23 – Jimmy Eat World
This is Everything – Tegan & Sara
Ender - Finch
Suite Bergamasque: III. Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy & Michel Beroff
What the Snowman Learned About Love – Stars
Flamenco Sketches – Miles Davis
Revelling – Ani DiFranco
Set Fire to the Third Bar – Snow Patrol
If 6 was 9 – Jimi Hendrix
The Gift of Balance – Gorecki
Breathe Me – Sia
Lover, You Shoulda Come Over – Jeff Buckley
Will the Night – Low
Dome Epais – Delibes
Fade into You – Mazzy Star
Einstein On the Beach – Knee 5 – Phillip Glass Ensemble
It’s a Fire – Portishead
Nora - Dar Williams
Take it With Me – Tom Waits
Mystery Lights – Uh Huh Her
A Case of You - Joni Mitchell
Roxana’s Aria – Karol Szymanowski
Nude – Radiohead
Act I: O Soave Faniculla – Herbert Von Karahan; Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
God Bless the Child – Billie Holiday
Trois Gymnopedies: No 1 – Anne Queffelec
Sick of Me – Ani DiFranco
The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice
High Hopes – Pink Floyd
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
You Don’t Know What Love Is - John Coltrane
November – Azure Ray
Cruel and Clumsy – Chris Pureka