Monday, January 7, 2013

There's nothing like a good song

One of the many memories I have growing up, is that our life was never without music. In the house, in the car, our mom always had it playing (she was also an aerobics instructor). I’ve had a background of music from Air to Enya to CCR to Simon & Garfunkel to the Beach Boys and all other kinds of oldies. Then, as I developed my own tastes, I spread my wings even further to cover such great bands as New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys (Spare me the judgment, I was in elementary school for the former, but concede that I was old enough to know better for the latter.). From The Offspring in 6th grade (THANK YOU Jeremy) to BeastieBoys, POD, Dr. Dre, Juvenile & Chingy, and Jars of Clay in high school. Then there was all the amazing rock that came out of the 90's--my favorite of which was Nirvana

I went through my serious rock/kill the puppies music to rap & hip hop stage in high school as well. From George Winston and Yo Yo Ma to Mumford & Sons and The Civil Wars in my college & post college years. But I’ve never ventured into country (except for a select few of Carrie Underwood and one or two from Taylor Swift’s new album, Red). Wait…there was that one Alan Jackson CD in Jr. High….

Blessed by such an eclectic background of songs, I can find pleasure in almost any type of music. Sure I have strong preferences as well as aversions to certain kinds of music over others, but mostly, I like ‘em all. We all have certain songs or artists we listen to when we’re in certain moods (I really like Korn when I’m pissed or in a particularly vengeful mood, not gonna lie). Sometimes, when we’re particularly palatable, the music shapes our emotions and days. I really believe music (like many things) can be that powerful.

When I’m working on a books, I tend to find that a certain band or soundtrack really speaks to me while I’m writing. As a result, whenever I listen to said music now, I’m instantly consumed by the book I was writing at the time. Case and point: Ludovico Einaudi for White City, AFI for Edge of Heaven, and A Perfect Circle/Imagine Dragons/KDrew for my Outcast Series (Caste).

The point is this: a good song is a lot like a good book. The lyrics, the music, the atmosphere of the song can all come together to tell an amazing story. A lot of times, (whether it’s just a score or a particularly impactful(ing?) lyrical arrangement) I can get inspired by a single song. Whether it’s a story that’s born in my head, a spark for a story that sprung from a line in one of the stanzas, the background music I need to set the tone for a scene I’m writing, or whatever, I couldn’t live very productively without music in my life.

I feel that strongly about it.

Also, you can find pretty good titles in song lyrics.

Here's a list of a few more recently inspirational songs/artists on YouTube. Take a listen, you may find something new you like. 



  1. If we're claiming embarrassing boy band obsessions, then I guess this is the place to admit to mine over NSYNC. Whew, glad I got that off my chest.
    I've just started listening to Steven Sharp Nelson, too, he's awesome! Try ThePianoGuys, too, they're pretty fun!