50,000 songs for 50,000 words?
November 1, 2011 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Help me make the ultimate NaNoWriMo playlist.

I want to have good background music on while I am working on my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, but I'm terrible at remembering the names of songs I like. I have Spotify, so I have fairly unlimited access to songs and easily creating playlists from them.

I would like music that won't be distracting me and will let my inner muse flow out, but still fits into my tastes. Generally I like alternative, but the ones with more of a pop feel, or indie. I tend to listen to more contemporary artists, but that is not a requirement in this.

Some favorite artists: Neon Trees, Airborne Toxic Event, Zaz (I am a French minor). I also like: Oasis, Foster the People, Adele, Muse, The Fray, The Killers. I can't think of any more... which is my whole problem!

Please give me any songs/artists you think I might enjoy, even a tiny bit (outside of the box suggestions welcome too) since I can easily screen out anything that doesn't work:) I'd rather make a huge playlist and then delete what isn't working for me.
posted by DoubleLune to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For some reason listening to Bedhead makes me a bit more creative.
posted by backwards guitar at 10:33 AM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: For me, it depends a lot on what I'm writing. Last year for NaNoWriMo, I pretty much lived on Hans Zimmer's oeuvre (especially Inception and King Arthur). But epic music like that works best for epic writing.

Sigur Ros works across the board for me from introspective (their "()" album) to grandiose (Takk)

Also love:
Bon Iver, Elbow, The National

Writing something really sad?
Damien Rice

Something more energizing?
Rural Alberta Advantage, Two Door Cinema Club, Death Cab for Cutie
posted by ghostiger at 10:45 AM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: I've been listening to Rihanna's Fire Bomb on repeat while writing my own NaNo, but for you, possibly a little too distracting!

I like Delerium for writing to, many of their songs have strong moods while not having much of a lyrical presence to distract you. Some songs have poppier feels than others, ymmv.

Other artists I listen to while I write: Kyo (the French group, not the Japanese guy), Moby, 10000 Maniacs, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Nicks, various stuff from Broadway shows.

But I'm with ghostiger, it depends entirely on what I'm writing.
posted by lwb at 10:59 AM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: I like this band called A Silent Film that reminds me a lot of both Airborne Toxic Event and Muse. So, I'm sure you'd like them.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 11:00 AM on November 1, 2011

Response by poster: To be honest, I'm going the last-minute-no-planning route since I'm also in school and working and am just trying to somehow do NaNo too. The 98 words I have so far lead me to believe that the story will be supernatural, possibly horror or mythological.

I think for me though I don't need music to fit with the story I'm writing, but just kind of feel right and get me into that creative zone if I'm not already there. This depends a lot more on my mood than what I'm actually writing about. I also tend to tune the music out once I get going :)
posted by DoubleLune at 11:15 AM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: I enjoy the helll out of Thievery Corporation actively and passively.
posted by hypersloth at 11:43 AM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: Try the Drive soundtrack - I've had some excellent productivity grooves with that album. and good luck! I did NaNo last year and it's so rewarding.
posted by ukdanae at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: the new M83 and DyE.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:30 PM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: Earth
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:35 PM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: Last year while I wrote my Nano, I listened exclusively to Magnolia Electric Co. The songs are captivating, but not distractingly so. I wouldn't call them pop, though. Somber(ish) indie.

This year, so far, I've been listening to Ella Fitzgerald. She matches more with the feel of what I'm writing.

If you want something to match with a supernatural, horror or mythological feeling, my first thought was Zola Jesus. Again, not poppy, but definitely atmospheric. Something a little more poppy? Maybe Bjork?

I keep wanting to mention Taken By Trees here, so maybe try her, too?

Good luck!
posted by dearwassily at 1:42 PM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: totally out of the box (but in my opinion good for writing because she's so flow-y and non-distracting): tsegue-maryam guebrou.
posted by ooklala at 2:47 PM on November 1, 2011

Response by poster: Zola Jesus is really hitting the right vibe for me!

My playlist is now up to about 3 days worth of music, but please keep the suggestions coming.
posted by DoubleLune at 2:53 PM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: 1) Get the hell out of Metafilter and back to writing! :)

2) I like ambient soundscapes for concentrating while working: Brian Eno's Apollo album is the best.

3) I don't know why. But listening to the main theme from Chungking Express does some weird strange thing to my neurons: whipping them into a frenzy for when I really need to get something done. Maybe it will work for you too.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 3:57 PM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: I pick specific songs for every book I write (check my ask history), but for working out tough scenes or just as lovely/moody background music for all kinds of fiction writing, I second Sigur Ros, M83, The National, and Bon Iver, plus Boards of Canada, Explosions in the Sky, Jonsi, The Album Leaf, Broken Social Scene, Eluvium, Saxon Shore and Ulrich Schnauss. Good luck!
posted by changeling at 4:00 PM on November 1, 2011

Best answer: SAD's got a hold on me, so here's some Nordic melancholy.
Lykke Li.
Lykke with Kleerup
Lykke with Röyksopp (1), (2)
Röyksopp with Karin Dreijer Andersson from The Knife/ Fever Ray.
Röyksopp instrumental. And not so instrumental.
Röyksopp with Kings of Convenience.

And some José González for good measure..
posted by revikim at 5:15 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you tried making a collaborative Spotify playlist and letting people add to it? Based on your criteria obviously.
posted by dgeiser13 at 8:12 AM on November 2, 2011

Response by poster: Have you tried making a collaborative Spotify playlist and letting people add to it?
I haven't even heard of this, but I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I've scrapped the horror genre and think I'll be doing something dystopian/post-apocalyptic, so this should help lots. I'm not really starting until tomorrow or Friday because this was a hell week at school, of course :/ Good luck to the other NaNo's out there!
posted by DoubleLune at 4:29 PM on November 2, 2011

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