What are you listening to? What are you writing?

Music has always been a huge inspiration for most of my writing. Growing up, I kept a little blue mp3 full of music that either reminded me of what I was currently writing or planning to write. It always amazed me that one song could produce inspiration for more than a couple pieces of writing.

I’m not going to pull that “I wasn’t like other girls” crap because I was weird. Not cutesy, manic pixie dream girl weird, I was just flat out weird and I enjoyed it. The music I often found inspiration in was weird as well. One of the very first songs I ever wrote to was Queens of the Stone Age’s “Mosquito Song.” The atmosphere and cadence gave me the kind of chills I wanted my writing to evoke. One of my favorite albums for atmosphere was Explosions in the Sky’s The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place. I have a vinyl of it because it gave me more inspiration than most albums. These things become special.

Honestly, once you find music you enjoy writing to, it becomes almost sacred. There are certain artists I can listen to and feel the need to write within one song, one of which is Daughter. The dark, desperate sounds of some of their earlier work lent an urgent sense of desire in my writing that I didn’t quite understand at such a young age. Music does that, though. It shows you new perspectives you haven’t considered yet and maybe can’t due to age and demographic constraints, as was my case.

Right now, I listen to a plethora of songs depending on what I’m working on. My most recent project stemmed from Queen’s of the Stone Age’s “Un-Reborn Again” and, unfortunately, Brand New’s “Could Never Be Heaven.” (I was a massive Brand New fan, and normally this post would be littered with Brand New references, but I just can’t deal with Jesse Lacey.) I listen to a lot of Ghost when reading submissions and building issues. I was on a huge Mastodon kick during Issue Three. I keep playlists on my Spotify of what I need at that moment, from punky grunge like The Toadies to ethereal like Grimes.

If you’re ever interested in seeing what I’m listening to you can find me on Spotify: laurenehamm.

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