Thursday, January 19, 2012

Music and Me and Did Anyone Else Think Mumford & Sons Were From Tennessee?

I didn’t used to have specific songs or playlists for my stories as I work on them. But these past couple of years, I’ve been finding myself picking out songs and thinking, “Hey, that’s exactly how Character X feels and/or went through!”

I think it has something to do with the fact that these past couple of years I’ve actually been working on longer projects for extended periods of time. When your mind is so deep into a story, it’s going to make connections all over the place. Some songs have lyrics that fit perfectly for specific characters or relationships between characters. Others just have a feel to them that fits my story in some way or another even if the lyrics aren’t an exact match.

So here’s my current WIP playlist:

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There’s one song missing. “Annie” by Elefant which goes right before “Thistle & Weeds.” They didn’t have it available on So here it is from Youtube:

Is it just me or does this playlist make my story seem kinda dark, or at the very least on the downer side?

My inner goth is pleased, but I think I need a playlist part two. Subtitle: Hey, some characters in my story are actually happy and functioning people! I swear.

“No One’s Gonna Love You” and “Thistle & Weeds” are sorta my cornerstone songs. They were the firsts on my list and speak to certain characters/relationships in a very definite way (which may diverge from the songwriters’ original intent, but whatevs. It’s art. It’s interpretable). When I was stuck in my writing once, I listened to the two versions of “No One’s Gonna Love You” (Band of Horses is the original) over and over for like 30 minutes until I figured out what I needed to do.

I love “Thistle & Weeds” because I can really see and feel a storm building and escalating when I listen to it. (It's best to listen to it SUPER loud to really get the effect). I also feel it aptly represents a certain character of mine’s back story. She’s kinda scary crazy, but she wasn’t always like that. It built up over time and escalated to the point where she is now.

Also, the lyric “The sky above us shoots to kill.” Awesome! What a way to describe lightning! I wish I was as good at describing stuff.

Speaking of Mumford & Sons, I wasn’t the only one who thought they were from Tennessee, was I? Maybe this exposes my shameful preconceived notions about banjos, but I pretty much assumed that anyone playing them is from a southern state of the U.S. (Don’t get me wrong, I can get down with some Bluegrass. The banjo is an instrument to be respected.) I’d probably listened to the Mumford & Sons CD about 30 times before I was like, “Hey! Heeeey. Southern people don’t say ‘can’t’ like that. Or ‘plant.’ Or ‘all.‘ Or ‘been’! What is this deception!?!”

Plus, to me the leader sing from this band has a similar tone to the lead singer from Kings of Leon and Kings of Leon are from the South(-slash-Midwest). So, you know, associations. And apparently one of the guys in the band is called Country! And were is country music from?

Whatever! My assumption was valid leap in misjudgment!

Mumford & Sons really gets down with some banjo.

Anyway, what about you? Do you have a playlist to go with your novel? What’s on it? I loves music and to know what other folks are listening to. If’n you ain’t got no playlist, tell me yourn favorite song from 2011.

Or of the week. This here’s one of mine. This song is loud and discordant and brief and fast, and I loves it.

And oh, my gosh! I just found out this band is from Bowling Green, Kentucky! It has just been a southern-fied second half of my post, hasn't it?!

I think I got too excited about that...

Happy Friday, ya'll!


  1. You have great taste in music. Thanks by the way for the nice compliment you left on my blog about the quote from my upcoming book. I appreciate it. :)

  2. Thanks! And you're welcome (I meant it).