Seeking the Familiar: Music Edition

Books are not the only medium that fuels my imagination. Music has always been a large part of my life and a constant soundtrack to my daydreams and creative writing brainstorm sessions.

I never write with music on, instrumental or otherwise. It’s very distracting to me during the writing process and I often find my mind wandering away from the subject at hand – which, when your writing a narrative is the opposite of helpful.

When I’m not writing, and just daydreaming or brainstorming, music is my fuel. Here are some of the songs and albums I turn to again and again.


Five of my favorite albums of all time, all featuring music I could (and have) listen to for hours, on repeat.

Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials and Lungs are two albums I have listened to, to the point where I have them both almost memorized. I’m sure dozens of music critics and blogs have already described Florence and the Machine’s sound, and perhaps more accurately, but to me Florence and the Machine has always seemed like fantasy rock, or, I don’t know, epic rock, epic alternative. Basically, Florence’s voice makes me think of a half-fey woman singing in a wind-tossed ancient forest, bare feet cut and bruised, hair wild, but strong and unbreakable.

It’s been awhile now since I first came across her and the band, but “Dog Days Are Over” from the album Lungs was the first song I had heard, and it’s been a constant companion ever since.

I was in my mid-twenties when I first determined to listen through ACDC‘S Back in Black album. I borrowed it from the library actually, and a week later headed to the music store to buy the CD (I had an older model car back then, that still had a CD player). I’m fairly certain I listened to this album every time I drove my car for like a month straight. To this day, my favorite song is still “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”. Another favorite is “Have A Drink On Me”.

Listen, I don’t know the phrases for music genres. Not well, at least. So when I say The Black Keys are Midwestern Rock, I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds right. My favorite album, still, is Brothers and I will always have a love for song number five, “She’s Long Gone”. The moment I heard those opening lines, “She was made to blow you away,” I was hooked. A few other favorites are “Howlin’ for You”, and The Only One”.

The Airborne Toxic Event‘s self-titled album was another one that caught me in it’s grip and wouldn’t let me go for quite awhile. The deluxe edition of the their self-titled album features “Sometime Around Midnight”, which is also one of my favorite songs of all time. I especially love the way it seems to embody a story in a way I’ve rarely seen another song do. A few other favorites are “Innocence” (deluxe edition), “Half of Something Else”, “All at Once”, and “The Graveyard Near The House”.


“One Headlight” by The Wallflowers is a song I’ve listened to on repeat probably thousands of times. I found it randomly on Youtube years ago, and it’s quickly become an automatic add on to any playlist I make.

“Angel in Blue Jeans” by Train hooked me from the first time I listened to it. It quickly became one of my favorite Train songs, and then one of my favorites period. Also, the music video features Danny Trejo and Hannah Simone, and Trejo lip syncs throughout the music video, which is both hilarious and awesome.

“Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood is a song I put on repeat when I’m searching for a way to calm down. Not only do I like the song for just aesthetic reasons, but it’s also one of those songs that instantly calms me down.

“Gooey” by Glass Animals is another one of those songs that is calming, but also a really interesting listen. One of the things I love about this song is the singing voice of Dave Bayley, which sounds like how it feels when you drink an iced drink after being out in the sun. Which I know totally makes sense, right? But you’ll see what I mean if you give the song a listen.

“Like a Stone” by Audioslave is a song that I loved since I was an older teen. The first few moments of the song I fell for the voice of Chris Cornell and the timeless lyrics and pure rock sound of this song.

“Scars” by Michael Malarkey was such an interesting sound from the very beginning. Never mind that Michael Malarkey’s voice is like kissing smoke, the arrangement and lyricism of “Scars” instantly made it a favorite of mine.

“Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten” by Grouplove is a song that is great fun to listen to. Grouplove has a unique sound as well, especially with the vocals.

“Awake O’ Sleeper” by The Brothers Bright is an anthem if I ever heard one. While there’s not a lot of information or activity from the band, their sound, especially in this song, is definitely something to check out.

“A Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga is one song in a full album (Joanne) of amazing songs, but this one remains my favorite. It’s definitely one of those songs you can belt out in your car with abandon.

What albums have become a favorite of yours? What songs do you return to again and again?
Let me know in the comments. I am always looking for new music to fall in love with!

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