I had a hard time picking songs for this and ended up with 14 instead of 12. T_T…In any case, some of these songs are ones that I like listening to get into a writing mood and some of them are songs that inspire me and give me ideas. For the most part, these are pretty mellow, soft, and sad lol. I don’t always listen to music like this (happy, loud music can inspire me to!), but I’ve found that I can only concentrate on writing if the music I’m listening helps me relax. Otherwise, I get too distracted and jumpy to focus on whatever I’m writing!
Anyway, here’s my Winter Mix:
- Amore – Ryuichi Sakamoto Stumbled across his work on Youtube; I actually used one of his other songs, “Solitude,” for the Soompi summer ficathon last year.
- To Build a Home – The Cinematic Orchestra I watched the trailer for Another Earth and fell in love with the song. I never got around to watching the movie, but this song is so delicate and sad.
- Sea of Love – Cat Power If you’ve watched Juno (which I still haven’t done), you might recognize this song. I have NOOOOO idea how I came across it, but it’s very mellow and something you can listen to lying down on your bed with your eyes closed…it’s a very “let’s just stay here and not do anything/let’s just float in this sea of love while time freezes outside” kind of song. What a terrible explanation lol.
- Sorrow – The National I fell in love with The National’s “About Today” when it came up in Warrior. GREAT film by the way. Please watch it even if you don’t like MMA fighting (I don’t either); that’s not what the story’s about. It’s about the love between two brothers and THERE’S JUST SO MUCH ANGST AND IF YOU DON’T CRY AT THE END, SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU. But anyway, pretty sure I was a mess when I heard this song. I decided to look it up on Youtube, stumbled across “Sorrow,” and fell in love. Also, this song is super popular due to this very sad BBC Sherlock fic which is why there are so many Sherlock references in the comments lol.
- Delicate – Damien Rice I LOVE DAMIEN RICE. Okay so this was kind of hard for me to share because…well, I’ll use a John Green quote to sum up my feelings about Damien Rice except it’s about books, not music: “Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books…which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” But yes, um. It’d be kind of wrong to put up a mix of songs that I love listening to to get into the writing mood/that I get inspired by and not include his. T_T…
- 9 Crimes – Damien Rice Because I love him so much, I’m including him twice on the list. This is the first song I’ve ever listened to by him, but I was looking up Christian Bale videos several years ago (sometime in 2006 or maybe a year or two later) and I came across this song for a fanvid someone did. All I remember is that it had scenes or a picture from The Machinist and I never heard such a heartbreakingly worn down, sad song in my life. It was a different sad than I was used to…the tone in this is sad, but it’s more of an accepting, tired one than a dramatic, Titanic-esque one.
- Time – Hans Zimmer (Inception OST) I love Inception, I love Hans Zimmer, and I love this song. I’m not sure if I can adequately describe how beautiful this piece is (like everything Zimmer makes). It’s simultaneously sad and hopeful and UGHFASDFADSFA. THIS PIECE PRETTY MUCH EXPLAINS WHAT INCEPTION IS. But yes, words cannot do it justice so I’m not going to even try explaining it.
- 얼음요새 (Ice Fortress) – Dear Cloud No idea how I came across this either, but Dear Cloud is amazing and this song and music video is hauntingly sad…yes, pretty much every song on this list is sad. The sadness is different in that it’s kind of bleak and chilly like a dark, overcast winter day and crystal clear like piercingly cold air.
- Under Your Spell – Desire (Drive OST) Say what you will about Drive, but the OST was great. I was obsessed with it after I watched the movie and put it on repeat. This song pretty much sums up Ryan Gosling’s character and his motivations throughout the entire film. Very synthpop and therefore, kind of different from many of the songs on this list which veer towards an analog sound or instrumental music…but it’s great because I think that when you’re in love, you probably do experience a moment where it seems like you’re in a trance.
- I’d Rather Go Blind – Etta James I LOVE ETTA JAMES. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE HER. I really love blues and soul and this song is a blues and soul classic. Anyway, I like a lot of old songs from the 50s and 60s and I’ve been listening to a lot of Etta’s songs in the past few months on repeat. She has a one-of-a-kind voice and just…you can hear her belt out her feelings in this so the sadness in this song is very pronounced and overt.
- Your Hand in Mine – Explosions in the Sky Heard this off a fanmix someone made. I’ve started to really get into fanmixes in the past several months and they’re great because they’re made by people in the same fandom as you for characters that you both love so finding a fanmix someone made is like opening a nice surprise gift especially if they introduce you to artists or songs that you’re unfamiliar with! In any case, that’s how I feel about this song. I forgot what fandom this was for, but yeah I felt like there was something mournful, yearning, and sad about this piece.
- Nuvole Bianche – Ludovico Einaudi This author I really like included this song in one of her fics so I was curious and decided to listen to it. Very beautiful and sad. OKAY, wow “sad” is probably the most overused word in this post, but really, it was one of those most beautiful pieces I’ve heard in years (at the time) and it fit her very, very depressing, bleak fic perfectly.
- あの夏へ (One Summer’s Day) (piano version) – Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away OST) Joe Hisaishi’s one of my favorite composers ever and the Spirited Away OST is probably one of my favorite OSTs ever. It’s so beautiful. I had a hard time picking only one of his songs, but I decided it would be this one. “The Sixth Station” came a close second and I almost included another song from Howl’s Moving Castle, but in the end, I chose this one because it was one of the first instrumental pieces I fell in love with back in middle school. There’s something very wistful and nostalgic about this piece like a forgotten summer day long ago from our childhood. It almost feels like a goodbye to a childhood friend and wait…this is kind of what happens in the movie. Damn. I thought I was being original with my description lol.
- Powerful Love – Chuck & Mac I heard this in Looper (the OST has some great pieces. I loved “Her Face” because I thinkkkkk that was the song that was playing during the China montage scenes and uhfhfsadfdsa that’s one of my favorite parts of the movie because it’s just this very short thing that’s super moving and beautiful) and fell in love with it. Again, I love my old songs, but in any case, it’s what the director, Rian Johnson, considers as the heart of the movie. He listened to it over and over while making Looper and Bruce Willis got excited about it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks about it in an interview with A.V. club too, but yeah basically I just thought it fit so well even though it’s a movie that takes place in the future…but the characters have these sort of 20th century affectations so it fits. Also, in Rian Johnson’s words: “There is a real deep heart of romance in the movie, and not just boy-girl romance but romance with a capital R…yeah love in the sense that love can somehow fix things.” Pretty much sums up how wonderful the song is and why it fits so well with the movie.