As some of you may know, I’m an avid musician in addition to being an author! I’ve been studying guitar for over 11 years now, have participated in various band programs, learned a little piano, play bass occasionally, and I currently play in a collegiate guitar ensemble at my school. So needless to say, music is a very strong creative force which greatly affects my writing process as well. While drafting, I’ll usually have YouTube open so I can stream all my latest favorites, which are usually of the alternative rock / punk rock variety. Even a dash of post-hardcore like Pierce the Veil can offer some really melodic emotions that just aren’t as present in the same 15 watered down pop tunes that frequent the radio (sorry, not sorry for my snobbery coming through a bit. There’s a point to it, just roll with me here).
So I wanted to do a little countdown of the most influential songs that have either floated through my head while drafting, or even been my mental soundtrack for my books. Here are my top 5, in a slightly specific order of casual listening to literally inspiring an entire book!
Song #5: Part II (Paramore)
I got into this tune more recently working on my current work in progress, a YA time-travel with a lot of heart and a sprinkle of personal reflection. I’m really excited about this new concept that I took from a ten-minute play I wrote for class over a year ago. Something about this song just layers complex emotions over some really slick instrumentals which is equal-parts battle-cry and desperate plea for self-actualization. Take a listen, I promise you won’t regret it!
Influential lyrics: “What a shame, what a shame we all remain / Such fragile broken things / A beauty half betrayed / Butterflies with punctured wings”
Song #4: Circles (Pierce the Veil)
This song is such a good melodic piece with enough tension to fuel any narrative! Especially for science fiction, it just has this undeniably good energy to it that I really dig. Click the link above to check out the hilarious music video in which the PTV boys get stuck in a run-down motel managed by an interesting character who allegedly kidnapped other bands as well! Plus Vic Fuentes (the lead singer) is a total hottie so there’s that too 😉
Influential lyrics: “Save yourself, don’t ever look back”
Song #3: Lonely Girl (Tonight Alive)
I listened to this song a lot while drafting books 2-3 of The Upperworld Series, and I think the sentiment of feeling alone and on your own really resonated with me. It certainly related to Luna as she was stuck on Earth, all alone, trying to survive long enough to get the entire space-time continuum back on track. Quite a tall order, huh? Plus the desperation and pain associated with the tapping guitar solo really added a lot to this track. It would definitely make a great montage track in The Sorting Room as a movie!
Influential lyrics: “Lonely girl, you lost the only thing you loved / Nothing that you have is ever good enough / And I won’t be the one to keep you safe / And I won’t be the one who stays the same”
Song #4: Black Magic (Little Mix)
Yes, it’s a pop tune, but it’s pretty much perfect for Just Like a Pill. I always imagined this to be playing on the ending credits if my book was a movie – and bonus points for the actors of the concept video looking a lot like my characters Maxx and his trashy girlfriend Ashley 😛
Influential lyrics: “Take a sip of my secret potion / I’ll make you fall in love / For a spell that can’t be broken / One drop should be enough”
Song #5: Red (Taylor Swift)
This sonic masterpiece basically inspired me to start writing stories. Okay, well, actually, I was deeply obsessed with a crush on this guy who I now realize wasn’t worth the heartache. So that might have been something to do with it, of course! But the lyrics are such a poignant snapshot of my sixteen-year-old self, because I went through this and even got to scream the lyrics at a Taylor Swift concert the night before I performed it myself the next day. Needless to say, this song will forever hit me the strongest because I have such a tangible memory of the time I performed this song with someone really special, and that feeling became the heartbeat of my debut novel, Just Like a Pill. There’s still a cringe-y video of me butchering that guitar solo buried deep in the bowels of YouTube, but I’ll spare you the horror. Just take a listen to this song that means so much to me.
Influential lyrics: “Lovin’ him is like trying to change your mind once you’re already flying through the free-fall / Like the colors in Autumn, just before they lose it all”
***Author’s note – In case you were wondering, I did try my hardest to forget him, but I just couldn’t so I wrote a book instead, haha 😉
If you’d like to read some of my stories that were written from the emotions and vibes of these songs, you can find them here: https://www.amazon.com/Angelina-Singer/e/B0743ZF23N/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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