Offbeat Music for Offbeat Writing

Music, Writing

Music can be very influential to the writing process as I’ve mentioned before.  For me, certain scenes or stories demand a specific kind of music.  When I’m trying to get into a flow I usually put on something electronic like Amon Tobin, Pretty Lights, or Red Snapper.

It’s when I’m diving into stranger, darker waters that my musical tastes become more eclectic.  These songs put me in an odd state of mind, hitting me more in the gut than the brain.  Being in an off-balanced mood allows me to tackle pieces that I want to inject with more emotional context.

This is far from an all-encompassing list, but these songs have been rattling around my head and if I didn’t put them down into a post they were going to keep bouncing in my noggin.

I’ve provided links to all the songs through YouTube or Vimeo.

Nick Cave

Sheryl Crow

  • On the Outside from “Songs in the Key of X” [sorry, I could only find the live version online]

Lou Reed


Tom Waits

“Small Change”

(link to the entire album)
  • Step Right Up
  • The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)
  • Pasties and a G-String
  • One That Got Away
  • Small Change


Barry Adamson

“As Above, So Below”

The Crow soundtrack

  • All the songs [This is one of the few albums that I listen to almost exclusively from beginning to end]

Donnie Darko soundtrack

Johnny Cash

What songs help you write the stranger kind of stories?  Let me know in the comments or shoot me a tweet @gabrielnovo.  If you enjoy these articles then have them delivered to your inbox.

2 comments… add one
  • Thersa Matsuura Feb 11, 2014

    I love listening to music to get me into a scene or even to bring about a new idea. This is a great list. I need to be better about keeping track of my own favorites, and add a few of these as well.

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