My 5 Favorite Albums to Write To

If you haven’t learned by now, hello, I am Guerrilla Rain and I write things. I don’t know why, but the power of stringing together sentences that makes stories and narratives with my fingertips feels pretty good. And it has since… I was about eight years old.

On Friday, I was googling my name to see what would come up. Would I find Instagram? Or my account on Mastodon? (Neither.) Are there other social media accounts with that name? (One, a Japanese account on Twitter that does nothing.) But then, I saw it, a cute little line from Goodreads. I scrolled past it at first… until I caught the title of one of my novels on Wattpad.

Well what do you fucking know? I’m a writer on Goodreads! It’s a weird kind of validation that I did not anticipate. I don’t write to get famous or make money (my work is all available for free, FYI). I do it because sometimes there are stories that I want to read and they aren’t available, so I have to make them myself. I’m an only child, I’m used to entertaining myself. And since art inspires art, and I use this blog to procrastinate writing other things (like transposing Cassandra’s Curse into Save the Cat! or writing the Misfits out of a very dangerous situation), I thought I’d write about music I use to bring my writing to life.

182Neo-classical king Ludovico Einaudi‘s album In A Time Lapse (2013)  is quiet intensity when I need to hear myself think. In the rare instances where I need noise but not words, when I need to shut up the outside world and center myself, Einaudi is my go-to man. Classical music, like heavy metal, feels like home to me. When I feel homesick, I listen for soft pianos and dissonant cords and the violins that push and pull you like a tropical storm. I would prefer if he included a little more flute but that’s just life. When I saw him perform snippets of In a Time Lapse live at Tower Records in Shibuya, my knees grew weak. I shook his hand. When I close my eyes and listen, I get chills and I feel present. I will go days on end listening to nothing other than “Experience.” Other favorites are “Discovery At Night,” “Run,” and “Newton’s Cradle.”

Solange_-_A_Seat_at_the_TableA Seat at the Table (2016) by Solange is the epitome of black girl sadness. It is real and vulnerable and what-the-fuck in a way many others can’t even comprehend. My protagonists are (mostly) black girls and this album channels the vulnerability and softness and sweetness and the smiles made of sunshine and warmth and divinity that I like to channel when I write them. My favorites are “Weary” (because I’m weary), “Cranes in the Sky,” “Mad”, and “Don’t Touch My Hair,” but I usually listen to the album all the way through.

californianos-Avenged-sevenfold_EDIIMA20161102_0609_5The Stage (2016) is THAT ALBUM. Avenged Sevenfold has been my favorite band since The City of Evil came out in like 2006. It is bold and brash and aggressive and raw and daring. It makes me feel brave, it makes me feel okay to be bold and out there, and it is comforting. Even though they are heavy metal and hard rock and what ever other label they have, listening to Avenged is calming. It makes me calm. It makes me happy. It makes me focused and determined and adventurous. The Stage is their newest album that turns music into a story, and the sci-fi theme is actually what inspired my novel Through Gazing on the Unquiet Sky. “The Stage,” “Paradigm,” “Sunny Disposition,” “God Damn,” “Creating God,” “Angels,” “Exist” (featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson!!), “Simulation” and “Roman Sky” are my favorites. (Yes, I did just name more than half the album, so what?) Thanks, guys.

Screamworks.jpgHIM‘s album Screamworks: Love in Theory & Practice (2010) is what I listen to for dark, somber, still, romantic moments. If you didn’t know, I have a thing for fatalistic Gothic love metal, and while I do write to EVERY HIM album, this album get the most play. The bass is dirty, the guitar is crying, the drums are your heartbeat, and his voice is ominous and dreamy. My favorite songs on the album are “Dying Song,” “Disarm Me (With Your Loneliness),” “In the Arms of Rain,” “Ode to Solitude,” “Shatter Me With Hope,” and “Acoustic Funeral for Love in Limbo.” Other songs of theirs with high plays when I’m writing but not on this album are “Cyanide Sun,” “And Love Said No,” “Poison Girl,” “Razorblade Kiss,” and “Vampire Heart.” But to be clear, these are songs with the most plays on my writing playlist. I listen to and love them all.

Last but not least, Dan-Black-Do-Not-Revenge-album-artDo Not Revenge (2017) is British wonky pop artist Dan Black‘s second album that I have been waiting for since his first album UN came out in 2009. UN was sweet and soft and easy listening, and Do Not Revenge has exceeded my expectations in being everything I wanted and more. It is pop, but it is soft and sounds like how it feels to take a deep breath. ‘Wash Away’, ‘We Drift On’ and ‘Polar Bears’ are my most favorites, ones that I’ve listened to on repeat for days (literally). I like writing to it because I think and process words and feel emotions and synthesize clearly. It keeps me calm and grounded, and at times, I feel like water is washing over me to take any baggage away. It is a clean slate to write every time I listen, and this is exactly what every writer needs.

Have you listened to any of these? What do you think? What are you loving right now? Let me know!



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