I apologize in advance for taking so much time placing the next heady and curious Top 10 List of music that helps shape and form a creative artist. Life sometimes gets in the way—yet remains curious and fulfilling, especially with new music to listen to. So far, I’ve featured a variety of authors, and Jason McIntyre, a prolific writer with many books available at bookstores (click HERE to check out Jason’s Author Page at Amazon), shares the music, and his muse, with us: lucky denizens of the beat.
Jason McIntyre is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of The Night Walk Men, bestsellers On the Gathering Storm and Shed, plus the multi-layered literary suspense Thalo Blue. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards.
His current release is the full-length follow-up novel to The Night Walk Men called The Devil’s Right Hand, available now.
Jason McIntyre lets the music play:
Music is a necessary fourth item on a list that includes, air, water, and food. Music is a form of sustenance. I’ve noticed two things as I creep away from the recklessness of youth. One, I become listless and moody if I’m not writing something nearly every day. Two, I feel the very same if I don’t have time to listen (I mean, really listen) to great music.
Here are a few bits and bobs that keep me sane. It’s just a sample, mind you. In no order of magnitude, greatness or ability to satiate . . .
I’m a big fan of this Icelandic group. This album is their most commercial and if you enjoy it, I encourage you to go back into their catalogue. Von and () and Ágætis byrjun are particularly good. If you want some esoteric mood to catapult your words onto a page, this is your soundtrack.
The guy is a guitar prodigy. And his ability to arrange instrumentation and “lead me in the way I should go” is uncanny. His epic musical journeys will hearken you to follow. I suggest you do.
The Stills are from Montreal and have broken up after three amazing albums. Without Feathers and Oceans Will Rise are their others but I chose Logic Will Break Your Heart to list here as it is the collection that made me fall for their rocking choo-choo train. When I’m writing the chugga-chugga, pushing down the track scenes when plot is happening fast and the mood is dark and intense, I rely on their early albums. When I’m writing moodier bits I rely on a re-imagining of the band called Eight And a Half.
Where do I start with Andrew Bird? I flick on a shuffle of every track this man has recorded and I’m lulled into a world where a Thalo Blue (my second novel) just flows out of me. His other albums include Noble Beast and Useless Creatures. His instrumentals are second-to-none. And, man, can he whistle.
Again, I’m listing one album with the caveat that the band has produced more great material. The Suburbs and Neon Bible make Funeral into the third in a triumphant triumvirate. Arcade Fire is a bit like my writing (I hope), just off the beaten path in how they sound, but listen for a few minutes and you’re tapping a foot, humming a long, and shouting the lyrics as you pound down the highway.
The best popular album of 2002, hands down. All music by the Doves is inspirational rock with an alternative edge. The melody’s the thing with these guys and they lay down some exceptional ones.
This album is a downer. But it is hopelessly compelling. Like watching a train wreck in slow-motion, if you’re into this kind of music, you can’t help but keep listening. It’s what some might call a concept album about dying slowly. For the kind of writing I’ve done over the last two years (see: The Night Walk Men) it’s the perfect backdrop of deep, gut-wrenching melancholy. Their next album, Burst Apart is a stellar follow-up
Let’s throw some classics in here and fool everyone into thinking I’m normal. This is a great album to write more straight-ahead fiction with. I remember spinning this while blasting through the first draft of a book called Shed. Billy just writes great ballads and great epics. His voice and his playing are as smooth as silk here.
Haunting as hell. Just listen to Atlantic City and tell me you’re not hooked. I’m On Fire should have been on this album.
I just put this on and I disappear. That’s the best thing to happen to a writer. You want the words and the people and the story to become everything. And you need to dissolve away. Bon Iver has an echo and a reverb and a presence that helps make that happen for me.
What . . . only ten?
Of course we music lovers all have a million albums we could list as inspirational, helpful or just downright good to listen to. Thanks for letting me spout off about a few of mine, Justin! Happy listening (and happy writing!) to everyone.
Here is how you can further investigate the world, and created worlds, of Jason McIntrye:
Follow Jason on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JasonCMcIntyre
Thank you very much for stopping by A Writer’s Life blog, Jason. I love your taste in music. Your muse must be incredibly satisfied.
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