Thursday, October 9, 2014

Goosebumpy Musical Musings

For me, writing without music so loud it surrounds me is like a cat minus fur. Yes, it’s possible, but vaguely disturbing in some way. In fact, my music is loud enough that well across the house my husband can easily identify the songs. His comment? “I don’t know how you concentrate.” Answer: Shrug. Or, the ever popular, “How many times can you possibly listen to that song in a row?” Answer: still counting, I’ve not hit the limit.

My mom once told me she was nearly certain if writing was in my future it would be as a song writer. I heart music that much (and I played piano as a kid.) But that really doesn’t fill the creative niche for me. It’s always been stories with supernatural elements. Always. Even when I was a kid, I’d read and listen to music simultaneously. ‘Born to be wild’ by Steppenwolf is forever entangled in my memory with L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries series. Can’t think of one without the other.

But there is a class of music that works pure magic on me from a creative standpoint. Songs that give me goosebumps. I know I’m not alone in this, though my husband shakes his head and labels the response ‘weird.’ I’ve tried to identify and label the pieces that make a song goosebump worthy, but it’s got to be a bit of magic. A dash of compelling lyrics, a pinch of haunting melody, a moment coalescing into transcendence… all to equal something beautiful and moving my body understands at a cellular level. Something like that, but different and individual each time.

So, in honor of goosebump-inducing October, I thought I’d share my top list of songs that take my breath away and unfailingly give me goosebumps. In no particular order…

  • “Blinding” ~ Florence + the machine (I could pick another half dozen of hers to add, too, but there’s something about this one. The woman is a genius.)
  • “Take Me to Church” ~ Hozier
  • “Can’t See New York” ~ Tori Amos
  • “Stay with Me” ~ Sam Smith
  • "Nightcall” ~ London Grammar
  • "My Kind of Love” ~ Emeli Sande
  • “Whiskey Lullaby” ~ Allison Krauss and Brad Paisley

 And, lest you think me a total sap…

  • “Turn the Page” ~ Metallica
  • “I am the Highway” ~ Audioslave
  • “Bad Company” ~ Five Finger Death Punch
  • “Female Robbery” ~ The Neighborhood (again, I could add several more by them but this is my fav)

 I’m always looking to add to my musical addiction, so what songs would you add to this list?

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