Best of 2011: Music to write to

This post is part of Sarah Enni‘s Best of 2011 Blog Circus. Up today: the best music released in 2011 (complete album or single track) to write to.

I’m sticking to single tracks, mostly because it is very rare that I find an entire album fitting for writing. I’m a big fan of making playlists and hand-selecting songs that match the tone/mood/atmosphere of what I’m writing in order to help me tackle select scenes. Beyond that, I just like soft and mellow tracks when writing, music that is strong, but not overly demanding or distracting, if that makes sense. These five were instrumental to my writing this year, very often on repeat:

Werewolves, The Damnwells
I heard this song on the radio one morning while driving to work. I never heard it played again, but managed to track it down online. I’m not sure what it is about this track. It fees like autumn. And mistakes. And hope. I love it so very much.


Lucky Now, Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams has a way with words; a magical, unreal way. This song is somber yet bittersweet. Nostalgic, too. Leave it to Ryan to capture the feeling of change, of growing up, of the fleetingness that is youth.


Poison & Wine, The Civil Wars*
Some songs reach into the center of your chest and break something. This is one of those songs.

*Yes, the song appeared on their EP in 2009, but it was also included on their 2011 Barton Hollow album, so I’m cheating and including it.


Bloom, The Paper Kites
I only discovered this song recently, but I’ve had it on repeat ever since. The guitar, the harmonies, the whistling. So much power in something so seemingly simple.


Holocene, Bon Iver
My love for Bon Iver, specifically for when it comes to soundtracks for writing, is limitless. While this song is my favorite, their self-titled 2011 album is perhaps the only album, from start to finish, that I find perfect for writing. Chilling, haunting, moving. The music video, too, is incredibly stunning. I’m rambling when really I should just say, “There are no words.”

What 2011 songs (or complete albums) did you find yourself writing to the most often this year?

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