My 8 Favorite Music Groups To Write To

My 8 Favorite Music Groups To Write To

I seem to be in the minority, at least among the bloggers who I follow, in that I like listening to music with lyrics while writing. I find that lyrics better tap into emotions and moods, which inspire me to write. Here are my eight favorite music groups to write to.

I will say that I don’t fully endorse the messages of all the artists on this list. I listen for the ‘feel’ of a song and how it fits a specific scene, and the lyrics may or may not line up with the overall message I want to put out.

I’m not linking any of the tracks because I don’t know how you like to listen to music, but I use Spotify and you can find all of this music there.

Now that that’s out of the way, here it goes.


1. Mumford & Sons

Despite what I said, I do really like this band’s lyrics. They tend to sing about struggles with faith and other stuff that most bands don’t touch on, and I like the depth of their lyrics. I also love the way they deal with romance, just in general. All of the couples I want to write relate to at least a couple of Mumford & Sons tracks. They’re great for any scenes with moral struggles or character development, especially in a fantasy world.

Favorite tracks:

  • “Believe” from Wilder Minds
  • “Hot Gates” from Wilder Minds
  • “Lover’s Eyes” from Babel
  • “Winter Winds” from Sigh No More


2. Florence + the Machine

They just came out with a new album! Every fantasy writer should at least be aware of this band- their music is weird and lovely, if it’s your type of thing. If it’s not your style, it may be a little silly. But they’re worth checking out, especially if you’re world-building or writing fantasy fight scenes.

Favorite tracks:

  • “Hunger” from High as Hope
  • “No Light, No Light” from Ceremonials (this song is the soundtrack for the climax of my last WIP)
  • “Wish That You Were Here” from ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ Soundtrack


3. Night Terrors of 1927

This band only put out one album, and I have no idea where I heard of them, but I enjoy their sound. I listen to them while writing scenes where the characters are tired and/or sad. So if you like making your characters tired and sad, maybe check them out.

Favorite tracks:

  • “Fire With Fire” from Everything’s Coming Up Roses
  • “Novocaine” from Everything’s Coming Up Roses
  • “Young and Vicious” from Guilty Pleas EP

Lord Huron

4. Lord Huron

I actually came up with my current WIP through several of this artist’s songs. I really like the stories this band narrates. Like Florence + the Machine, they’re great for worldbuilding and setting the scene, especially when the characters are outside.

Favorite tracks:

  • “Lullaby” from Lonesome Dreams
  • “In the Wind” from Lonesome Dreams
  • “Frozen Pines” from Strange Trails


5. Imagine Dragons

What writer’s playlist would be complete without some Imagine Dragons, especially if you’re writing sci-fi or dystopian? (Also I love this picture because they look like they’re in a ’60s superhero tv show)

Favorite tracks:

  • “Amsterdam” from Night Visions (of course)
  • “Demons” from Night Visions (of course)
  • “Warriors” from Smoke + Mirrors (Deluxe)
  • “Start Over” from Evolve


6. Twenty Øne Piløts

This is another group whose lyrics I pay attention to. Like Mumford & Sons, they also sing about faith and other lesser explored song topics. Unlike Mumford & Sons, I associate them more with a more contemporary setting, or with characters who live with sadness and fight to find joy.

Favorite tracks:

  • Must I choose?
  • Fine.
  • “Oh Ms Believer” from Self Titled
  • “Kitchen Sink” from Vessel (Deluxe) and Regional at Best (neither are on Spotify)
  • “Doubt” from Blurryface
  • But honestly anything.


7. Lana Del Rey

Remember what I said about the lyrics not aligning with my overall message? If you decide to check her out, keep that in mind. But she’s great for general background writing music, or for characters making bad choices and drifting through summer.

Favorite tracks:

  • “Old Money” from Ultraviolence
  • “Video Games” from Born to Die
  • “Once Upon a Dream” from Maleficent Soundtrack
  • “Young and Beautiful” from Great Gatsby Soundtrack (especially the DH Orchestral Version on the deluxe album)


8. Tom Waits

What type of story would you write while listening to him? Something noirish, with a smokey bar and a hidden pistol and unhappy characters. I like my unhappy characters.

Favorite tracks:

  • “Downtown Train” from Rain Dogs
  • “Time” from Rain Dogs
  • “A Little Rain” from Bone Machine
  • “I Hope that I Don’t Fall in Love With You” from Closing Time
  • So many more. Seriously. So many.

So, that was my totally subjective impressions of these groups. If you like writing about happy people who make good decisions, this list may not be for you, but if not, you may enjoy these groups.

Do you listen to music while you write? What do you think of these artists? Do you have any recommendations?


10 thoughts on “My 8 Favorite Music Groups To Write To

  1. Hello Justice! I find it very interesting that you use music to help inspire your writing. I’d never thought of that before for writers, but I can see how that would be effective. (Am quite pleased that I’ve actually heard of 2 of those groups before!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t usually listen to music while I write, but I do tend to have certain groups or artists that help inspire me for certain stories or characters. I just don’t listen to these playlists while I am actually writing, but I enjoy making them.
    I’m listening to some of Mumford and Sons right now, and I’m liking it! I hadn’t heard of them before now. I’m interested in listening to some of these other artists now!
    Some of my favorite artists for character writing are Switchfoot and Bastille, though it’s really only select songs with Bastille: “Get Home,” “Flaws,” “Oblivion,” “Icarus,” “Daniel in the Den” and “Laura Palmer,” all from the album Bad Blood. Switchfoot is just always amazing. Also NF is good for really moody characters. I like a lot of his stuff too.


    • Oh that’s a good point about character/story specific playlists that aren’t for writing to- those are fun also!
      Glad you’re enjoying Mumford and Sons, they’re some of my favorites:)
      I LOVE Bastille as well, especially Bad Blood- I really like “Oblivion” and “Laura Palmer” too. I haven’t listened to Switchfoot in awhile, but I think I used to like them, and I’m slowly listening to NF more. They do seem good for moody characters 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally agree! Music helps me so much in my writing. I listen to a lot of different things for every post. Music is so powerful, it’s almost like it taps you into another dimension. One where you can get away from all the bustle of life and write about deep things, things that you would normally not think about or of if you weren’t listening to music that made you feel a certain way. My favorite is instrumentals, mostly because they have a very deep vibe.


    • I agree- it really can affect how you feel, which affects how you write. I have a hard time feeling that with instrumentals personally, but I know many connect with them- I’m glad you found what works for you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I often do listen to music while I write; sometimes I need only instrumentals, and prefer traditional Celtic for that; otherwise I generally choose indie pop/rock, sometimes slightly heavier stuff. (I really love some of the Minecraft videos on YouTube.)

    Definitely agree with not always wanting to share the lyrics, even if individually one feels they fit the song. A little bit of language or innuendo doesn’t bother me, but I also know that style isn’t for everybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oo, I used to listen to Celtic a lot, but haven’t for awhile. Do you have any artist recommendations? I love it for writing fantasy 🙂

      I know I’m a lot more comfortable with language and stuff than some people who follow this blog, so I wanted to be clear that yes, there is content so no one’s surprised if they look it up.


      • Yeah, there are certain bands/artists that I only listen to a bit of their stuff, because of content. And if I think it really warrants a warning, I will let people know.

        Other than Enya and Celtic Woman (very good, of course, but they tend to only stick to the same type of songs), I really like Clannad and Loreena McKennitt. Clannad tended to get a tad samey after a while, too, but McKennitt really branched out, into everything from very traditional Celtic folk to Eastern/Persian influences.


        • I’ll check them out- I remember some of their names from back when I did listen to Celtic- I’ll have to listen to more of their stuff, and with fresh ears. Thanks for the recommendations!

          Liked by 1 person

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