9 Soundtracks To Add To Your Writing Playlist

9 Soundtracks To Add To Your Writing Playlist

Whether you're writing an essay or a novel, these songs will get the gears in your head turning

If you have trouble working to music with lyrics, finding the right songs to play can be quite a feat. You're stuck between classical playlists, which are almost a little too exciting at times, and soundtracks, all full of sudden beats or sound effects for the screen that don't translate when you're sitting at your desk at 1 a.m. There are some soundtracks, though, that sit in a nice in-between. You don't have to have seen or heard what these songs are from, simply listen and get to work.

1. Moonlight

If you're used to listening to classical music while working, this soundtrack should fit perfectly into your playlist. Moonlight draws heavily on classical styles so often that there is even an actual classical track dropped into the middle of the first act. It's mainly piano and violin mixed with some ambient sounds, so it's perfect if you're looking for some gentle orchestral music.

Suggested tracks: "The Middle of the World," "End Credits Suite," "Chef's Special"

2. Over The Garden Wall

As we head closer to the end of the year, Over The Garden Wall and its seasonally appropriate soundtrack should be making their way back into everyone's finals and holidays. The soundtrack is inspired by classic, old-timey tunes and has just the right amount of chills to make your writing want to pop. You might want to skip "Pottsfield CM," though.

Suggested tracks: "Prelude," "The Old Mill," "Adelaide's Trap"

3. Inside Out

Basically, any Pixar soundtrack works well when it comes to writing and studying, but Inside Out's is the most gentle. If you need piano and ambient sounds, Michael Giacchino has always got you covered.

Suggested tracks: "Bundle of Joy," "Nomanisone Island/National Movers," "Tears of Joy"

4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Of all of the Zelda soundtracks, Breath of the Wild is the most orchestral. If you like the 8-bit sound of classic video game music, try Ocarina of Time (or The Adventure Zone), but BotW sticks to the themes of previous Zelda games while introducing a fully orchestral set of sounds perfect for exploring the world.

Suggested tracks: "Credits," "Prince Sidon's Theme," "100 Years Ago"

5. The Prince of Egypt

Hans Zimmer's soundtracks can always be a little drum and sound effect heavy, but The Prince of Egypt is a welcome outlier. It's mainly orchestral and choral music, so if your playlist needs some drama and ambience, throw one of these in there.

Suggested tracks: "The Burning Bush," "Cry," "Death of the First Born"

6. American Gods

Had you asked me a year ago, I would never have even thought to put Brian Reitzell's soundtracks on this list. His tracks for NBC's Hannibal are almost entirely erratic and unsettling. His soundtrack for American Gods, despite featuring his signature odd sounds and curious rhythms, is oddly listenable. If you enjoy electronica, drums, or the blues, this one's for you.

Suggested tracks: "Out of Time," "Shopping," "Media Bowie"

7. Westworld

If you wish you could listen to some more familiar songs while studying, but lyrics distract you, Westworld's western covers of famous tunes like "Black Hole Sun" or "House of the Rising Sun" might fit well into your playlist. The soundtrack also features original tracks, each with a mix of classical, western, and electronic vibes.

Suggested tracks: "Paint It, Black," "This World," "Reverie"

8. Pacific Rim

If you're looking for something a little more intense so you can really nail that action scene, Pacific Rim's electric guitar and techno will get the book moving. It can also help the essay your writing feel like extremely important, high-tech work to save the world.

Suggested tracks: "Canceling the Apocalypse," "Call Me Newt," "Pentecost"

9. The Adventure Zone

The Adventure Zone covers such a wide array of soundtrack styles that there's bound to be at least one song to fit your study mood. The Eleventh Hour and Journey's End have some especially good slower study songs, while The Crystal Kingdom and The Suffering Game have more electronic beats and ambient tracks.

Suggested tracks: "The Diary of Sheriff Isaak," "Wonderland - Round Two," "Madam Director"

Cover Image Credit: Moonlight

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Why I Listen to Depressing Music Even Though I'm Depressed

Music that's powerful, music that speaks to me, music that means something.

It took me a long time to find my preferred genre of music. In middle school, I remember listening to pop songs that I often heard on the radio. I could (and still can) rap the entirety of Super Bass by Nicki Minaj and I dreamt about my crush professing his love to me by serenading me with Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes. 

By my freshman year of high school, those songs were no longer cool, so I went along with the crowd and started listening to the next most popular type of music: trap music. In my experience, these artists talked solely about fucking bitches and smoking ganja, even though, at that point in my life, I had no intent of having intercourse or "doing" the marijuana (boy was I naive). Though I listened to these genres to appease everyone else, I never felt completed like so many people claimed to feel when they listened to music. I did not have a passion for any bands or artists and I did not feel any sort of deep connection while I was listening.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I decided to explore certain genres that I hadn’t yet explored. The first bands I really grew to love were the Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, and The Kooks. Their music not only sounded great, but the lyrics actually meant something. They spoke about relationships, internal struggles, mental issues, and societal problems. Their lyrics resonated with me, and, surprisingly, the most depressing of their material resonated the most.

I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, though I was not diagnosed until a little over a year ago. I’ve been on meds and have learned coping techniques, but the most counterintuitive of those techniques is listening to these depressing songs.

One of the hardest struggles I have with depression is not being able to tell people how I am feeling, not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t have the words. I find that listening to others put into words the exact emotions that I have not been able to convey myself is quite reassuring.  These songs help me better understand my own emotions and give me an idea of how to turn those emotions into spoken language. 

When Alex Turner says “you can shriek until you’re hollow or whisper it the other way” or when AJJ says "everything is real, but it's also just as fake” I feel as if someone has entered my thoughts and put into lyrics the fears and feelings I struggle with on a daily basis. These songs make me feel as if there is a whole community of people out there who experience the same, seemingly-lonely experiences that I do. I feel more connected to the world when I listen to this type of music. I feel understood.

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Two Inspiring Movies Everyone Should See

Movies that take you on an emotional roller coaster.

I have always loved watching movies, especially ones with inspiring and emotional storylines. I get very invested and intrigued (maybe a little too much), but I love having that whirlwind of emotions throughout the entire movie.

Recently, I got the opportunity to see two amazing movies that I think are very important and had a huge effect on me. The films were “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name”. Both of these films came out in 2017 so they are fairly new. They are making a huge impact and receiving a lot of deserved recognition.

“Lady Bird” has such a special storyline. It follows the relationship between a mother and daughter in such a realistic way. As many girls know, a relationship with a mother is not always an easy one and the film really captures that frustration.

It follows the life of a young girl that is about to leave to go to college. So many things change for girls during this time and there are so many emotional challenges and obstacles. I absolutely love how this film displays this situation and many relationships in a very graphic and honest way. I think it is so important for young girls to watch this film and channel all those feelings. It is incredibly relatable and it reminds girls to be courageous.

“Call Me by Your Name” is seriously one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is a love story, which we have seen is countless movies, but this film displays a relationship in such a unique and beautiful way.

The best thing about this movie is that it is awkward at some points and maybe even a little uncomfortable. I admire this because love and relationships aren’t always magical and perfect. It expresses a type of love that is so unapologetic and pure. I could watch it over and over and still have the same inspiring feeling at the end. If you are a fan of emotional love stories or small independent films watch this movie. You will not regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Connor Limbocker

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