Sans Lyrics

So right now I have two browsers open, one is G.Chrome and the other is M.Firefox. I’m writing this blog via Firefox because Chrome has this weird problem with WordPress in terms of showing stats and I’m kinda irked by it. Plus I deeply miss the ol’ Fox so I guess, hey, let’s succumb to  sentimentality, yeah?

I wonder: when was the last time I used Firefox?


It was just this year when I found my love for post-rock a.k.a. shoegazer (it’s like alternative music sans the lyrics). As someone who loves to write I would try to zero-in on my work by shutting myself out — trying to steer clear from any auditory distractions such as the noise from the telly or the Selecta peddler’s creepy chip music or the booming engines from speeding trucks and scooters plaguing the street. I tune in to music to get into the mood (and I occasionally choose the track to pick the apt mood). If you see me with my headphones on it means that I do not want any shit from you at the moment.

Just this year, I was desperate to listen to new music as the songs from my current playlist just didn’t cut it when I was aiming for the right mood for this random story I was working on. The AntlersHospice was good, but it depressed the hell out of me, and Anamanaguchi and the other chiptunes in my sound stash were a little bit too distracting. I looked at my old-reliable rock playlist which consisted of The Deftones, At the Drive-in, Mae, The Killers, and some random alternative singles (like Pearl Jam‘s Jeremy and Flickerstick‘s Beautiful) but their tunes just couldn’t match the mood I was trying to feel.

Suddenly (and thank god for random rememberings) the band Tortoise came popping at the back of my head. Back in college, during a mini-writers’ workshop with my peers at Sir Vinz’s office at the English faculty room, our mentor popped in this unlabeled CD (copied-and-burned?) in his portable stereo. What I heard was a strange mash-up of consistent beats and semi-random insertions of plucks and picks and other sounds which I couldn’t figure out. It kinda reminded me of tribal vibes but it was something else, something more contemporary and experimental. “It’s Tortoise,” Sir Vinz said, and it had successfully set the mood of our literary discussion.

I thought that maybe the band’s unique approach to music could do the trick in setting the writing mood. So I searched the net for samples of their material and bam! Thank you, YouTube.

Until now I can’t figure out how to describe their stuff, but recently I would always set my playlist to “Tortoise/Shoegazer” mode every time I write.

So Tortoise got my ears’ undivided attention. After digging further I found other similar bands. They are Message to Bears, Explosions in the Sky, and El Ten Eleven. Here, let me briefly describe their music to you.

If you want something atmospheric, Message to Bears is amazing at that department. Their music, melancholic and bittersweet, puts you in the mood when you want to write something dramatic or poignant. Check this out:

Explosions in the Sky is just epic. I first encountered this band in someone’s digital mixtape (sadly I can’t remember from who), but I do remember that feeling when I first heard the last part of Your Hand in Mine and how it gave me goosebumps. You wanna feel like you’re doing something epic while working? Check this out:

And now we have El Ten Eleven. I first heard some sample tracks of the band from this awesome typography documentary Helvetica. The band of two (one dude plays bass and guitar) delivers quirky, catchy tunes good for soundtracks. Try listening to their music while doing something creative. Check this out:



Well, there ya have it. If by any chance you could also recommend good bands to listen to while writing I would love to know more about them. Feel free to post them on the comments section.


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