As an artist, there are some days where I get stuck and need an extra boost to ignite my creativity. One of the most helpful strategies to get me out of a rut is to curate a playlist of songs that resonate with me lyrically and sonically to serve as inspiration. In this article, I want to share a few of the songs that are currently on my playlist and discuss why they inspire me. So, let's dive in!
"If U Love Me Now" by Muna
One of my favorite songs on my playlist right now is "If U Love Me Now" by Muna. This song is emotionally devastating yet incredibly beautiful. What captivates me the most is the vocoder-style layers in the vocal processing. The way the vocals are manipulated adds a unique texture to the song, making it stand out. It's a perfect example of how production choices can enhance the overall impact of a track.
"Killer" by Phoebe Bridgers
"Killer" by Phoebe Bridgers is a simple yet devastating song that pierces right into my soul. The stripped-down piano production allows the raw emotion of the lyrics to shine through. It's a reminder that sometimes less is more when it comes to creating a powerful and impactful song. The vulnerability in Phoebe's voice and the haunting lyrics make this song a standout on my playlist.
"Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie
"Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie has been one of my favorite songs for over a decade. This song is a masterpiece both lyrically and sonically. I love that it's a long song that builds and evolves as it progresses. The metaphors and figurative language in the lyrics are a songwriter's dream. It's a song that takes you on a journey and leaves you feeling emotionally moved. I can’t think of a more perfect song to take creative inspiration from.
"Stories from Outer Space" by Timothy Edward Carpenter
"Stories from Outer Space" by Timothy Edward Carpenter is a hidden gem that I discovered on Spotify not too long ago. This song has quickly become one of my favorites. The standout moment for me is when the main vocal melody is stacked with a low bass-level vocal underneath it, uttering “how did I get here anyway?”. It creates a heavenly sound that I can't get enough of. Every time I listen to this song, that particular line gets stuck in my head. It's a testament to the power of well-crafted melodies and harmonies.
"The Alcott" by The National and Taylor Swift
"The Alcott" by The National and Taylor Swift is a collaboration that I absolutely love. The call and response between the two artists adds a dynamic element to the song. The repetitive piano hook throughout the track is infectious and draws you in. The addition of strings elevates the song to a cinematic level. It's a perfect example of how collaboration can bring out the best in artists and create something truly special.
These are just a few of the songs that currently inspire me as an indie artist. Each of these tracks has its own unique qualities that resonate with me both lyrically and sonically. They serve as a reminder of the power of lyrical vulnerability, the importance of thoughtful production choices, and the impact of well-crafted melodies and hooks. As I continue to work on new projects, I'm excited to see what other songs will inspire me in the future.
If you're looking for some new music to add to your own playlist, I highly recommend checking out these songs. They may just become your new favorites too. And if you have any suggestions for songs that inspire you, feel free to share them in the comments. Let's continue to support and inspire each other on our creative journeys.