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I’ve been on a search for new music lately because I listen to music when I write. I can’t write in silence but I’m picky about what I can write to. I also like to put single mood-setting tracks on repeat. (I probably should have kept a tally of how many times I listened to Iron & Wine’s “The Trapeze Swinger” while I was working on the circus.) (There is, for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, a circus playlist over here.)

And writing music is an interesting balance, at least for me, because it can’t be distracting but it can’t be so mellow that it makes me sleepy, either.

My writing rotation changes a lot, I’ve been making playlists that are mostly jazz (Coltrane, Ellington, some Charlie Parker) and some other bits and pieces that I keep adding to whenever something reminds me of how I think the new book should feel.

I just got the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby and while I predictably adore the Florence + the Machine song the one that’s getting the constant repeat treatment is the Gotye track, “Hearts a Mess,” even though it bothers me that the title apparently does not have an apostrophe. I might put it on the writing playlist, haven’t decided yet.

But my favorite recent musical discovery is something different.

This is a band called Houses, their new album is called A Quiet Darkness.

I literally clicked on this album in iTunes because I liked the cover. I’d never heard of them, had no idea what kind of music it would be, just found the cover art aesthetically pleasing.

Most fortuitous iTunes click ever.

Only had to preview a handful of tracks before buying the album, only listened to the album once before also buying their previous album. I can’t even describe them properly, the sound is so lovely and ethereal and layered and it is perfection as writing music.

I tweeted about them and they tweeted back because Twitter is MAGIC and as a result of said magic I now have that beautiful album in LP form with nicely giant cover art, hurrah:

houses lpHighly recommended if you are looking for new music, and you never know what you might create while listening to it.

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