Music to Write By


Last one, for the road… (the BF/H is playing go, and I’m too tired to do anything else)

So, I just got myself a brand new CD, and I was looking at my playlists. I use music all the time (I pretty much can’t write without a familiar sound in the background), and I’ve got a medium consumption of stuff: once in a while, I’ll buy a new stack of CD to have new songs to add to the rotation. By the looks of it, the last stack of CDs I bought was more than a year ago–so it’s time to look for more. I thought I might share some of my favourites, on the off-chance some of you enjoy the same kind of songs, and could point me out to more artists I ought to be checking out. I mainly listen to female singer-songwriters (don’t ask, I have no idea).

-India Arie. First CD I bought for myself, years ago. I liked the first two albums (India Arie and Voyage to India to bits), but I haven’t been as big a fan of the later ones.

-The Innocence Mission. Karen Peris has such a wonderful voice. I don’t have everything by them: some of the old ones are hard to get hold of, and I stopped buying CDs after being somewhat disappointed by And Now the Day is Over, but the new ones sound good.

-Vienna Teng. Her first album had two songs that floored me (“The Tower”, and “Between”); the second one was pretty good, and I was somewhat disappointed by the third one, but I just got the newish one, Inland Territory, and it looks like a return to top form.

-Dar Williams. The first album I bought was The Beauty of the Rain, which is awesome (especially the atmospheric “Mercy of the Fallen”). I now have pretty much the entire backlist, and I’ve just seen there’s a newish album, Promised Land. Shiny.

-Tracy Spuelher. I downloaded a couple free songs from amazon, “Hummingbird” and “Where do we go now”, which I found pretty good–catchy, with good lyrics and a nice mood. I listened to her newer albums, which are even better–and I gave in and bought an entire album off itunes (which I never do, because I hate not being able to transfer music where I want).

So, any other cool singers in the same vein I ought to know about?


  1. I adore Dar Williams and I like Vienna Teng too. Clearly I should be checking out The Innocence Mission and Tracy Spuelher.

    As for recommendations, I’m not really good at figuring out which artists are similar to each other, but I would cautiously recommend Suzanne Vega, S. J. Tucker, Ingrid Michaelson, and Unwoman.

  2. Ooh, nice ones. I really like S.J. Tucker, though I probably face a headache getting physical CDs in France… Thanks a lot for the recs!
    (and definitely do check out the Innocence Mission. They’re awesome).

  3. Awesome, I guess I’m on the right track them! I’m pretty sure you can order S. J. Tucker’s CDs directly from her site, though I imagine shipping is ridiculous.

  4. Yeah, I’m pretty sure you can mail-order from SJ Tucker’s website, but I’m also pretty sure the P&P is going to make me reconsider (it usually does…).

  5. I’ve produced several albums for singer songwriters. Different in style to the ones you mentioned, but you can download tracks for free if you’re curious:

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