Writing Music: The Walkmen’s You & Me


It’s easy to find good music for almost any occasion, but it’s difficult to find good music for writing. For my biographical work, sometimes the music I heard when I was experiencing the event can be helpful to recapture the mood or emotion. Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind and Radiohead’s OK Computer were particularly helpful for many of my stories from 1997.

When I’m writing in general, I prefer music that’s not too distracting, but maintains a certain sense of drama, something evoking a soundtrack. Ours’ Distorted Lullabies has this quality, as does Sigur Rós’ Ágætis byrjun and David Gray’s White Ladder (perhaps my favorite album of all time).

I’m not good about keeping up with new music. I remember watching MTV when I was young and promising myself that I would not lose touch with what’s cool with music, and now here I am scratching my head at some of the biggest names in music. I could blame being in Poland for this, but I can’t say I was doing great in this category when I was in the States. In fact, my interest in keeping up with music pretty much died in 2002.

Luckily, I have friends who are good at pointing me in the right direction, which brings me to The Walkmen’s You & Me. This album has been on repeat for the last three weeks now and it still isn’t in any danger of being overplayed. If I were listening to this on cassette I’d be doomed by now.

The whole album is phenomenal with each song complimenting the next. I still find myself gravitating to “Red Room” and especially “Long Time Ahead of Us”:

Take me tonight as I am
Leave me the way I was found

I’m not a good reviewer when it comes to music and I’m not going to pretend here. I can just tell you that this album works in all the right ways. Whether you write or not, give it a listen.

By the way, I’m always open to new music suggestions. Let me know what I’m missing…

4 thoughts on “Writing Music: The Walkmen’s You & Me

  1. Try the soundtrack to “Once”, a very lovely Irish film. Also very awesome is Joe Firstman who plays on the Carson Daily show. I’ve never seen the show, but Joe’s first two albums, “The War of Women” and “Wives Tales” are very good.

  2. The Walkmen are phenomenal. I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert opening up with Spoon (the concert also had White Rabbits play – if you like Walkmen, check them out). Very unique, very vibrant, very addicting music. Check out their album A Hundred Miles Off too. I think you’ll enjoy it.

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