There are two types of writers: ones who like writing to music, and ones who don’t. If you’re the second type, I would recommend Rainy Mood for some calming rain sounds. The rest of us, though, have a dilemma: what kind of music to write to? Well, it all depends on the mood, doesn’t it? Sometimes, all you want to do is nod your head to the beat while you type, and other times what you want is a chill, atmosphere. Other times still, what you really need is a kick in the rear. I’ve got you covered on both counts.
Too Many Zooz + Moon Hooch
These two New York bands are known for their subway performances. They’re very similar in style, in that it will make you vibrate with energy. They call it cave music: it’s like house, but done with live instruments — trumpet, sax and drums. What they achieve is an intense, jagged, jazzy sound. Be advised, though: Moon Hooch has been banned from performing at subway stations by the NYPD for causing impromptu riots, so hold on to your seat.
Milo is an underground-famous rapper with a signature mellow flow and an intricate, philosophical lyrical style. Write to some Milo if you want a low-key atmosphere, and enjoy rap with deadpan delivery. Where else are you going to hear a Pablo Neruda reference mixed in with references to Star Trek?
Tune-Yards is a great performer to write to if you like eclectic music with crazy vocals and outrageous instrumentals. Merrill Garbus is a multi-talented self-taught performer, and every track on every album of hers is bursting with fresh ideas. If you like funky, jazzy, punky folk music and nodding your head to the beat, Tune-Yards is for you.
If you like noise pop, put on some Sleigh Bells. It’s loud, melodic, and lo-fi. Turn up the volume, and let Alexis Krauss make you feel like a teenager sneaking out past bedtime to go to a rock show your mother wouldn’t approve of.
Simian Mobile Disco
Simian Mobile Disco came from a failed rock project by three guys from England. Since then, the two remaining guys have been consistently pumping out EDM that exists somewhere around the intersection of house, disco and techno. Catchy beats: check; minimal lyrics: check; a huge discography you can get lost in: check. What else do you need?