So please, let me indoctrinate you into the greatness that is Elbow. Here's a link to a BBC video Brendan's sister Aileen posted to Facebook yesterday:
Oh, kiss me like the final meal / Yeah, kiss me like we die tonight
Doesn't it make you feel happy to be alive?
Music can really inspire me when I write. It sets the mood in a scene, of course—I used plenty of Nina Simone lyrics in Mary Modern, and my Petty Magic heroine sings a wistful Berlin cabaret tune, Irgendwo auf der Welt ("Somewhere in the World"), during a pub session. The best lyrics inspire as well, perfectly evoking a scene with only a handful of words. Take these lyrics from Fugitive Motel:
Curtains stay closedIt's all there—the despair, the isolation, the claustrophobic shabbiness of a highway lodge advertising cable TV and ceiling mirrors in every room.
But everyone knows
You hear through the walls in this place
Cigarette holes for every lost soul
To give up the ghost in this place
Or take this single line from Switching Off:
Early evening June, this room and a radio playCan't you just see the fluttering curtains, the trees outside casting dancing shadows on the unmade bed? Can't you just feel the cool breeze wafting through the window and the tinny voices coming from the radio on the dresser? The character in the song re-lives these memories so vividly that it puts the listener there in that moment as well. Switching Off has another of my favorite lines:
You, the only sense the world has ever madeYou can see why this music makes me want to be a better writer.