Flesh and Fire – The Playlist


How many of my fellow writers can work while listening to music? I can barely focus without it. Even if it’s a song that I know the lyrics to, there’s something about hearing a kickass song while I’m typing away. Over the last six months as I’ve done another draft of Flesh and Fire, I’ve made a playlist of essential listening to be played while working on the manuscript. I usually have a different playlist for every project and I try to choose songs that have themes similar to the piece I’m working on.

For instance, to go with the dark romanticism present throughout Flesh and Fire, I chose songs like “Devil Tree” by Philadelphia-based band The Bailey Hounds, the acoustic version of Marilyn Manson’s “Leave a Scar,” and Glenn Danzig’s gloomy ballad, “Blood and Tears.”

Midway through this draft, my friend Shannon Lafferty released a couple of tunes via her YouTube Channel. Her song, “Till I’m Gone” has a quiet desperation to it that I just love.

No playlist of mine would be complete without David Bowie, so I chose not one, but two of his songs to help immerse myself in the writing process. The Scary Monsters-era classic, Because You’re Young, is filled with youthful vigor and all the uncertainty that comes with it, but the most fitting of the two tracks is the Gothic dirge “Bring Me the Disco King.” It appeared on the soundtrack to Underworld and features Tool’s Maynard James Keenan on backing vocals.

My friend James Manderson has a couple of tunes on the playlist as well. I write to his music, I run to his music, and sometimes I put it on just to relax. He brings a grand cinematic quality to what would otherwise be mere techno music. His song, “Hollow Earth,” puts me in the zone right away, the manuscript’s images of hell become so vivid, the characters’ quests all the more urgent. Check it out:

For my complete Flesh & Fire playlist, go here:


9 responses to “Flesh and Fire – The Playlist

  1. I have a soundtrack in my head because I spend two hours a day in the car, so those songs run through my head while i’m writing. But I find the only thing I can actually listen to while writing is Enya because it’s so unobtrusive. I have theme songs for my characters that I listen to over and over. Right now it’s “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele and “Lover of the Light” by Mumford and Sons.


  2. I love metallica, my favorite, Enter the Sandman for when I’m in the scary part of my story and anything from the Beatles White Album, when it’s not scary, but I’ve started listening to The Black Keys, too while writing. Great post, Lucas.


  3. I always prefer to listen to instrumental music while writing because otherwise I end up feeling distracted by the lyrics. I’ve occasionally slipped and wrote lyrics instead of actual novel material, haha. Pieces by Bond quartet and Vanessa Mae and tracks by Immediate Music and other movies (LotR, for example) make up my writing playlist.


  4. Interesting post, Lucas. Thanks for sharing.

    For working in general (Ye Olde Day Jobbe, reading, editing, etc), I’m
    usually happy letting iTunes do its shuffle thing, but when it comes to
    getting focused and immersing myself in my writing, I tend to come back
    time and again to “wall-of-sound” (or “waterfall of sound”) type music,
    where the vocals are part of the overall sound rather than primary sound
    that everything else is there to support. Where I can let my brain listen
    to the flow of the music without being distracted by the lyrics.

    Cocteau Twins is great for that, and Deconstruction (Janes Addiction minus
    Perry Ferrell).

    Also Peter Gabriel’s instrumental albums. Dead Can Dance. The Cure’s
    Disintegration album. Things like that.


  5. Pingback: Top Picks Thursday 12-06-2012 « The Author Chronicles

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