(“Monday” Blues: On every first Monday of the month, I’ll recommend a new world – a book, a game, a podcast, etc – to escape into. Or at least to look forward to after a hard day’s work.)
I’m going to do something a bit different for today’s Monday Blues. Instead of focusing on storytelling media, how about music that offers the perfect backdrop when working on your own stories and creative projects?
Post-rock is such a beautiful genre. It’s atmospheric and ambient, yet evocative. It’s subtle but intense. It’s sometimes sad, but in that warm, melancholy way that highlights wonder in the world. When I feel drained, simply listening to the right post-rock song often brings me back to a content, inspired place. It’s amazing what a difference music can make.
If you’re new the genre, check out Hammock (especially the Everything and Nothing album), God is an Astronaut, Distant Dream, and If These Trees Could Talk (if you like your rock heavy). With streams dedicated to different albums, the Wherepostrockdwells channel mimics the experience of walking into a music store to sample and select the perfect CD. Unlike the other channels in this list, Wherepostrockdwells usually uses album covers instead of aesthetic images for its videos, but post-rock album covers often make for interesting, surrealistic works of art in their own right.
An odd observation: While YouTube comments are normally dreck, the comments left on post-rock videos are often wonderfully creative and emotional, and can provide inspiration in their own right. Post-rock music is indeed a haven.
In terms of less heavy ambient music, Chillout Deer is my go-to channel. It provides wonderfully designed mixes featuring a variety of relaxing, atmospheric songs in various genres collected around themes. Unlike those from similar channels, I find that Chillout Deer’s mixes actually evoke their themes with an eerie efficiency: listening to “Journey” feels like departing on a long adventure, listening to “Daydream” stirs the sensation of “sehnsucht,” and “Utopia” brings wonder and contentment. Because these mixes are so tightly themed, it’s easy to find the perfect creative soundtrack for any project. The channel also uses lovely visuals in its videos to further tempt the muse.
If electronic genres like synthwave and trance are more your style, Odysseus also offers a variety of themed mixes. The collections are atmospheric without being distracting, and paint both futuristic and retro soundscapes. It’s perfect for anyone delving into a sci-fi project, or for some aural escapism while working on less exciting tasks like updating your website or writing marketing copy. As a writer who tends toward the post-apocalyptic, “Dystopia” is one of my favorite mixes. The visual aesthetic used by the channel is also immersive and inspiring in its own right.
I hope you enjoy these channels like I do; outside of stories, music is one of my passions. Do you have any favorite You-Tube go-tos for evoking a creative mood?