It’s very common for writers to be asked who inspires them and while most will ponder over the great literary classics and modern boundary-pushers, I find myself just as quickly turning to songwriters. It’s an art form that I feel is often sadly overlooked and underappreciated but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I see why it actually makes perfect sense that lyricists provide so much inspiration for my own work.
Poetry is undoubtedly a huge part of my life and those who know me will also tell you how important music is to me. The songs that really stay with me and provide escapism to rival my favourite books are the ones that read like poetry in their own right. Be it a specific line, a general mood and atmosphere they create or the resonance of a sentiment behind the words, artists like Bjӧrk, Vienna Teng, Florence Welch and Sóley have been huge sources of motivation.
To take the humble word and pair it with a melody capable of transcending the listener to a whole other frame of mind is no mean feat. So whether fans of their musical styles or not, I would recommend lovers of poetry explore their lyrics.
Which songwriters’ work do you admire?