Mood Music – Episode 3

This one comes from my favourite band ever, The Red Paintings. They’re an experimental rock band that put on amazing stage shows that combine music with art and performance. The amount of effort they put into their music and performances and to overcome enormous adversity to keep the band alive is breath-taking. Frontman Trash McSweeney is truly an amazing human being.

The diversity in their music never fails to provide some kind of inspiration, even if you don’t know what direction it will take you.

I don’t always understand their music but it speaks to me just the same. This particular song, ‘We Belong In The Sea’ is not necessarily typical of their sound but it’s one of my favourites anyway. Some of the lyrics really hit home, and it’s quite a haunting listen.

Mood Music – Episode 2

While the last mood setter was very much about the music, this one is about the lyrics and the writing. This comes from Australian (Melbourne-based) singer Marcus Teague.

I’ve listened to a lot of music in my lifetime and I have to say he’s my favourite songwriter. What he writes is poetic and the inflection he puts into his delivery is always touching.

He evokes so many emotions and the composition of the music never fails to blend perfectly with the melancholy his voice conveys.

This song is called ‘Came Home Dead’ and it’s quite a heart-wrenching story that flows more like a narrative poem than a song, with no chorus or repeated verses.

Mood Music – Episode One

So I get a lot of inspiration for my writing from listening to music. My writing is usually instigated by a particular mood or emotion that is influenced by what I’m hearing. I listen to the music and words just start to form, on the back of the music itself or a particular lyric that grabs me.

With that in mind, I’ll be posting some of my go-to music for getting me going. The artists I share will all be big catalysts that have inspired my writing at one time or another.

First up, we have Scottish band Mogwai. I could list so many of their songs that work for me. Mostly an instrumental post-rock group, they are masters at injecting emotion into their music. They craft songs so, so beautifully and I can listen to them all day without getting bored.

This particular song, ‘Auto Rock’, is just one of many I love by them. It was also immortalised in a scene from the film Miami Vice. I adore the way it builds and builds and it speaks of both melancholy and sincerity.

If you don’t already know Mogwai I urge you to check them out.



Part 1

Spin your lucky coin

Spin it seven times if you think it makes a difference.

Spin it until it’s cork-screwed

into the table.

Spitting out woodchips,

superstitious shrapnel.

That’s what people do,

even me and you.


I’ve always found luck

to be a curious thing.

You never feel it coming

and you never feel it going

and you never see it


You just put it down to luck

but what if it doesn’t exist?

What if events and instances are just a matter of our choices

and we make all the wrong ones?

Well I suppose I believe in that more

because I know that I’ve done it

many times before.


Bad luck

is just a combination

of a lot of bad thoughts and a lot of wrong decisions,

and good luck

is the just the result of a positive mind

and a positive mind is the best thing

you can have

but it’s not so easy to find.


Part 2

The answer won’t change

if the question stays the same

and dust will quickly make hay

if the cloth is put away.

I pulled the phone off the hook

but then hoped you wouldn’t answer,

released the change,

pocketed it for a rainy day.


I remember

the time

I was on the other end of the line

to hear your hysterical account.

I whispered back

that it probably wouldn’t work out.


In my minds eye

I saw you wilt,

a spent force as the postman passed me by.

He was always smiling

like he believed

he never delivered bad news.

He asked what happened

and with nothing to say,

I shook my head as the ambulance left

and wished for the wind to blow him away.


The phone to my ear again

I knew you’d come

and I knew what I’d say.

What better way

to say thank you

than to tell someone

they owe you something.


Part 3

Scatter-gun crunch on the road,

crystals splattered all blood-red.

Asking what’s your name?

I stopped next to the dying man’s head.




Stick Around

The steel grates

every time

in my mind.

Doors slam shut

and I start banging on the inside

of my own skull.

Bars and rods take my beating, unmoving.

I get angrier,

frustrated and sad.

Always one feeling remains,

whether when my rage starts

or when my energy is gone at the end,

I believe I haven’t done enough

to make you want

me to stick around,

me to stick around, me to stick around.

I believe I haven’t done enough

for you to want

me to stick around.


I said my life is a whirlpool

but maybe it’s a small box

and I’ve wrapped it to fool myself,

keep me from getting out.

But that,

that is better not to think about.