I usually listen to music when I’m working but it has to be a certain kind of music. Wordy songs take my mind away from what I’m supposed to be doing because I just can’t resist being swept off on a phrase. A good bit of poetic songwriting can send me into a trance for hours. Not at all conducive to productivity, although lots of fun. Even wordless music can’t be too uppy and downy or dramatic, for similar reasons – in fact it doesn’t take much to distract me – so my favourite classical pieces are out too.
The best work music I’ve found is old-school house and trance particularly when poured into my ears through headphones. The repetitive beats divert my brain’s attention away from the millions of mundane things it wants to think about; what to make for dinner or when to write Christmas cards. It’s rather like coaxing a fractious toddler away from a potential tantrum with jangling car keys. Once my twitchy brain is thus amused, my mind is free to pick up its skirts and run away to the place where work happens.
Every so often, though, I hear a song that my trusty repetitive beats and intelligent bass can’t switch off. It embeds itself into my brain and my mind and no amount of metaphorical key jangling can tear my attention away from it. This is one of those songs.
It’s called F.E.A.R. by Ian Brown, formerly of Stone Roses infamy. I don’t know whether it’s the catchy, Verve-ish classical music in the background or the whimsical lyrics, but this one just won’t leave me alone. I’ve tried everything: old Ministry of Sound albums, House of Limbo, Brandon Block. So now I give up. Hopefully, sharing it with you lot will make it go away.
Finding everything and realizing
For everything a reason