Writing Playlist: Atmospheric

What a delightfully vague word, atmospheric.¬†That could mean so many different things to so many different people. Let’s look at the dictionary definition:

  1. Relating to the atmosphere of the earth or (occasionally) another planet. (Hmm, not this one. I do wonder about the inclusion of occasionally. Why only occasionally another planet? What’s the criteria here?)
  2. Creating a distinctive mood, typically of romance, mystery, or nostalgia.

There we go. The second definition is what we’re going for here. When I think of the word atmospheric, I actually think of a blend of all three of those things: romance, mystery, and nostalgia. I think of songs that, whether I’m writing or reading, build the scene in my head so that the page can’t contain it anymore. I think of music that catches your breath with its beauty and atmosphere. And yes, I may think of nostalgia, or longing, or a sense of wonder and secrecy. It may fill me with possibility, or melancholy, or healing, or a bittersweet happiness.

This kind of music, I think, transcends genre. I have enjoyed listening to these atmospheric songs while reading fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction, romances, and sci-fi. I have listened to them while writing scenes where I needed to be in a pensive, introspective headspace, or where I was trying to describe bits of fantastical or dreamy worldbuilding.

As you’re writing or reading, may these songs fill you with possibility, a little nostalgia, wonder, and a dash of romance. I hope they enhance your reading experience or inspire you further. Happy listening.

Here are some books that I have read while listening to this playlist:

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