Well. It's been a while, blog followers. I...have not been the best blog keeper, but you can blame school for that. One more semester, and then I get to dive in to grad school. I'm hoping and praying it'll be more manageable, rarely ever turns out that way. So what brings about my resurgence (aside from the end of the semester)? The lovely Sarah Enni has invited me to the lovely BEST OF '11 blog circus for the last week of December. I always do a recap post on New Year's Eve, so I figured, what better way to prep for that than joining in on Sarah's BEST OF '11 circus?

Today it's songs and/or albums.

I'm definitely a music writer. More often than not when I'm writing I'm listening to soundtracks, but the plotting stages are usually dominated by musics with lyrics. So here are my top five albums and songs for the year 2011.

5) The Beast - Austra: I found this song on Tumblr, via a fanmix for the women of A Song of Ice and Fire called Stiffen the Sinews, Summon Up the Blood (which, how cool of a name is that?!)(it's from Macbeth)(Tumblr this fanmix guys, the songs on it are ah-mazing)(fanmixes in general are very good). Anyway, this song captured a lot of what I was trying to capture with my main character, the quiet build, the monstrosity, the fear and anger. It's a beautiful song that manages to convey so much and I've listened to it more than a hundred times. 
4) Inception OST - Hans Zimmer: Do I really need to elaborate on my obsession with Inception? Do I? I think it's well documented via twitter and emails and this blog (in fact I think there's a post on Inception on this blog right after it came out somewhere). Hans Zimmer is a genius (seriously; everything he makes is magic)(The Dark Knight soundtrack is amazing)(the amount of want I feel for the The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack is ridiculous, guys). I really love the mix of quiet and loud moments, the juxtaposition of calm and panic. If you haven't gotten your hands on this soundtrack, get on that. So much of my writing was done to this soundtrack, thank you very much, Zimmer.
3) Rocks and Water  - Deb Talan: Deb Talan was another song I found on Stiffen the Sinews, Summon Up the Blood. I love this song, guys (seriously, it's my ring tone right now). It's simple, but it's message is powerful: a mother leaving her daughter a legacy, and watching over her even when the daughter isn't aware. The message more than anything else captured me and my imagination.
2) Barton Hollow - The Civil Wars: Sarah, though she might not be aware, introduced me to The Civil Wars. There is something beautiful and poetic about them, their voices, and their music. Dance Me to the End of Love wrote the back end of my last book. Barton Hollow is writing the beginning of my current work in progress. And of course, their collaboration with Taylor Swift has captured the imagination of The Hunger Games fandom.
1) Death is the Road to Awe - Clint Mansell: If you haven't seen The Fountain you are missing out on what is, in my opinion, a masterpiece. The Fountain made me fall in love with Darren Aronofsky as a director, and this song epitomizes the film and, like a lot of Clint  Mansell's work, is amazing. The amount of emotion that this song carries on its own and that it allows you to put into it is limitless. Many, many scenes were written to this.

Check out the rest of the circus' BEST OF 2011:
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