I was so happy get the opportunity to sit down and listen to all my favourite music, and curate this list. Music is an important part of my work, especially when I start to draft a novel. It inspires my creativity on different levels, depending on what I’m listening to. Live every day like the main character and ensure the soundtrack to your life is kickass.
The guitar solo introducing this song is spine tingling, but even better when it’s played live. If anyone remembers the days when HMV sold T-Shirts, Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ album T-shirt broke my band tee virginity. My sister was the sole reason I started listening to Metallica, she really shaped my taste in music, and Iwould have been lost without her guidance. Metallica are probably in the ‘old man’ category of music now, but I’ll rock on with them forever.
I didn’t discover Rush until I was a little older, but Geddy’s distinctive voice intrigued me with his entrancing falsetto that I’d never heard a male produce before. Neil Peart sold them for me though, man, Neil Peart could drum! Neil Peart was one of the best drummers in the world, and definitely in my top three. This song was a comforting blanket for my soul as I walked through the school halls thinking academic life would never end, especially as someone whose musical taste and fashion sense didn’t fit in. Subdivisions was written for the kids who were born to stand out!
This song brings me back to school again, this time at the age of thirteen and sat on a coach on a school trip sharing an older boy’s headphones. I had a crush on him so told him I loved Led Zeppelin, even though I had only listened to a few of their songs and bought the ‘Mothership’ T-Shirt from HMV because I liked the design. Thanks to him, I gained a deeper appreciation of ‘old man rock’ and have never looked back.
Billy Corgan’s voice had an ability to reverberate around the corners of my teenage mind as I slipped into a study induced trance with my headphones tangling themselves in my school shirt. I found The Smashing Pumpkins when I needed them most, they still get me through the rough times which goes to show they really are timeless. ‘To Sheila’ off their album ‘Adore’ deserves an honorable mention too!
There’s a line in this song that brought me so much comfort in a time when I felt like I didn’t belong anymore; ‘now that I’ve worn out the world’. I felt like I had worn out the world, not so much that the world had worn me out. It inspired me to write a poem entitled ‘Invisible Forces’, I wrote it when it felt like I had lost all soul. Reflecting Light reads like a poem, in the end she’s saved. And in the end, I saved myself. ‘Taking Pictures’ off the album ‘Fan Dance’ deserves a mention too for itsbittersweet story of nostalgia and our sentimental ties to the past.
Navigating life as a teenage girl was made a little easier with PJ Harvey playing on my cheap Argos MP3 player. I would watch the trees blur past on the Armagh Road while the bus to school bounced over every loose piece of tarmac tempting my Chemistry notes to scatter themselves over the damp floor underneath my feet. Thethought of my heavy school blazer makes me shudder but to revisit PJ Harvey as a fresh teenager sends a warm feeling through my body.
My love for Muse comes from my sister again, she came home from their Hullabaloo show high on the glitter that burst out of the balloons they chucked into the crowd, and I thought: I want that feeling. Origin of Symmetry is a sci-fi rockmasterpiece, but Bliss continually opens my mind and brings out the vividity in the world around me. I have fond memories of downloading it on LimeWire and moving it across to my MP3 player so that I could listen to it on repeat all Summer long.
My Chemical Romance was the start of my Emo phase, I became besotted with Gerard Way and his ability to connect with his fans that was unlike other guys in rock bands. He told me that it was okay not to be okay, that it was okay not to be like everyone else and that going against the establishment was a badass, powerful move.This album used to play on repeat in my CD player while my best friend and I backcombed our hair to the point of no return and lined our eyes with the thickest and blackest eyeliner we could find.
This song transports me to another reality, it awakens butterflies in my stomach and lets them fly free outside of my body. As a writer, music pads the walls of my mind palace and sometimes I need it to round out my worlds. This song was part of the inspiration for a book I’m working on currently, it’s so dark that it’s almost scary visiting those corners of my mind. Thanks Robert Smith!
I was fourteen years old and sat on my best friend’s bed when I first saw Robin Tunney shave her head to freedom in the bathroom of the record shop she worked at. Listening to this song is like floating on a cloud, you’re ‘lost somewhere between the earth and the sky’. I could definitely listen (and sing along) to it for the rest of my life stuck on a desert island. Nothing beats watching Empire Records when the world feels too gloomy and dark. But I’ll never forget the first time I watched it; with wide eyes and a big smile for Johnny Whitworth and his cardigan.
Cayleigh Moore (she/her) is a freelance writer and creator based in Northern Ireland. She has undertaken editing and design work and is now solely focusing on writing. Cayleigh loves crunching leaves underfoot while sipping on iced coffee during Autumn; the season for Gilmore Girls rewatches. Her work can be found on Medium; she can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – links below.
You can listen to Cayleigh’s playlist here. Get in touch if you’d like us to feature your Vinyl Countdown.
26th January 2022