This post is alive with the sound of music!!

In lieu of anything interesting to report (still revising, in chapter two, having difficulties), I thought I’d share a smorgasbord of music I find beautiful and inspiring for your listening pleasure. So here goes!

First up, my favorite singer/songwriter of all time, the lovely Loreena McKennitt, with her adaptation of The Highwayman. I first heard this song over ten years ago and it still gives me goosebumps:

Next up, British indie rock band Keane with Atlantic:

Next up, British rock band Muse with the epic Butterflies and Hurricanes, complete with rad Rachmaninoff piano stylin’ in the middle:

Next up, the lovely Vienna Teng with My Medea (which was the main inspiration for that not-really-very-short-story I wrote last fall):

Next up, British indie rock band (are you seeing a pattern here?) Snow Patrol, with the heart-wrenching Make This Go On Forever (with bonus Doctor Who video :-)):

Next up, the banjo-playin’ Sufjan Stevens, with Casimir Pulaski Day, one of the saddest/most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard:

Next up, the champions of esoteric-yet-beautiful lyrics, The Shins, with Pink Bullets:

Next up, obsessed-with-gorgeous-but-melodramatic-things The Decemberists, with The Hazards of Love 4, final track of their latest album:

Next up, recent favorite Laura Veirs, with the gorgeously mellow Wrecking:

And finally the weirdly-addictive M. Ward, with Chinese Translation, which has pretty much been going round in my head for the last week or two:

Hope you enjoyed at least a few of those! What are your favorites?

Muse: The Resistance

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled bookish blogging to gush about Muse’s new album The Resistance, released in the US September 15th.

So. Muse. First fell in love with them when I heard the song “Butterflies and Hurricanes” off the Absolution album. Mostly because there was a bloody PIANO CONCERTO in the middle of it. Can you say awesome??? I afterwards grew to love the rest of the album for the soaring melodies and strong, gorgeous chord structure that very much had it’s roots in 19th-century romantic works. Plus they just plain know how to rock.

I bought their earlier album Origins of Symmetry as well as Black Holes and Revelations when it came out, both of which I liked a lot, though I was ever so slightly disappointed that they weren’t quite as pianistically-driven as Absolution.

And then The Resistance happened.

Wow. Piano galore. One of the tracks (United States of Eurasia) actually features part of a Chopin nocturne, and many of them have lots of epic piano styling courtesy Matt Belamy. The first half of the album is good. The second half is phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong—in amongst the lush orchestral harmonies, gut-wrenchingly beautiful chord progressions, and almost inhuman vocal prowess, there’s a lot of good old-fashioned rocking out going on. Oh and at one point Matt sings in French. It’s enough to give a girl a heart attack.

So, to sum up… THIS ALBUM IS BRILLIANT. Go buy it now.