5 TV Shows that will inspire you to make music
The below TV shows will help you rediscover that unbridled creativity and joy that you once possessed for making music (which can also weave into many other parts of your life)
There is a raw, unbridled creativity that is present in all of us when we start making music - the joy we get from the DIY fun of it all - spending hours playing around with sounds and song ideas - just enjoying the process. However, many of us lose this along the way in the pursuit of polished perfection, which (although worthwhile) can result in the process of making music becoming a lot more strained, which results in us not making as much music, and distancing ourselves from the very outlet we treasure and crave the most. The below TV shows will help you rediscover that unbridled creativity and joy that you once possessed for making music (which can also weave into many other parts of your life).
Flight of the Conchords
One of the biggest blocks for writing songs can be taking it all far too seriously, resulting in the flow becoming stunted and restricted. Focusing on everything being sleek and perfect will not only remove all of the fun out of creating; a lot of the time it can cause you to dislike the music making process and this feeling can stop you from making music (while also resenting yourself deeply for this) This is a feedback loop that we have all at some point gotten into and Flight of The Conchords can get you out of this.
This comedy show about a two man band who move to New York from New Zealand will cure you. It will remind you of the unrestricted, DIY fun of writing songs( that probably got you started in music in the first place) and learning to just let it all just flow out (even if initially it is just nonsense or ridiculous). I found that when I used this approach songs came out so much faster and were so much more fun to write, as I wasn’t painstakingly squeezing them out word by word.
Each episode contains a song from almost every genre - from lush, Van Morrison Esque love songs, 80s plastic pop, to full on old school Hip-Hop . A valuable lesson here is that there is no need to constrict yourself to genres and you can wildly experiment amongst other genres- Some examples being Foux Da Fa Fa Inner City Pressure & Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros.
There is no animation that contains the sheer volume of unbridled joy, magical realism and imagination present in Bob’s Burgers. Based around a family who run a burger joint (the aforementioned Burgers having names like ‘Bohemian Radish’ or ‘Sweet Home Avocado’ - one of these family members being the synthesizer obsessed Gene Belcher. Every producer, sampler fanatic or synth nerd will see themselves in Gene - who brings his Casio SK-5 keyboard or his megaphone around with him at all times - badgering everyone around him using sound FX, sampling everything he desires and making up songs on the spot about whatever is going on around him (which at times turn into full blown musical numbers) an example of this being here.
Gene is not the only focal point of musicality in this show - many famous musicians and singers make appearances throughout the show, for example St Vincent performs in the show (see below)
Bob’s Burgers will remind you of the unbridled curiosity you had when you first started playing around with synthesizers and sounds - the endless possibilities that were presented when you were just allowing yourself to play around and manipulate sounds for fun.
Gene goes to gear heaven
The Midnight Gospel
The Midnight Gospel can only be described as a psychedelic for the mind in TV show format. This magical feast for the eyes centers around a space caster named Casey (based on show co-creator Duncan Trussel); who travels to mind-bending kaleidoscopic worlds inside his universe simulator - exploring existential questions about being alive, death and everything in between.
Aside from exploring other dimensions - Casey has a passion for synthesizers and music (primarily modular synthesizers) The lush, synthesized soundtrack being a predominant element in this show. Check out the official music video for the show here:
Although the visual and sonic elements of this show alone serve as a creative catalyst for music producers/sound designs or songwriters - in that it encourages you to consume and enjoy life in every possible aspect; it also forces you to confront one of the most harrowing parts of human existence; our mortality and the mortality of those around us.
Listen to some more of the soundtrack here
There is something about the dreamy despair of this show - with its rich, dyed in the wools soundtrack, that promises to open up the wounds present in every songwriter, and urge them to purge these feelings and put them into music.
Sharp Objects (set in a sleepy dead-end town deep in the South) focuses on Camille (Amy Adams) who returns to her hometown to report on the murder of two girls;which in turn uproots a series of deeply traumatic memories, all accompanied by the soulful, timeless soundtrack. Throughout the show - music acts as a lifeboat for the main character Camille.
Listen to the full soundtrack below:
American Horror Story
There is something about the mix of horror and classic Hollywood glamour present in this show that will ignite your desire to create. The visuals, sets and costumes are truly a feast for the mind - (some seasons having an arthouse glam feel- particularly Hotel)
However, en par with the spectacular visuals - is the accompanying soundtrack. Veering from soaring, orchestral pieces, to polished 80s pop number - to exceptionally nightmarish soundscapes. For the ambient sound designers & producers - the unsettling,garbled opening numbers featured in each season’s opening credits are masterpieces in portraying vivid images (in this case unease and horror) via sound. The music and song selections are paired perfectly with the luxurious, harrowing horror present on screen. The storylines veer from a travelling circus set in the 50s (featuring Jessica Lange singing a cover of Lana Del Rey’s Gods & Monsters - see here) to the powerhouse synth rock pop of the 80s (featuring Kajagoogoo’s Too Shy) - all the way up to present day.
These are just some shows that will serve as a feast for your mind - in order for you to rediscover your love of creating music. If there are any other shows that have helped you - let us know in the comments.
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