By Isabella Trew and Camila Heredia Oranday. Images by Margaret Mitchem.
Sometimes we feel like our creative well is running dry. Zero imagination, brain in quicksand.
Still, the clock keeps ticking, demanding we submit our assignment on schedule.
In such cases, we need more than a classic coffee.
Every art student must have the right sources of inspiration; after all, every mastermind has had a series of songs that never seem to fail.
Indeed, nothing has emerged out of pure luck, and music has always been the perfect partner in crime.
These are our top 10 songs that will boost your creative thinking and allow you to come up with the best ideas.
Ready to bring out the genius in you?
Now plug in your headphones and enjoy!
PROBLEMZ BY JUNGLE, 2022
When you see Jungle’s album cover for Problemz, you can quickly imagine your feet moving to the beat of the drum. This song sinks you into a post-futurist London church while adding sound effects that will resonate like Spongebob’s flowers in your tummy.
PUSHERMAN BY CURTIS MAYFIELD, 1972
Pusherman is for our egos. This song speaks to our narcissistic side with great rhythm. Curtis Mayfield won’t give a funk away; his high-tune guitar will take you on a psychedelic trip through blaxploitation in the 1970s. You will never feel as desperate to walk down an alley with a tight 70-style magenta suit the moment you press play.
SMILE BY JUNGLE, 2018
As I hope you’ve noticed by now, Smile is the second song in Jungle. However, this song takes you to a humid jungle where you choreograph contortionist moves with panthers and orangutans. It will be inevitable to smile while you experience this primitive encounter.
WILD CHILD BY THE BLACK KEYS, 2022
A raw blues rock fusion best describes Wild Child by the Black Keys. A raspy voice and electrifying guitar possess our minds and bodies at minute 1.43. The tension will increase progressively until it sets us free in the grand finale.
A-PUNK BY VAMPIRE WEEKEND, 2008
Punk will make you feel like the young protagonist in a coming-of-age film shot on Super8 Kodak film. This is the greatest example if you have ever wondered what joyful rock sounds like. Combinations like these come in handy when searching for sources of inspiration. Opposite poles usually make masterpieces together.
RIGHT ACTION BY FRANZ FERDINAND, 2013
Franz Ferninad is definitely what Kim Jong-un is playing in his AirPods. This Scottish band is monotonous and almost robotic; lasers and post-punk all make up this eclectic rhythm. Top 1 suggestion for when you are feeling like the worst totalitarian ever.
VERONICA BY MASTER PEACE, 2023
Master peace is a rising artist who debuted in 2019 with his ridiculous indie rhythm. His Instagram is a clear representation of what his songs narrate, just a bunch of nonsense with a British accent but great content for dark humour. But hey, trying to follow his thread might lead you to breakthrough ideas.
HEAT ABOVE BY GRETA VAN FLEET, 2021
It feels like the beginning of a great film or a great book. You know those few seconds, those few lines, in which you know you’re about to embark on a journey you didn’t know you needed, or perhaps you did. The build-up to the amazing orchestra of instruments and the majestic voice and lyricism takes your mind into another place, a place free of judgment, specifically personal. It insists on setting your mind free to think and to stop thinking at the same time.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE SAUCERS (LIVE) JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, 1973
Yes, specifically the live version. The crowd’s excitement goes through the roof as the guitar riff elevates everyone to the sky. This song can take you somewhere you weren’t even born yet: the 1970s. Positive vibes, good music, great fashion, colours, hippies… every idea was a good one back then. Throughout the song, you will sense a repetition of the song title, a boring kind of repetition that gets you to think and ponder. Not to mention the great guitar solo around minute 3; it will make your brain work harder than ever before.
CADILLAC BY SUN ROOM, 2023
This sort of 1950s surf song by the new and upcoming band Sun Room from San Diego will leave you wanting more. It is all about being who you are, acknowledging what you have to offer, and not giving a damn about anything negative coming your way. At some point, the song takes a turn for the best and speeds up the tempo, building to a faster pace; this part will make you gather the innermost thoughts and inspirations you unconsciously had in mind.
Isabella Trew and Camila Heredia Oranday are Arts Curating undergraduate students at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Margaret Mitchem is a Multimedia Art undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.