The spare room at the back of my apartment is where I do a lot of my reading. I’ve added shelves filled with books all around the room and there is a big comfortable sofa to recline on. In general it’s a fairly quiet space, but students live above me and frequently there are planes flying overhead as it's London. So in order to avoid distractions I listen to music sometimes. I always have difficulty finding the right kind of album which will blend into the background, but still be engaging enough to flow with what I’m reading. I listen to classical music sometimes, particularly Chopin. More often though I’ve been listening to types of folk music particularly with a sensitive male voice leading.
Do you have a favourite kind of music or albums that you listen to while reading?
Here are three recent albums I listen to a lot while reading, particularly when travelling on the tube or bus.
Spectral Dusk by Evening Hymns
Evening Hymns is really Jonas Bonnetta, a Canadian who collaborates with several different people when creating his music. Spectral Dusk is his third album. It has a real connection with nature with sounds of water sometimes in the background. There is a pervading sombre tone to the album, but it is really beautiful.
Palindrome Hunches by Neil Halstead
This was my favourite album from last year and it introduced me to the genius Neil Halstead. He was a founding member of the band Slowdive but has since gone on to create four albums of his own. He plays the guitar and sings with a soft voice songs of heartfelt hope and sorrow.
Coexist by The XX
Coexist is the second album by The XX with a really minimalist sound led by alternating male (Oliver Sim) and female (Romy Madley-Croft) vocals. The album plays upon the themes of a coming together and breaking apart of a relationship. The soft beats in the background help spur me along through the plot of a novel.