When I rank David Lynch’s albums, The Air Is On Fire comes in at the very top of my list. The soundtrack accompaniment to an exhibition of Lynch’s paintings and photographs, this is an eerily slow building sparse ambient record. There are swells. A few industrial accents rise out of the dark clouds.
Otherwise it’s a haunting.
The album as offered by Sacred Bones Records is split into two songs, “Side A” (21:48) and “Side B” (19:58). There are a couple of short snippets at the very end that don’t really add much to the overall listening experience. The dark tones churn beautifully with very few jumps or punches to take you even momentarily out of a good creative head space. During the 40-minutes duration, Lynch explores a labyrinth of American darkness that has served as his perpetual muse: subterranean ambience, a distant lumbering menace, alive with a quasi-nostalgic mysticism that rises out of a rust belt nightmare. It’s all train yards, factories and construction zones on The Air Is On Fire.
Writing an urban fantasy or horror story? The Air Is On Fire sets a perfect mood. It’s ideal for an hour long, Absinthe fueled writing sprint, or late night note scribbling session. When I’m trying to get into a dark place, this album serves as fuel in how it spins a pitch black shadow even during mid-day.
This record is very highly recommended on many fronts, most of which I would say stem from the thread of vulnerability that laces the whole creepy work together.
Are you a supernatural fiction author with a favorite album to listen to while writing? Have you given any of these David Lynch albums a listen?
What do you think?
Leave a comment below or suggest a writing album & I’ll cover it in my next “Music For Writers” column. Meanwhile, check out my book page to see the latest Oregon supernatural mystery I’m working on.