I don’t listen to music usually when I write but I used to. Everytime I hear Crystal Method’s Trip Like I Do (Link on YouTube) I think of my YA Fantasy 13th Soul*. There are Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk songs that recalls a few more memories of stories for me, but I have to say that Enya is the one that really gets my creativity going**. When I was writing with music, I found that lyrics muddled my perception of the music. Unless I found the song after the story and the lyrics suited, then I could use it (but they were rare finds, though Muse often came close, with Uno, Cave and Unintended▲).
What I do now is if I end up listening to a song and enjoying the ambience of it, I’ll use that feeling or impression to write something that belongs with it.
I only learned today that I can get albums with relevant themes to them; like “Science Fiction Songs” or “Fantasy Songs” by BrunuhVille. I might invest in one of those albums and see if I can return to my old habit of writing with music.
* I’d written half of this book in my twenties and it’s full of cringe-worthy mistakes because I hadn’t taken any writer’s-craft courses at that stage, but the story concept is still original and valid and the world is in-depth enough that I can continue to write in it… but it’s been shelved for an indeterminate time.
** Boadicea either suits or has inspired three different works of fiction of mine: Femme, The Song (scroll down the linked page to read this story), and Second Life
▲ The Unintended Music Video on YouTube is pretty trippy.