I listen to a range of music when I'm writing, but a lot of Daft Punk has played while I've been going through the later drafts of Number Two. Interesting that these guys are French because, apart from them, I particularly enjoy listening to French-speaking artistes when I'm writing (other times too, but they have preference over other musos when I'm writing). The reason for this is because I love the music, of course, but also, because the lyrics don't muddy the words in my head (my translation skills being way too slow - well, almost non-existent - to register more than the tone if I'm doing something else). Some of my favourites are Paris Combo, Les Croquants, Les Petites Bourettes, Emilie Simon, Georges Moustaki, Carla Bruni, Camille, Souad Massi, Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel.
Jacques Brel has been a favourite for many years and Amsterdam is one of those songs that's always had a big impact. Thought I'd track him down via YouTube the other day, when I was in need of inspiration. The gutsiness of his voice and the grittiness of his words were just what the moment needed. (The clip finishes abruptly, but still...)