I love having soundtracks for writing, or for making anything, really. I love finding out what other writers listen to while they write. I assiduously document and soundtrack every story and film I write. I even directed through music, giving actors a copy of the music I associated with their character. (Amusingly, one actress I worked with, I could just give her a song reference from my mixes on set and she knew exactly what I was after in her performance.)
While my last mix for the book was very “historical” (lots of late 80s/skate stuff), this mix was the latest batch of songs I wrote my last draft to and it’s much more about mood and theme. I gave a copy of this (on CD! old school!) to my best friend/muse and he noted drily that it sounded like a makeout/female sexual empowerment tape instead. Which is true; much of my book concerns sustained kissing, or wanting to be kissed in a sustained way, or recovering from such kissing. And yes, sexual power is a kind of theme in the book, too. But really: if my book were a person, I honestly would most definitely make out with it. And I don’t say that about many books at all! I’m sure that’s a very strange thing to say and I can’t fully explain it, but even when my book is making me crazy and sad and angry and full of doubt and self-loathing — I still love writing it anyway.
Here’s the track listing:
The xx, “Hot Like Fire”
I loved that the xx covered an Aaliyah song.
Thom Yorke, “Hearing Damage”
Ugh, I can’t believe I took a song from the New Moon soundtrack. But say what you will about the movies, their soundtracks have generally been solid.
TV on the Radio, “Will Do”
What straight girl doesn’t want a dude to express these sentiments to her at some point?
Lykke Li, “Get Some”
Kind of the “These Boots Were Made for Walking” of the year.
Jane’s Addiction, “Mountain Song”
COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAINNNNNNNN!!!! NUH NUH NUH-NUH NUH-NUH NUH-NUH NUH-NUH!
The Walkmen, “On the Water”
I love how this sounds like a landscape, a dark, moonlit one.
The whole Warpaint album is so part of the novel’s DNA that I feel like I should pay them royalties or something.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Shame and Fortune”
It took me forevs to warm up to It’s Blitz! but I’m glad I did.
Lady Gaga, “Bloody Mary”
I’m fond of anything song that sounds like Depeche Mode but sung by ladies, and this fits that bill. I love the Edith Piaf-like vocal as well.
Calla, “Dancers in the Dust”
I have had such a huge crush on this band for ages! Much of their whole oeuvre is makeout material.
R.E.M. “You are the Everything”
This song makes a direct appearance in the book.
Depeche Mode, “World in My Eyes”
Okay, okay, might as well put Depeche Mode in here.
Crystal Castles, “Tell Me What to Swallow”
My shuffle kept throwing this song into the mix one day as I was working through a weird, tricky passage in the book, and it totally helped. I’m convinced my shuffle is like my underworld spirit guide, leading me out of the morass of my own imagination into strange new places. Or something like that.
Tricky, “Feed Me”
Just a rad, slinky song.