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1. Peter Gabriel – Mercy Street 2. the Decemberists – The Hazards of Love (The Drowned) 3. Sigur Ros – Kveikur 4. Tool – Sober 5. Pink – Timebomb 6. Beyonce – Halo 7. Depeche Mode – Waiting for the Night to Fall 8. Aimee Mann – Borrowing Time 9. Pet Shop Boys – It Couldn’t Happen Here 10. Kate Bush – The Woman’s Work
1. Mercy Street by Peter Gabriel
Every book I write has a theme song, one I go back to to remind me of the feeling I want to get across. This is one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded ever.
2. The Hazards of Love (The Drowned) by the Decemberists
Another staggeringly gorgeous song, this one about love right up to the moment of loss. You might cry.
3. Kveikur by Sigur Ros
A frequent reference point for me when I write about young people. It’s exactly what the inside of my head sounded like when I was 16. And also every day since.
4. Sober by Tool
5. Timebomb by Pink
Pretty heavy list so far, huh? This one’s more uplifting, about defiance in the face of difficulty, beautiful, powerful, human defiance. If I could sing at all (which I cannot), I’d never stop doing this song at karaoke.
6. Halo by Beyoncé
Or this one.
7. Waiting For The Night To Fall by Depeche Mode
Ominous but also peaceful, kind of what I wanted from the book.
8. Borrowing Time by Aimee Mann
A fantastically smart and catchy pop song about storytelling, which is what the book is all about. I use a line from it for an epigraph to my novel More Than This.
9. It Couldn’t Happen here by Pet Shop Boys
A song about accepting grief that’s cinematic and beautiful.
10. This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush
This has been an overwhelmingly beautiful list, which I make no apologies for, I like beautiful music. And a beautiful sad song is one of the perfect things we manage as a species. This one will slay you.