World-building is not easy work! A lot of perspiration and imagination goes into the craft of creating a world and communicating it in novel form.
David Edison is one such tune-inspired world-creator, and he’s sharing with us the playlist of songs he’s selected to represent his new fantasy epic Sandymancer!
Check it out!
by David Edison
Writing is an act of magic, and songs are spells, so it’s natural that they weave themselves together; for some writers—for me—music is an essential component of creativity. I need song-magic to lift me out of the world and into that dreamy liminal state of bliss called flow. Music transforms me from a typist to a pianist.
I do usually write with a one-size-fits all playlist, which is mostly for driving the energy levels, focus, and active joy I need to sit down and work. I also put effort into project-specific playlists, which is a crackerjack way to procrastinate.
I make weird association—I do write Weird Fiction, after all—so there’s always a bit of psychosis apparent in my playlists. Such is the fate of the neurospicy. As I write, I jump around from scene to scene as my attention shifts and splits, and very often it’s a song that sparks a connection between one scene and another. For that reason, I usually shuffle my playlists—and I’d recommend doing so with this one. Arranging the songs just so sounds like a fantastic way to lose lots of time and sanity, and one never wants more than just a bit of insanity. For flavor.
I’ve plucked out some songs to fit with the vibe beats in Sandymancer, and broken them down—somewhat airily—into loose vibe categories. I hope the songs cast their spells and tempt you toward Sandymancer, but if all fails, hit shuffle and enjoy some light psychosis courtesy of an author and his spiciness.
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Vibe I: Sing the World into Being
This is the music that fleshes out the Land of the Vine—its lost hymns, naughty shanties, and somber dirges. Songs out of time. ‘Round these parts, some folk call it world-building.
- “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
- “Babylon” by David Carbonara
- “The Wasteland” by Elton John
- “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood” by Neko Case
Vibe II: Hayseed Longing
A village so decrepit that it has no name, where dreams and boredom wallow together. These are songs of survival, of hardtack dreaming, and of rough beginnings.
- “Beg Steal or Borrow” by Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs
- “Daddy Lessons” by Beyonce
- “Little Earthquakes” by Tori Amos
- “Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield” by Lou Rawls
Vibe III: God-King Troubles
Heal the world, break the world—you can’t please everyone. This music swells to tell the history of the Son of the Vine, the hidden sorrows and frustrations he so rarely shares.
- “The Melting of the Sun” by St. Vincent
- “Fire on Babylon” by Sinead O’Connor
- “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana
- “Congregation” by Low
Vibe IV: Grit and Teeth
Before a teenager stares down a (wicked?) long-dead god-king, she listens to these songs for courage. Truth is, Caralee could teach music a thing or two about courage herself.
- “I Don’t Believe You” by Magnetic Fields
- “Battle for the Sun” by Placebo
- “No” by Emma Dean
- “Teenage Hustling” by Tori Amos
Vibe V: Sass Regina
On the other hand, Caralee is a queen of self-possession. These are the tunes rocking in her heart, the spunk that fuels her as-yet-unearned confidence.
- “I’m A Lady (feat. Trouble Andrew)” by – Santigold
- “Giddy Up” by Dragonette
- “Strange Little Girl” by Tori Amos
- “I Feel Lucky” by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Vibe VI: Heads Will Roll
Mistakes were made. Lessons were learned. When two unstoppable objects collide – and also cooperate – there are bound to be consequences both grave and grand. Such is the case for both Caralee and the Son of the Vine. These are songs of the phoenix in the fire, and also its rebirth.
- “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine” by Sia
- “A Favor House Atlantic” by Coheed and Cambria
- “Take Me to Church” by Sinead O’Connor
Vibe VII: Magic is Magick is Science
These songs summon Power. They fill the space with mystery, which is sacred. They are the full-throated incantations that connect will to intention: the essence of all Magick.
- “Hy-Brasil” by Allison Russel
- “Bell, Book and Candle” by Eddi Reader
- “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry
- “Cantara” by Dead Can Dance
- “Don’t Sweat the Technique” by Eric B. & Rakim
Vibe VIII: It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine)
Some theories hold that writers are actually human beings, and what’s more – some seem to enjoy being happy. These are sillier songs that are just as infused with meaning as their more sober counterparts above (Please refrain from drinking and driving until you get to heaven).
- “Everybody Drinks and Drives in Heaven” by Leslie Stevens
- “Still Alive” by Aperture Science Psychoacoustic Laboratories
- “No Rain” by Blind Melon
- “Missionary Man” by Eurythmics
David Edison was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. He currently divides his time between New York City and San Francisco. In other lives, he has worked in many flavors of journalism and is editor of the LGBTQ video game news site GayGamer.net.
…And he sleeps in unicorn corpses, tauntaun style.
Order Sandymancer Here!