Novel Playlists from Fantasy Novelists treats each fantasy novel like a feature film and encourages the author to put together their own dream soundtrack. Tooting my personal horn for a second time here with a playlist (it is my blog after all), I present the playlist to The Imbued Lockblade, the second book in my Sol’s Harvest series.
[Spoiler warning: You probably shouldn’t read this article if you haven’t read book one, The Woven Ring.]
Over the Mueller Line and stalking across the Eastern homeland she betrayed during the Grand War, Marta Childress now cares for the catatonic Caddie Hendrix, whom she has been tasked to deliver to the child’s father. Too bad Marta secretly intends on killing the man to save the nation of Newfield a second civil war. Executed on the spot if anyone uncovers her identity, Marta also flees the relentless Render Graff and an unstoppable glassman, only to learn too late that worse horrors await her in the East. Fortunately, she can depend on her new freebooter friends Isabelle and Luca. Yet Luca harbors secrets of his own, a grubber boy born with nothing but whose ambition earned him an imbued lockblade enchanted to ensure his victory so long as he holds it in hand.
The Curse of Milhaven – Nick Cave: One should always start off a playlist/ mixtape with a bang, and I can’t think of a bigger bang then this standout from an album entitled “Murder Ballads.” It fits the big bang of the murder that kicks off book two.
Mishto – Gogol Bordello: The Imbued Lockblade is Luca-centric, so my hamfisted take on Roma culture plays a big part, hence this track from an album entitled Gypsy Punks.
King of the Gutters, Prince of the Dogs – Murder By Death: Last time I arbitrarily made it a point to only use one song per band but tossed that rule aside this go around since I could probably make an entire playlist from Murder By Death alone.
Fool For Love – Lord Huron: A lovely local LA band here with some dark subject matter for songs that sound so pretty. Luca’s throughline is ultimately a love story, and this subversive song seemed appropriate.
As Long As There Is Whiskey In The World – Murder By Death: This one was chosen for the train scene as well as whiskey being my inspiration and writing partner on this book.
Don’t This Look Like The Dark – Magnolia Electric Company: Not the most depressing song by this band, but up there. Still an awesome song though.
Good With God – The Old 97s: I’m a huge Old 97s fan, so much so I’m one of the voices cheering on their live album, but they never really gelled with the fantasy genre. But their latest album tackles religion for the first time, which was a perfect fit for my revival scenes.
You Ain’t Got A Hold On Me – Mark Kozelek: Actually an ACDC song that gets a beautiful indie makeover. Kozelek somehow susses out such depths to a rather shallow song I often wonder if his album of ACDC covers was actually a cynical joke. I wonder the same thing about his album covering Modest Mouse as well.
All Mixed Up – Red House Painters: Another Mark Kozelek cover, this time in his first incarnation/ band. Never was a big fan of The Cars, but I am of this rendition. The last two songs deal with Luca’s love story by the way. Yeah, that bodes well…
Decoration Day – Drive-By Truckers: Until reading about this song, I did not know that Memorial Day is actually an evolution of Decoration Day, which was a Southern tradition honoring the Confederate dead. It’s a song about going home and bad relationships with toxic families, so it’s appropriate for Marta’s story. And Luca’s. And Isabelle’s…
Hard World – Murder By Death: A song exploring the female victimization from a really unique perspective. It felt really appropriate for this story, and with lines like “I got hair the color of a silk-worm’s dream/ Prettiest little thing that you ever did see,” I wonder if it unconsciously inspired Caddie.
Tear Drop – Jose Gonzalez: Another cover you say? Well, the original pretty much was the pinnacle of my late 90s listening, so this acoustic version seemed appropriate for this playlist.
North Star – Magnolia Electric Company: This one might actually be the most depressing MEC song, so fits with the lowest part of the story arcs. Lines like “I heard the North Star saying/ Kid you’re so lost even I can’t bring you home” and “I didn’t choose to go down this road/ No one chooses to be sick” really incapsulates a lot of characters choices for me in this story.
Black – Okkervil River: To me this band has put out exactly one good album plus one good song, this one being that solo awesome song. And damn is it good, really digging into that anger and need to blow everything up because of it. And all with an extremely catchy tune. Could be about Luca/ Jaelle/ Isabelle’s relationship, or perhaps Marta and Caddie. Or perhaps all of them.
Batcat – Mogwai: Is this the second time I went with an instrumental to symbolize the finale? Apparently it is. Probably the most prolific instrumental band there is, is Mogwai. At least as far as I’m aware. It’s honestly hard to keep up with them.
Burn the Witch – Radiohead: Read the book and then you’ll know why it’s the most appropriate song I know for the ending…