Stumped? Make a Playlist!

A few weeks ago, I started a new project, a smutty, angsty, angry New Adult romance. It’s my first try at erotic romance, and it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Not just the sex scenes (although yeah, those have been difficult, but not for reasons you’d expect) but the whole physical relationship driving them to some sort of emotional bond/catharsis. I’ve had to put the project on hold while I clean up a few other manuscripts to get them ready for submission, and, well, because I’m having trouble figuring out what’s supposed to happen now that the characters actually want to try having a relationship instead of just fucking each other stupid all the time.

That didn’t stop me from making a playlist.

As you might expect, there are your standard slinky, sultry songs on it, like Bassnectar’s “Butterfly” and “Tessellate” by Alt-J. There’s also the ultimate in slinky songs, “#1 Crush” by Garbage – there’s something about Shirley Manson’s voice in that song that just screams bedroom games. Speaking of games, I heard this awesome cover of Chris Isaacs’ “Wicked Game” on an episode of The Blacklist a few weeks ago (are you watching that show? So. Much. Awesome.). The cover is done by Emika, a British electronica artist. The original was already amazing, and she takes it and kicks it up several rungs above amazing.

Because I like to repeat myself, MONO’s “A Speeding Car” is on here as well. Why? Think about those scenes in movies where the hero and the heroine have one last night together. It’s desperate and emotionally devastating. They can’t get enough of each other and think if they just move fast enough, or slow enough, or memorize every inch of skin they’ll prevent the inevitable, and you’re right there alongside them, pleading with fate to just fucking change. MONO captured that moment perfectly.

But it can’t be all make you want to boink songs. There’s anger in this story, so Nine Inch Nails “Came Back Haunted” was perfect. So was “I Hate Love” by Garbage. Fast, snappy, snarly songs to make you want to hurt someone.

Then there are the songs that I put on there just because I like them. “Heartbreak Warfare” by John Mayer is a surprisingly fitting song for this story. It also happens to be the only John Mayer song I can stand. Same with “Citizens” by Alice Russell. Wait. That came out wrong. This song is on the list because I adore it and I’ve had it on repeat for weeks now. Not because it’s the only Alice Russell song I can stand. She also does a cover of The White Strips “Seven Nation Army” that is way more worth listening to than the original.

I’ll leave you with a song I’m betting more than a few of you won’t like. Back in college, I went through a punk phase. No, I did not get all tattooed and pierced and start wearing chains. I did listen to a lot of punk music, both older stuff (Mission of Burma, Sex Pistols) and newer. One of those newer bands was Blink-182. I own an album of theirs (their live album) and I downloaded a few of their singles. One of the ones I fell in love with was “I Miss You” off their self-titled album. If a guy had come up to me when I was still young and impressionable and told me “Don’t waste your time/I mean/You’re already/ The voice inside my head” I would have been a puddle. You know what? It’s still one of the sweetest lines I’ve ever heard.

In fact, I think “Will you come home/And stop this pain tonight?” might end up being the epigraph.

(Warning: the video’s a little creepy. Okay, a lot creepy.)

2 thoughts on “Stumped? Make a Playlist!

  1. Okay, so as usual I don’t even recognize the artists on your list, let alone the song titles. Oh well. I was intrigued, though, by the idea of a woman covering Seven Nation Army, so I pulled it up on YouTube. Hmm. Funk + Fiddle + Jack White = ???? I just don’t know….

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