I created this playlist for a blog tour — if you want to start listening, here it is on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4tR8uHsFCla94vEFZnwz8c
It was a fun project, sort of a soundtrack with backstory.
Some of these songs were specific influences, though unnamed, on certain scenes. Other songs evoke its moods.
The project also put me in touch with my younger self, who long ago spent many hours making mix tapes — on cassettes — that then took me across the United States and back, not unlike Gabriel’s own journey late in Demon.
Enjoy! Songs are listed Title – Artist, with notes after each.
Part of the Process – Morcheeba
This track evokes the uncertain, down-but-not-out place Zarabeth finds herself at the novel’s start. On my own visit to Aberdeen, Scotland to research the novel, I bought Morcheeba’s album Big Calm in a record store bargain bin. I think it’s the last actual compact disk I ever bought!
Opium Dreams – Rithma
Don’t read into the title. This song is here for its smooth groove, punctuated by the unsettling party laughter, both evoking when we meet Gabriel at a party that really isn’t fun.
Cirrus – Bonobo
This propulsive yet pretty track, known for its amazing video, is all for mood, launching Zarabeth and Gabriel down their respective rabbit holes.
The Marriage of Coyote Woman – All Them Witches
A slow, psychedelic blues, with an opening line that works in business class – “I never met a salesman like you before” – and a mood that fits Walt’s as he kicks himself back into the world.
Season of the Witch – Lana Del Rey
This breathy take on the 60’s pop classic brings out Missy’s seductiveness, and the turmoil behind it.
All That We Perceive – Thievery Corporation
A song about picking up more than other people do, and the difference between knowledge and understanding, an issue even for those paranormally gifted.
My Girls – Animal Collective
Sunny, but also manic, this track is from the album Gabriel plays for Zarabeth on their first drive together. It’s a hope for simplicity that Gabriel will not find.
Atlas – Part 1: Personal Climate: Travel Dream Song – Meredith Monk
This minimalist, haunting opera about modern travel is what Gabriel is listening to when Zarabeth comes to visit him in his Aberdeen hotel room. Zarabeth thinks it sounds like DNA.
Example #22 – Laurie Anderson
A fun nod to Gabriel’s uneasy trip to Hamburg, seemingly sung by Zarabeth working her way into his dreams. “What are paranormal voices?”
Policy of Truth – Depeche Mode
At a house party of deaf grad students, Zarabeth taps into her wild magic while dancing. This naughty, world-weary ode to lying was on repeat while I wrote the scene.
Just Like Heaven – Katie Melua
A gentle, sad take on The Cure’s story of lost love. We’re at the halfway point. It gets darker from here.
Revenge – XXXTENTACION
Like Zarabeth’s own feelings, this track is small and dense, a seed for careful growing.
Chce Se Mi Spát (I Want to Sleep) – Psí vojáci
One of the major voices of Prague’s Velvet Revolution, Psi Vojáci (Dog Soldiers) evoke Zarabeth’s fatigue, and the insincerity and disconnection in a world of surveillance.
等著你回來 (Waiting for You) – 白光 (Bai Guang)
1940s singer and actor Bai Guang was the sultriest of what have become known as the Shanghai Divas, and is still known across Asia. I went with the original to evoke Zarabeth’s bitter desire in Hong Kong, but you can find updated remixes on the album Shanghai Lounge Divas.
Furious Angels – Rob Dougan
Some will recognize the instrumental version, used in The Matrix Reloaded during Neo’s opening fight sequence (“Upgrades.”) For burning blue Zarabeth and hot desperate Gabriel outrunning angry angels, I opted for the full melodrama of Rob Dougan’s original.
Hessel, Raymond K. – The Dust Brothers
This heavy, spacy drum and bass track evokes the Las Vegas cult ritual where the wrong god shows up, to Zarabeth’s benefit… and no one else’s. Originally from the Fight Club soundtrack.
Thirteen – Johnny Cash
Gabriel crosses the American West, trying to find an answer to his love and the hurt he caused her. Johnny Cash knows about that.
Wolf Like Me – TV On The Radio
Missy and Walt just hope to settle down, but there’s a reckoning ahead with Missy’s family and coven — and TV On The Radio’s tale of horror and hunger speaks to Missy’s reaction.
Cheap Thrills – Sia
My editor Vivian Caethe told me to add a chapter about Zarabeth after Las Vegas, lest she seem to be “waiting by the phone.” Laying low in Lincoln, Nebraska let Zarabeth tie up some loose ends. To get back in her head, I had this song on repeat as I wrote the chapter.
IKAZUCHI (Thunder) – Tom [email protected] – Yoshida Brothers
During my own work in Tokyo, I was introduced to the spare, bluegrassy music of the banjo-like shamisen — just before Yoshida Brothers took it international by mixing in drums and synth. This track is for modern Japan, land of quiet beauty, bullet trains, and much that is not spoken but that you need to know.
Regret – St. Vincent
Wouldn’t it be nice if love stories just ended well forever? St. Vincent doesn’t think that happens, and maybe Zarabeth and Gabriel agree, sometimes.
Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend – Powerwolf
A little heavy metal, and maybe a renewed love triangle, to close out this stormy ride!
Thanks for listening!