Compiled by Meghan Phillips
Looking for playlist for Issue 67? We’ve got you covered. Our contributors have chosen the music and tell why below. Enjoy the issue!
Brett Biebel, “Midnight Shift” – “Confusion in the Marketplace” by The Hold Steady
I think this song, particularly it’s closing line, captures the attitude of the main characters in my piece. They don’t want to dick around. They just want to devastate. And the general thematic territory of the song is on point as well.
Siamak Vossoughi, “A Soldier” – “Rival” by Pearl Jam
I chose “Rival” by Pearl Jam because it’s also about a mass shooting.
Dakota Canon, “Buried Deep, Buried for Good” – “Buried Alive” by Avenge Sevenfold
Like my story, this song plays on the theme of “buried” in both the literal and figurative sense. Both the tone and lyrics of the song (“Hey, I can’t live in here another day / Darkness has kept the light concealed”) capture my story’s main character’s angst–her need to bury her pain and troubles–while the singer’s angst manifests in him feeling buried alive.
Robert Kaye, “Stories We Will Always Know” – “Happy to See Me” by Hop Along
The song in my head while writing “Stories We Will Always Know.” It could be from the story’s narrator years later, trying to process the past. The title of the story is derived from the closing refrain. Plus Frances Quinlan is among the best on this planet and everyone should hear her sing this.
L. Soviero, “Lucy Ignores Death” – “You’re Dead” by Norma Tenega
It’s really tonally different from my story, but lyrically it deals with similar themes. And both have dead girls. Plus, it’s a great song.
Andrew Stancek, “Fat Man” – “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor’s anthem to survival is a powerful affirmation. “…I grew strong…I learned how to get along…as long as I know how to love, I’ll stay alive.” Those words are the motto of the narrator of “Fat Man”.
Patricia Q. Bidar, “Over There” – “Airplane Ticket Bus Ride, Can I Borrow Your Car?” by David Porter
This song make me think about our responsibility to each other, and the pain and ambivalence our choices bring up. I love the verve of the speaker in the David Porter song.
Rachel Reeher, “Lobster” – “Paul” by Big Thief
This song is airy and weighted at once and I love the way it swells. Atmosphere is everything–in fiction, in music, and otherwise.
Emma Stough, “We Expect You To Take This Seriously” – “The Love Club” by Lorde
Lorde’s album Pure Heroine is the perfect soundtrack to a teenage apocalypse—and “The Love Club” voices the complicated sticky mess of identity one feels growing up and trying to “belong” to different groups/communities. This song works with themes that I wanted “We Expect You to Take This Seriously” to interrogate: A teen knowing that belonging to “the club” might make everything glow for them, but also might make them sacrifice their own identity along the way.
Hailee Nielsen, “What Drips Out of the Cheesecloth” – “opal ocean, pt 2.” by slenderbodies
From the first time I heard their music, it felt composed of contradiction: ever familiar and lucid, while distinctly otherworldly and experimental. To write something as fluid and immersive as slenderbodies is a lifelong goal for my writing, and I hope to draw on their art for inspiration for years to come.