Siren Suicides Playlist

by Ksenia Anske

So @vanillespeaks on Twitter asked me to share my playlist, or, in other words, music I write to. Blasting it loudly. Shaking my head to it. Or humming to it. Or feeling like I float. In any case, compiling this list prompted me to think about why I listen to so much music and why I look at so many photographs for my book, so I'll write another blog post after this one, called, "Get inspired by surrounding yourself with art." Because, that's what it does to me. It helps me produce great art. Great music makes me feel, no, it amplifies what I feel, and it fuels me with desire to share it. It also helps me get into a particular mood for a particular scene. 

Sigur Rós station on Pandora is my daily writing music. It's my main music source, because it happens to be the perfect radio station combining exactly the type of music that, apart from few exceptions, fits the mood for Siren Suicides exactly. In particular, the song Sæglópur summarizes the mood of the entire novel very well.

Björk inspired all siren songs. There are 6 sirens total. The protagonist, Ailen Bright, and the other 5. I listen to Björk when I write lyrics for songs for the other 5 and when I come up with a tune for them (I'm not a musician, but I have to hum to something when writing lyrics). Hyperballad in particular fits one of the chapters. You'll know which one I'm talking about when you read the book.

Radiohead fuels all dramatic scenes. There is a lot of tension between the protagonist, Ailen Bright, a teenage siren, and the antagonist, Roger Bright, a siren hunter and her father. So whenever I write those scenes, I usually listen to Radiohead. Creep, especially. In fact, Creep lyrics were integrated into the novel at one point, until I realized it's a pain to license then and switched to writing my own lyrics.

Deadmau5, Skrillex, and Kaskade are Ailen Bright.
Every character has a particular tune in my book, sort of like a particular style associated with them. Every human soul has a sound associated with them. Sirens, however, have no souls, that's why they eat them. Yet they still have a particular tune to them in my head. For Ailen, the protagonist, music is huge. As a character, she listens to a UK band (a band I made up) called Siren Suicides. The way they sound is best summarized with I Remember by deadmau5 & Kaskade.

Vivaldi's Summer is Hunter Crossby.
Like I said, every human soul has a particular sound to it, which when heard by a siren, signifies a certain taste, the way a soul would taste. Hunter is a teenager and Ailen's best friend. They get stoned together in her bathroom, and he constantly tries to get her to listen to Vivaldi. In her words, "...which Hunter made me listen to whenever we got stoned, under the pretext of cultural enrichment and divine experience, because somehow classical music was supposed to make us feel more high or something like that. I admit, after a couple joints, it did sound good." There are more tones to his soul, but this one is the main (and as a result, I listen to Vivaldi when writing Ailen and Hunter scenes). 

These are the main musical themes for Siren Suicides. Based on my mood, sometimes I also listen to British Sea Power, Ben Jelen, Solar Fields, Porcelain, Bon Iver, Avicii, Iron and Wine, Underworld (this is mostly for motorcycle chase scenes), and Starfucker. That's about it. 

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