Brit-grit writer Paul Brazill's fascinating guest post '10 Songs From Duffy's Juke Box', listing the tracks that helped to inspire his latest book Roman Dalton - Werewolf PI, struck a chord (if you'll forgive the pun) with me. I came up with something similar for a guest post during my blog tour for Gleams of a Remoter World, but never got round to posting the list on here. So here goes. I couldn't, in the end, come up with ten songs, but here are six that would provide a bit of extra atmosphere if you had them playing in the background whilst reading the novel.
Because Gleams is a ghost story, it's perhaps not surprising that so many of these tracks feature ghosts or otherworldly experiences.
1. Delerium: 'Innocente (Falling in Love)'. A great introduction to the novel. Quiet, atmospheric, and the first line ("It's the rain that I hear coming, not a stranger or a ghost") would be strangely appropriate to the very first scene in the barn.
2. Mary Black: 'Leaving the Land'. For Chris's first visit to the ruined church and abandoned priest's house. The whole tone of the song is a poignant elegy to a home that's been left behind, and a perfect accompaniment to the roofless buildings and toppled stone walls that Chris and Jo find.
3. Japan: 'Ghosts'. I thought of this during the scene where the ghosts first appear to Chris. The lyrics ("The ghosts of my life Blow wilder than the wind"), and the incredibly spooky vocals of lead singer David Sylvian, still send shivers up and down my spine!
4. Gregorian Chant 'Procedamus in Pace'. This is the specific track quoted from when Chris visits the ruined Celtic monastery so it would be the perfect backdrop to his experiences there, as well as being beautiful enough and tranquil enough to suit the scenery and the poignant site of the monks' home.
5. The Specials: 'Ghost Town'. "This town... is coming like a ghost town." I had this song running through my head when I was writing the scene where Chris goes to Paulie's Liverpool home to try to track him down. The main chorus would be a wonderful refrain to his increasingly frustrating search.
6. Abba: 'The Day Before You Came'. Some people laugh at Abba but their later tracks are often exceptional, both musically and lyrically, and this has long been one of my favourites. The contrast of the singer's dull everyday life with the promise of what happens the day 'you came' would be a great backdrop for Chris as he lives his solitary life in Ireland towards the end of the book. I'm not saying any more for fear of spoiling the surprise!
As far as I know all these tracks are available on YouTube, so why not load them on your pc or e-book reader, and play them during the appropriate sections while you're reading the novel?
Happy listening, and happy reading!