My So-Called Haunting Playlist
by Tamsyn Murray
by Tamsyn Murray
Music is a big influence on my writing, as anyone who remembers the scene where Lucy and Ryan met in My So-Called Afterlife will know. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you hear a song which perfectly captures something your characters are feeling and I’m a sucker for listening to them over and over again. Here’s my playlist for My So-Called Haunting, the next book in the Afterlife series, which introduces Skye Thackery, a fourteen year old with a hefty secret to keep.
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
Although My So-Called Haunting is set in London, Skye originally comes from Edinburgh and she’s a big fan of Snow Patrol. Her enthusiasm rubbed off on me as I was writing the book and Chasing Cars is a favourite track with both of us.
Slow Moving Millie – Beasts
Remember that Virgin Media ad where the girl walks into the TV studio and discovers Aztecs and an orang-utan and the police car turns into a spaceship at the end? Beasts was the soundtrack to that advert and I had it on replay on my iPod for months. Quite a lot of Skye’s world is made up of things no-one else can see and I think she’d identify with the fantasy element of the lyrics. Worth checking out if you don’t know it.
Muse – Undisclosed Desires
It wouldn’t be one of my playlists without a Muse track and this one could have been written for Skye and Nico. Their relationship is all about secrets and desires and neither of them turns out to be what the other expected. The story continues in the next book, My So-Called Phantom Lovelife (out March 2011).
Blur – Melancholy Hill
I’ve been a Blur fan since my late teens and this song reminded me of everything I liked about them. It’s not the stomp-all-over-your-senses Brit-pop of Boys and Girls or Song 2 but delicately caresses your ears in the same way as The Universal did. And there’s a pivotal scene in the book set on Parliament Hill so the lyrics tied in perfectly.
Paolo Nutini – Candy
Partly influenced by Skye’s voice in my head, I love the smoky Scottish vocals of Candy and it contains one of my favourite lyrics of all time (copyright prevents me from quoting it but ’nuff respect if you can work out what it is). And it goes without saying that Skye is a Paolo fan.
Professor Green – Just Be Good To Green
This is another song which had me harkening back to my teenage years, when it was released by Beats International. Professor Green’s cover reminded me of everything I liked about the song back then and added a new spin to it. I listened to this while I was doing my copy-edits this summer and loved the mix of old and new.
Plan B – Stay Too Long
I love the way Plan B’s songs tell a story and this one tells the tale of the narrator’s criminal involvement. One of My So-Called Haunting’s characters, Dontay Ambrose, died in a gang shoot-out in Hackney and although Dontay was just a kid in the wrong place at the wrong time, this song really helped me to visualise what being a teen in Hackney might be like.
So those are the songs I used to help write My So-Called Haunting. Hopefully, it’s given you a taste of the themes behind the book and maybe introduced you to some new tunes.
You can find out more about Tamsyn and her books at Tamsyn Murray.co.uk.