Steadfast by Claudia Gray – A Playlist

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Thanks to Claudia Gray for stopping by again today to share her playlist for Steadfast, and explain the significance of each song to the book!

STEADFAST Soundtrack

SteadfastI love putting together soundtracks for my movies. Usually, when I write a series, I carry over a few songs throughout the soundtracks for each book – the big themes, you’d say. (Also, some instrumental music from movie scores always plays a part; it really helps set a mood. That said, the movie scores I’ve written the SPELLCASTER series to were for Danny Elfman’s score for “Alice in Wonderland” and … Daft Punk’s score for “Tron: Legacy.” No, I can’t explain that last one.)

Even with continuing music through all the series soundtracks, I always find some unique songs for each book. Here’s what I listened to while writing STEADFAST:

“White Diamonds,” by Friendly Fires

This is one that makes me think of Verlaine and spoiler spoiler I can’t tell you! during their last scene together in STEADFAST, which takes place during the first snow of wintertime in Captive’s Sound.

Stuck in a world that would pull them apart, and it cost in time
If only they knew that ahead loomed a cloud that was black as night
She’d do anything for him
She’d do anything for him

Oh they were strong, they could take on the world and put up a fight
And even the clouds couldn’t stand in the way when they held on tight
He’d do anything for her
He’d do anything for her

“Velvet,” by The Big Pink

Mateo, the main male character in the story, is cursed with visions of the future. While they allow him to foresee some of the dangers they face – and are the reason he found Nadia in the first place – they also exact a painful price.  He and Nadia have some conflict in this book, which makes these lyrics ring very true for him.

She’s the only one, lost the best I had
I found her in a dream, looking for me
This heart’s on fire, I’ll bring myself
Up to fall, and down again

“Red Right Hand,” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Of course this is a classic! But when your villain has actually been seduced by the Lord of Hell, only a song as great as this will do.

He’ll wrap you in his arms,
tell you that you’ve been a good boy
He’ll rekindle all the dreams
it took you a lifetime to destroy
He’ll reach deep into the hole,
heal your shrinking soul
Hey buddy, you know you’re
never ever coming back
He’s a god, he’s a man,
he’s a ghost, he’s a guru
They’re whispering his name
through this disappearing land
But hidden in his coat
is a red right hand

“Fire From Heaven,” by Sleepthief and Roberta Carter Harrison

A friend of mine, after hearing this song, said it sounded more like Katniss Everdeen than Nadia Caldani … and since then I can’t unhear it. Still, I think this song works for any heroine who’s realized the deck is stacked against her, and plans to strike back.

Somebody’s stolen fire from heaven
Maybe the skies have been broken
Somebody’s taken fire from heaven
How could we be so forsaken?

“Through Glass,” by Stone Sour

The lyrics of this song refer to romantic disillusionment, I think. For me, though, they come from the demon Asa, who spends a lot of STEADFAST watching our heroes, and learning all their weaknesses, one by one.

‘Cause I’m looking at you through the glass
Don’t know how much time has passed
All I know is that it feels like forever
But no one ever tells you that forever feels like home
Sitting all alone inside your head

“Many Shades of Black,” the Raconteurs

Yet again I repurpose a breakup song. As you might remember from SPELLCASTER, Mateo believed he’d had a long friendship with Elizabeth Pike – which turned out to be an illusion she’d planted inside his head. Mateo’s figured out the truth now, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgiven Elizabeth.

Yeah, see if I care
And see if I stand firm or if I fall
‘Cause in the back of my mind
And on the tip of my tongue
Is the answer to it all

And everybody sees
And everyone agrees
That you and I are wrong
And it’s been that way too long

“Break My Soul,” by Hybrid

Verlaine is probably the single most outcast person in Captive’s Sound. All her life, she’s tried to tell herself that it’s the people around her that have the problem – that someday she’ll find friendship and love. Then, in SPELLCASTER, Verlaine learned that dark magic was responsible for setting her apart from people, maybe forever. This song captures both the loneliness she feels and her determination to keep going.

I’m not drowning in your sea
Believing in you will not be the death of me
Not waiting for the curtain drop
Or waiting for the hurt to stop
Not drowning in a teardrop for your love

“Help I’m Alive,” by Metric

Sure, there’s romance in STEADFAST – but the characters deal with a lot of deeply scary stuff. This song captures the constant tension of living in Captive’s Sound when you actually know what’s going on.

I tremble, they’re gonna eat me alive
If I stumble they’re gonna eat me alive
Can you hear my heart beating like a hammer?
Beating like a hammer

“Harbor,” by Vienna Teng

Despite everything they go through, Nadia and Mateo’s love remains powerful. So they deserve a beautiful love song.

Fear is the brightest of signs
The shape of boundary you leave behind
So sing all your questions to sleep
The answers are out there in the drowning deep
Sail your sea, meet your storm
All I want is to be your harbor
The light in me will guide you home
All I want is to be your harbor
You’ve got a journey to make
There’s your horizon to chase
So go far beyond where we stand
No matter the distance, I’m holding your hand

For the comments: Which song is your favorite from this list? Which others would you add to the soundtrack for the Spellcaster series?

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