Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SHINE soundtrack, with (spoilery) notes

At last! I created this soundtrack a few days before the release of Shine, posted it on the SHADEboys tumblr on May 2, and wrote down my thoughts on the songs. At the time I felt like this post was too spoilery to share, but now that Shine has been out for over two months in the US and one month in the UK, and people have been looking for it (I've noticed "SHINE soundtrack" as keyword searches for the blog), I think IT'S TIME! YAY!

SHINE soundtrack by Jeri Smith-Ready on Grooveshark

The soundtrack can also be purchased at iTunes (or it will be as soon as iTunes stops giving me the inscrutable "5002 unknown error"). I get no money from your purchase, just the satisfaction of spreading the word about some of my favorite bands.

Here's a list of songs:

Song Artist
Ready to Start Arcade Fire
Make This Go On Forever Snow Patrol
Northern Star Hole
Letters from the Sky Civil Twilight
Lost in Time Whitley
Castaway Green Day
Some Things Last a Long Time Beach House
Cannonball Damien Rice
You're Gone* Good Charlotte
Switchblade Jenny and Johnny
Combat Rock Sleater-Kinney
Everything Lifehouse
Sun It Rises Fleet Foxes
2 Bodies, 1 Heart* Noah and the Whale
This Unavoidable Thing Between Us Evermore
Fast Blood Frightened Rabbit
Keening Song Aine Minogue
Rise Above Black Flag
Stay Belly
You Are a Tourist Death Cab for Cutie

*Not available on iTunes version of soundtrack. Booooo, iTunes!!!

NOTE: Like any soundtrack, this list of songs is, for the most part, in chronological order. Also, I created it to follow the emotional rhythms of the book. Therefore, for maximum impact, it is highly recommended that you listen to it in order, rather than shuffling. You wouldn't read a book with the chapters out of order, would you? Okay, stepping off prissy artist soapbox.

***GIANT SPOILER WARNING: The rest of this post discusses specifics of SHINE scenes. If you have NOT read SHINE, do not read one word further. ***

Song by song explanation:

"Ready to Start" by Arcade Fire - This was the last song on the SHIFT (Book 2) soundtrack. It works for Logan, Zach, and Aura at different points.

This song and the next were mentioned in Chapter One of SHINE.

"Make This Go On Forever" by Snow Patrol - When I was writing SHADE (Book 1), this song always stopped me in my tracks and plunged me deep and hard into the pain of Aura and Logan's relationship after his death. The line, "Please just save me from this darkness" still makes me cry for him a little, though he's at peace now.

"Northern Star" by Hole - Plane crash and aftermath. I placed this song here because the soundtrack needed to shift tone dramatically, turning ominous and agonized.

To me, the first, second, and third verses correspond to Logan, Aura, and Zachary, respectively. The screaming pain of the final verse tears my chest open for Zach. (The song itself I'm pretty sure is about Kurt Cobain.)

"Letters from the Sky" by Civil Twilight - Zachary's detainment. Aura holds onto the hope that not only one day will they be together again, but that the world won't be gripped by fear of ghosts.

I love especially the end where it says "We will hear those planes overhead and we won't have to be scared." It reminded me of the days after 9/11, which never happened in Aura's universe. For people in the SHADE world, ghosts are the biggest thing to fear. They are the terrorists, or could be.

"Lost in Time" by Whitley - Some songs are where they are because they fit the story, and others are placed because they provide the right sound or rhythm. This is the latter.

It could've gone anywhere, since it can be about Logan (lost in time by dying) or Zachary (lost in time because that's what solitary confinement does to you) or Aura (whose summer becomes one long nightmare). But I placed it here because the playlist needed a lighter sound after the first four intense songs. (Hat tip to Ginger at G Reads Books for this suggestion!)

"Castaway" by Green Day - After the failure of Operation Scot Free, Aura strikes out on her own. She's strong and determined and ready to do whatever it takes to save Zachary. I picture her shadow-boxing to this song!

"Some Things Last a Long Time" by Beach House - Whew! The soundtrack needs a short, dreamy breather. This song corresponds to the month of August, when Aura's despair at saving Zachary grows and grows. Some things last a long time, indeed.

(Also, Beach House is from Baltimore.)

"Cannonball" by Damien Rice - Though Rice has appeared a couple times for Logan (on the SHADE Readers Playlist and Logan's "Sucks to Be A Ghost (Sometimes)" playlist, I saved this song for Zachary. The chorus is all about contradictions:

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
Life taught me to die

After Zachary is released from 3A, his mind is really messed up, and everything is backward. He feels heavy and lost.

"You're Gone" by Good Charlotte - Surprisingly, this isn't about Logan, though it could be. It's about Tammi Teller, Logan's #1 fan and the face of Flight 346. This goes with her memorial service. Also, Good Charlotte is a Maryland band--woo-hoo! (Thanks to Melissa @3FixedHearts for suggesting this song for Logan.)

"Switchblade" by Jenny and Johnny - In an earlier draft of SHINE, there was a scene where Aura, Dylan, and Megan went to see Mickey play an acoustic gig near his college. He and his new, um, partner played a song he'd written for Logan. That whole storyline was changed, but I still associate this with Mickey's view of Logan and what his future would've been like had he lived. (It also reminds me of Adam Wilde from Gayle Forman's WHERE SHE WENT.)

"Combat Rock" by Sleater-Kinney - This song rocks the DMP assembly when Aura and her classmates stand up for what's truly American. I wanted a revolutionary song by a different riot grrrl band (I've already used Bikini Kill and L7 in WVMP soundtracks), so I asked my friend, author Stephanie Kuehnert, for help. She gave me the perfect song!

"Everything" by Lifehouse - Castle Scene. Perfection. That is all.

(Thanks to @shellseeker93 for this suggestion.)

"Sun It Rises" by Fleet Foxes - Newgrange!

"2 Bodies 1 Heart" by Noah and the Whale - This is for Aura and Zachary's birthday, which was for the most part incredibly happy. They deserved it, after all they'd been through, and with all they had yet to endure in the next few days.

It also echoes "Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab for Cutie, off the SHIFT soundtrack. Aura and Zachary's connection is deep and mystical: they're "soul twins," as Megan would say.

"This Unavoidable Thing Between Us" by Evermore - This is the night when Aura has the shades in her and she can't even be around Zachary. A lot of uncertainty--things have changed between them, but they're still fighting for each other.

"Fast Blood" by Frightened Rabbit - Shower scene and the (never to be shown X-rated) hotel bedroom scene that follows. As Scott Hutchinson once said in an interview, this song is "essentially about f***ing." They had just escaped death, after all.

"Keening Song" by Aine Minogue - When Zachary confesses to Aura what the DMP did to him. There are no words to express his anguish--not in English, at least.

"Rise Above" by Black Flag - Fight scene in the Òran Mór! I thought this song sounded brawly and perfect for Zachary's mates.

"Stay" by Belly - I've always loved this song. It's not actually a romantic song, but it's about a guy who has suffered and is well-loved ("I've loved him hundreds of thousands of years.") And at this point, Aura wants very much to stay in Glasgow ("It's not time for me to go."--except, it is). I considered cutting it for length, but the soundtrack needed a denouement between the big action scene and the finale...

"You Are a Tourist" by Death Cab for Cutie - This song perfectly sums up the way I felt upon returning home from Ireland and Glasgow, a sentiment Aura shares:

And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born
Then it's time to go
And define your destination
There's so many different places to call home

A year and a few months later, I still feel not-at-home at home. With luck and determination, I'll return one day. If not, well, at least Aura got to be where she belongs.


So there it is. A musical journey through Shine. I hope you enjoy it long after you've finished the book, and that it gives you fond thoughts of Logan, Aura, and Zachary!

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What a great list of songs!!!!!

Posted by: Blogger Kendra at 7/18/2012 3:18 PM

Fast Blood. The shower scene. !!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all.

Posted by: Blogger Ginger @ GReads! at 7/18/2012 3:37 PM

This is perfect! Made me cry (b/c I'm a sap like that) but perfect none the less. Thank you. :)

Posted by: Blogger Jen at 7/18/2012 7:03 PM

This is so lovely, and I adore the commentary. Books and music together are, in my opinion, one of the most perfect things ever!

Now I have to go listen to all those songs--in order, don't worry ;)--over and over again :)

Posted by: Blogger Mag @ Geek Chic at 7/18/2012 7:29 PM

I loved this soundtrack so much when I first heard it, but the notes give it a whole new meaning. It's beautiful.

Posted by: Blogger Poochylover at 7/18/2012 9:37 PM

Oh my! I love most of these songs! But I haven't read Shine :( so, I cannot read the notes!!!
Anyway, I LOVED that song by Damien Rice, I didn't know it till I saw the sounstrack some days ago!
Thank you!!!!

Posted by: Blogger Lis at 7/19/2012 12:41 PM

Feeling the pull to re-read SHINE already with the playlist. I was emotional just thinking of the scenes each song goes with I can only imagine the impact it will have while reading and listening at the same time.

Thanks, it is just one more bit of awesome you have bestowed on us....your fans. Humbled as always.

Posted by: Blogger KristyZ at 7/19/2012 10:15 PM

finally got to listen and read the notes. It's an epic journey with a truly beautiful soundtrack.

Love it.

Posted by: Blogger claire at 7/20/2012 9:28 AM

finally got to listen and read the notes. It's an epic journey with a truly beautiful soundtrack.

Love it.

Posted by: Blogger claire at 7/20/2012 9:29 AM

Love reading about your thoughts for the songs. Listening to the soundtrack always takes me right back into the story and I now I can picture exactly which scenes go with which songs. (Though I already knew which scene "Everything" depicted! ;)


Posted by: Blogger Judy (shellseeker93) at 7/20/2012 4:57 PM

Ack, Judy, I forgot to credit you for suggesting "Everything." Going to fix now.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 7/20/2012 5:30 PM

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