This week, writer Rea Tarvydas shares the songs that power her brand new short story collection. Read and give a listen!
Music is a big deal for me as a writer. I use it in different ways. Sometimes it’s to condition me into a piece of writing and, in that instance, I listen before I sit down at the desk. Sometimes it’s a soundtrack that plays in the background, literally and figuratively, as I work on a story.
My short story collection, How To Pick Up A Maid In Statue Square (Thistledown 2016), was powered by punk music. I like music driven by an electronic beat overlaid with aggressive drumming, sometimes at odds with one another. And incoherent lyrics that fall apart unleash a pure joy in me.
In fact, I assigned a song to each of the stories, and included a playlist at the end of the book. Here’s a selection from that playlist:
Head Above Water by Hunters & Collectors
In “How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square”, Fast Eddy, trying not to use amphetamines, instructs on how best to approach Filipina maids on their rest day.
Disorder by Joy Division
In “Fast Eddy”, catch up with Fast Eddy a little later in his life as an expat, after the drugs and rehab. First night out in 10 months and his dealer shows up.
Temptation by New Order
In “Leon”, a billboard of a near-naked man hovers over Hong Kong, and exerts a strange power over Leon. At The Globe, he picks up a kohl-eyed girl and struggles to keep up with her sexual demands.
Ceremony by New Order
In “The Suitable Dress”, Sarah escapes her flat in the midst of a black rainstorm and meets, and falls in love with, Fast Eddy on a flooded street.
Stranded by The Saints
In “The Dirty Duck”, follow Bill on a strange night in Bali. Between phone calls from his ailing Mum, worries about his heart condition, and a too-tight Balinese crown, he realizes his inability to commit.
Love will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
Overall, this song sums up the collection. I like to listen to it, loud. Lying on the floor. That’s essential.