rea108This 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Head on over to my YouTube channel, to listen to the whole playlist.