I did have a playlist that I listened to over and over again while I was writing Glow
, but three years on I'm a bit bored of those songs, which got their final blast at my book party in London last year. So here are the B-sides, so to speak: other good songs by the same artists.
1. "MTI" by Koreless
This is an extraordinarily simple song that feels like it could carry on into eternity. Koreless was right at the top of my playlist, and with them I managed to achieve a sort of Pavlovian response to put myself into the right mind set.
2. "Far Nearer" by Jamie xx
I deliberately didn't specify what kind of music is being played at the raves in the book, but in my imagination it's futuristic and unbound by genre, just like this song. The last time I went clubbing in London was to see Jamie xx DJing at Dance Tunnel in Dalston.
3. "Obedear" by Purity Ring
I noticed that BJ Novak also put a song from this album on his playlist. Perhaps it has some impalpable literary aspect.
4. "Crystalised (Dark Sky Remix)" by the xx
I managed to exploit some old contacts to get a few copies of the book to the xx, whose music was really important to setting the emotional tone of the book. But I have no idea if any of them read it.
5. "Touch" by Holy Other
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A lot of my favorite music sounds like it could be the soundtrack to something, and this is a good example. I hope if Glow is ever made into a film, I get some input into the soundtrack.
6. "On Your Side" by Jacques Greene
In the same way that I was attempting to capture and amplify the emotional quality of raves, this song captures and amplifies the emotional quality of rave music — or UK garage, anyway — by a factor of a million.
7. "Minotaur" by Photek
For a while I considered setting the book in the '90s, when rave wasn't yet an object of nostalgia and the Internet hadn't yet altered the mechanics of thriller plotting. If I had, there would have been a lot of Photek and Source Direct on the soundtrack.
8. "Rival Dealer" by Burial
Glow was in many ways a conscious attempt to "adapt" Burial's music to prose. To me Burial is the most important British musician of the last 10 years. Considering that this is mostly instrumental music, it's remarkable how much of a narrative quality it has.
9. "Coasting" by Kele
This isn't actually a favorite song of mine, but it's an example of how Burial turns up as an influence in the most unexpected places. Then again, Bloc Party, Kele's old band, did have a song on their first album about taking ecstasy at raves, so maybe it's not really that unexpected.