Sometimes when I’m planning a novel I go a bit too far to create an atmosphere for my story. One way I do this is through creating a playlist. One overall theme that I’m familiar with and have tried to create during my writing process is the apocalyptic, conquer the world atmosphere, the one that requires a bad-ass (usually) female protagonist and a dystopian/dark universe around her. These are the go-to songs for me in writing such stories:
1. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
2. Make Me Wanna Die – The Pretty Reckless
3. Salute Your Solution – The Raconteurs
4. Cold Dark World – Weezer
5. Burning Years – Story Of The Year
6. Prelude 12/21 – AFI
7. We Are Broken – Paramore
8. Royals – LORDE
Of course, I believe there’s more than one way you can capture an apocalypse through sound. The most typical is the gun’s blazing one above – a “children of the new world” sort of way.
Another way to create an apocalyptic soundtrack is via music that is entirely reminiscent of the past, like old country music or old rock e.g. Zombieland or Wall-E. A story that pushes society towards the future but incorporates songs or elements from the past conveys a very powerful message, in my opinion. It encapsulates a loss and desperate need to preserve humanity. After all, humans are natural curators, hoarders of memories, and music is one way to suggest that while we move forward in time we also have to move further back in time as well to understand ourselves.
So, what is your end-of-the-world song? If you realised that the whole world was going up in flames and you knew your last few seconds were nigh, what song do you want to play in the background? Let me know in the comment section.
Till next time,
Photo credits: SethPDA