Divine Vices - Music Playlist

Like many other authors out there, music is an essential for me in the writing process. Each chapter of Divine Vices was named after the particular song that inspired me most when composing it. So here’s the breakdown. Hope you enjoy.

Chapter 1:
Panic! At the Disco’s “New Perspective”:
Roll down the windows and enjoy the ride as you cruise along to this breath of fresh air of a song that beckons you to welcome the day.

Chapter 2:
Hinder’s “All American Nightmare”:
Ah, yes, the ultimate bad boy theme. When contemplating the atmosphere of Jack’s introduction, this was the first song that came to mind. Edgy, sexy, and utterly brazen. Need I say more?

Chapter 3:
Little Big Town’s “Tornado”:
Right from the get-go, Cassie establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with. Jack’s bravado has met its match, and this bold number exhibits Cassie’s sass to a T.

Chapter 4:
The Doors’ “People Are Strange”:
Gate House’s atmosphere really is the physical expression of this song. Though Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” may be playing in the background of the shop, “People Are Strange” demonstrates its eccentricities with this lovely cabaret number about being an outsider.

Chapter 5:
Gerard Butler & Emmy Rossum’s “The Point of No Return” from 2004’s The Phantom of the Opera:
Its sweeping orchestra and daunting lyrics expressed by Gerard Butler’s beautiful, yet menacing vocals could send a shiver up the spine of even the most valiant of spirits.

Chapter 6:
Florence + the Machines’ “Kiss With a Fist”:
The ultimate theme for any emotionally combative couple! Cassie and Jack’s constantly confrontational banter really is the metaphorical equivalent of a good tussle.

Chapter 7:
Bush’s “Comedown”:
This is the situation in which Cassie finally gets a better grasp on Jack’s character. The pretenses are gone, and now all these two have left is the intensity of their emotions. Seemed fitting.

Chapter 8:
The Doors’ “Riders On the Storm”:
So perfectly suited for the situation at hand that it just had to be mentioned within its text. Ambiguity aside, when its lyrics hint at the dangers of picking up hitchhiking, along with its eerie, rainy background effect, you can’t help but feel its cinematic, visual perfection.

Chapter 9:
Slash’s “Beautiful Dangerous (featuring Fergie)”:
The song’s brazen lyrics and Fergie’s powerhouse vocals illustrate Cassie’s wickedly teasing demeanor in the bedroom scene so well.

Chapter 10:
Lady Gaga’s “Teeth”:
Yes, I’ll admit it. The song doesn’t convey the scene’s imagery, but COME ON! Its throbbing, stomping, visceral beat just beckons for a hot guy to start peeling off layers of clothing.

Chapter 11:
Michael Buble’s “Fever”:
Given Capone’s Hideaway is a speakeasy, the song’s cool, jazzy riffs and sensual lyrics are quite fitting.

Chapter 12:
Jason Walker’s “Echo”:
A chilling, soulful number that seemed to capture how Cassie may have been feeling.

Chapter 13:
Marilyn Manson’s “Sweet Dreams”:
Let’s face it. The words Marilyn Manson should pretty much clarify the tone that the scene wishes to set. Its provoking menace is enough to leave anyone with goose bumps.

Chapter 14:
Goo Goo Dolls’ “All That You Are”:
The perfect song that sums up Cassie and Ian’s relationship. They’re both imperfect, and their acceptances of the other is a love that neither has really had the blessing of having before. It’s a very healthy friendship.

Chapter 15:
Ida Maria’s “Bad Karma”:
It’s an absolute truth. When you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned. Cassie finds out the hard way that her associations with Jack have consequences in the eyes of others, and Maria’s Joan Jett-esque, gruff vocals only adds hype to this universal message of the 360 effect.

Chapter 16:
Florence + The Machines’ “Seven Devils”:
What fits better in a scene distinguished by menace than Florence Welch’s soaring voice and Gothic, Biblically rife lyrics?

Chapter 17:
Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”:
Considering the rabbit hole that Cassie seems to have fallen into at the introduction of this chapter, Wonder’s take on buying into superstitious fables would appear to be reasonable advice, but one can’t linger on some of the song’s lyrics and say that it may not be foreshadowing a doomed future.

Chapter 18:
Edwyn Collins’s “A Girl Like You”:
If David Bowie had ever made a song for a James Bond movie, you could imagine that this is what it would sound like. So given the secret-agent skills that Cassie and Gwen *try* to exhibit in their misadventure, they need a beautiful, clever theme.

Chapter 19:
Aerosmith’s “What Kind of Love Are You On”:
Ever been in a roughneck bar? This fun, dangerous, gritty, hard rock Aerosmith number is pretty much what you’ll find pumping out of the sound system.

Chapter 20:
Saving Abel’s “Out of My Face”:
Doesn’t exactly take much explaining here as to why this is fitting. The lyrics say it all.

Chapter 21:
Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”:
With a powerful song that delivers great introspection on coming to terms with the reality of your world after any kind of breakup, it really spoke to me on a personal level at the time and those emotions really seemed to pour into Cassie perfectly. It’s both bitter and beautiful.

Chapter 22:
Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”:
A heavy bass and beat exploding into a beautiful, adrenaline-infused anthem? Yeah, it kind of goes hand in hand with the recreational activity that is exercised in this chapter.

Chapter 23:
Unkle’s “Restless (featuring Josh Homme)”:
Its dark, sensual, hypnotic beat completely captures the essence of the Halloween party.

Chapter 24:
Halestorm’s “Familiar Taste of Poison”:
Halestorm’s music in general seemed to breathe the spirit of Jack during most of my thinking process away from the keyboard, but this one song in particular was undeniably the essence of how Cassie thinks of him. “Familiar Taste of Poison” is the wantonness of caving into your inner desires, and that seemed to be best suited for the overall embodiment of what Jack really is for Cassie. It’s the toxic sensuality that consumes the host and one’s willingness to give into the craving. Definitely Jack’s theme for the book. Strangely enough, I prefer the Radio Edit of the song over the original, simply because it introduces the drum progression a little earlier on. It builds the song’s thriving undertones so beautifully.

Chapter 25:
Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks”:
Originally written back in the late 1920s in regard to the commotion and mayhem arising from the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Zeppelin’s 1970 take on the classic provides the listener with a bit more ambiguity. Is it really a reaction of physical destruction, or can it also be about inner turmoil reaching its breaking point? Cassie just may be facing the reality of both.

Chapter 26:
Gomez’s “How We Operate”:
Its message of the turbulence in relationships pretty much fit the collective whole of everyone in Cassie’s life up to this place in the book. And it also plays as the turning point for Cassie’s appreciation for Jack.

Chapter 27:
Audioslave’s “Shadow On the Sun”:
This is very much aimed to be projected from Ian’s prospective, representing regret and the fears of facing abandonment. There’s a deadly concoction of sadness and anger.

Chapter 28:
The Ben Taylor Band’s “Time of the Season”:
Originally a 60’s song by The Zombies, this revamped version is equals parts seductive and chilling. Fitting.

Chapter 29:
Kerrie Roberts’s “Rescue Me (How the Story Ends)”:
Dripping in fantasy similes along with its mystifying, ethereal melody, “Rescue Me” was always the song that provoked the most imagery in my mind when constructing this particular set of events. The title of the song says everything.

Chapter 30:
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’s “Red Right Hand”:
Lyrics conveying the tale of Evil in human form… Yep, that pretty much sums it up. The daunting pounds and church bells resonating in the background only heighten the ominous nature of the song.

Chapter 31:
30 Seconds to Mars’s “The Kill”:
Considering it’s a song about coming to terms with yourself and meeting the truth head-on, Jared Leto’s raw, towering vocals helped bring the emotional intensity to the facts learned in this chapter, and the aching instrumental illustrated the physical tension in the scene as well.

Chapter 32:
Hodges’s “My Side of the Story”:
With the confession made in this chapter, nothing better encapsulated the despair for me than this beautiful song.

Chapter 33:
Sevendust’s “The Past (featuring Chris Daughtry)”:
The title sums up what is brought into perspective, and it really paints the inner devastation of the character in question.

Chapter 34:
Boyce Avenue’s “Perfect”:
Its acoustic warmth delivers an evenness that I, personally, feel is lost in P!nk’s version. Stripping away the unnecessary profanity and irregular rapping bit delivers balance, complimenting the song’s tender message. It worked so well in helping me convey exactly what I wanted to when writing this scene.

Chapter 35:
The Calling’s “Stigmatized”:
One of my all-time favorite songs! Just ask my iPod. Its ultimate message of not only acknowledging yourself as an outsider, but also accepting someone for their own faults and loving them in their entirety, made this an essential to play while writing the Homecoming scene. It truly speaks volumes for everyone involved in this event.

Chapter 35 Honorable Mention:
Stellar Revival’s “Saving Grace”:
This should honestly be the official song for every couple. Sweet, liberating, easy listening. This was idyllic for the sequence following the dance.

Chapter 35 Honorable Mention:
Boyce Avenue’s “Teenage Dream”:
Let’s face it. This cover of Katy Perry’s hit is absolutely adorable. Its revamped lyrics, warm vocals, and stripped instrumental work makes this the perfect song to melt into the arms of that special someone.

Chapter 36:
Breaking Benjamin’s “Dance With the Devil”:
Obviously, the Devil isn’t actually the Devil, per se, in this scene, but the visceral danger evoked in the song’s lyrics that suggest that something, or better yet, someone is out to take your life from you seemed appropriate.

Chapter 37:
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising”:
Stating that the apocalypse is approaching couldn’t be better suggested than in this roots rock Creedence number.

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