The Hades Contract: The Soundtrack

I write to music: it’s my whole ~thing~. Always have done, probably always will.

A few months ago, I wrote a post that was a long time coming. My first novel, Godhead had a soundtrack (in my head) and although I had shared it with a few people, it was really time to get my finger out and discuss it properly.

Now, the sequel is out. The Hades Contract landed on Kindle about 24 hours ago, and you really should be reading it. The Hades Contract has a similar soundtrack, and it’s only fair to have similar discussions.

This time, I’m getting ahead of myself: rather than posting it several years later, here’s the soundtrack right now, AS YOU ARE READING IT.

Be warned, this is an honest open conversation about the book, its themes and what happens in it. THERE ARE SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Right, so all of this playlist is in alphabetical order by artist: there’s no particular reason, it was just easier to add to Spotify. And although this is only a few hours old, it’s actually because I rebuilt it for the purposes of sharing (it’s nothing more than that.)

This Could Be Anywhere In The World – Alexisonfire

Let’s talk about what would happen if an ancient city of the Greek gods reformed in modern Greece. Well, Greece would be pretty fucked anyway (I’m sorry, Greece; this plan was set in place long before I was aware of your current fiscal instabilities.) This song is a walk around modern-Greece after Olympus has restored: specifically, it’s about haunted/empty cities, and we see some of that in The Hades Contract. Picture this song playing while our little team make their way through Thessaloniki only to come face to face with a big demon that is going to kill them to death.

Become The Bull – Atreyu

The demon that’s just there chilling in Thessaloniki, it has a very weird physical appearance: it’s animalistic, and (like most of the demons I’ve written in this series) its body is made up of other creatures. In this case, we’re talking about the Morax, the ten-foot tall horned demon who then ends up in a bloody public battle with Unity. Writing the scene was a lot of fun, playing in a sort of matador world with Unity baiting the demon and then taking it down.

It’s mostly just here because of that “bull” reference.

Can You Feel My Heart – Bring Me The Horizon

This track doesn’t really correspond to a particular scene, but everything about it fits in with my aesthetic, and the look/feel I’ve been trying for with The Last Olympiad. There are two things that really sell this song as “belonging” to this book though. The first is in the middle of the song, and is part of an ongoing theme of the series:

I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.

The second is the video: the body movements and the masks remind me of the Furies (slightly) and are something I wanted to play with.

Hole In The Earth – Deftones

The title says it all, really (and the video.) Aphrodite has brought Olympus back into the world, and as a result, the world is breaking. But in a way of beautiful songs.

For Tonight You’re Only Here To Know – The Distillers

Brody Dalle’s voice is really sexy, and so is this song: it’s a little bit frantic, it’s a little bit sore and hurting and painful and just about letting go and giving in. It feels kind of fitting for the song that plays as Karl and Adam finally give in to their attraction to each other.

The Last Garrison – Enter Shikari

This book has heroes, and villains. The heroes are watching the world turn to shit around them, and they’re forced to deal with it. They’re The Last Garrison…get it? Anybody? (Okay, I’m stretching it slightly, just because I like the beat over the chorus, and the name. But still…it works for me.)

Plans – Fort Hope

A hauntingly beautiful piano that makes way for crunching guitars: yep, I can buy that. Those references to “heart” makes this a song about one particular scene: Aphrodite comes to Hades at this camp site and this is one of those moments where those two characters clash with epic results. It’s a scene that turns on a fine understanding of what these characters want, what they think they want, what they think the other wants and how they understand each other. So it’s messed up and has crunching guitars and piano all at the same time. And then she eats his heart. Because they both have plans.

Kill Your Own – Hundred Reasons

A song that really belongs, just because of its title: it’s all about Aphrodite’s “killing her own.”

Die Tonight Live Forever – Innerpartysystem

This is the mix of sexy and dark that has been on my playlist for writing to for years, and I think the themes cross over with this book. It touches different parts of different characters, different scenes, so it’s not really linked to one person or moment in particular, but is over the entire thing. Oh, I don’t know, this is all just in my head.

Blow (Cirkut Remix) – Kesha

Our heroes get their shit together and are on their way to kick some ass in Olympus, only for shit to be ready for them. Visually, this scene could go on forever: in a different medium, this part of the story would have a lot more going on, and it’s something I will definitely revisit.

Tenderoni – Kele Okereke

Another one that’s more of a theme and a sense than a particular character or scene, but it’s another one where the sound and the type of beat/movements are important to getting into the heads of Unity and Quinn.

The Invisible Plan – Kidneythieves

Another song where the title gives away the “plans” but that soaring chorus is also a big part of the drive that brings our characters to Olympus by the end, it’s the drive that keeps them going. This has been on this soundtrack from the beginning, and if and when I get around to making a trailer for this book, I’ll be using this song.

Here We Go – Lower Than Atlantis

A very late entry to this soundtrack, it’s actually been on my personal playlist while I’ve been editing and it sort of stands for my “team” of characters. The lyrics have some significance as well, and might end up on an alternative trailer for the book.

The Death Song – Marilyn Manson

It’s a Hades song. If you haven’t figured that bit out of your own power, there is no hope for you.

Doomsday  – Nero

Shit’s getting serious around the end of the book: this is the lead-in to that. Perhaps it says more about where things are about to go than where they have gone. JUST PICTURE TYPHON RISING FROM HIS PRISON TO THIS SONG!!!!!

I TOLD YOU THERE WERE FUCKING SPOILERS!

Ruiner – Nine Inch Nails

This is the Morax’s song, so powerful and imposing that the key-change around the 50-second mark sees him rise up and standing over the reader/our heroes and ready to fuck shit up. The Morax has been in my head for a very very long time, and this song is part of his creation.

My Violent Heart (Pirate Robot Midget Remix) – Nine Inch Nails

I feel like I’ve used too much Nine Inch Nails in this bit of the soundtrack, and that is very obvious when I’ve written things up like this. Hades rises from the filth in Tartarus, summons the Furies to join him in battle. Don’t act like you can’t feel that.

Jetpacks Was Yes – Periphery

Another mix of sounds about finding a “way out of this dream.” Again, the aesthetics of the video are a really good fit for the world.

When Worlds Collide – Powerman 5000

The clue is in the title, really? This song is a bit aggressive with a really “safe” melody. A little bit like Typhon and this next song.

The Devil In I – Slipknot

Corey Taylor’s voice is Typhon’s; this song has so many elements that tie in with this song. Hauntingly beautiful, turning to a terrifying rage. Just like Typhon. Listen to the lyrics: they’re particularly important as more of Typhon’s plans come to fruition.

Bodies – The Smashing Pumpkins

Another song that’s been in my head for years for a particular scene: this is all about crumbled cities and the dead bodies, and it’s heard not to link that to Olympus and the surroundings.

The Earth Will Shake – Thrice

I cheated. This is also on the  Godhead soundtrack. For a reason: because that’s where this is all set up.

Daylight – Young Guns

A little bit of a challenge to the darkness, a little bit of a challenge to Hades and his schemes. A little bit of a perfect song to play over closing credits, don’t you think?


Also published on Medium.