Hello, friends. I hate to say it’s been as long as it has, but alas, here I am now with some EXCITING news. How exciting? SUPER EXCITING.
So you know that music is crazy important to me—in life, in my books, just in everything. And we’ve found a number of cool ways to integrate music into the series—from our original songs, “Pretty Girl” and “Breaking,” to the live stream of the Soundtrack playlist here on the site, even to the videos of Soundtrack songs over on my YouTube page.
But now we have THE SURVIVORS SOUNDTRACK SESSIONS.
I’m crazy excited about the launch of this series of videos. The Survivors Sessions actually came about from a few different things. First, I live in Music City, that is, Nashville, Tennessee. There are approximately two super talented people for every one regular person in this town, a ratio I quite enjoy. This is a town where music is king, and I hate how for all the opportunities there are out there, there are still so many of the supertalented Nashvillians who slip through the cracks. Secondly, I love the versions of the songs I chose for the Soundtrack, sure, but sometimes it’s amazing to hear others’ interpretations of these songs—either based on the song itself or based on the book. Third, nothing makes me happier than collaborating with other talented people—specifically people more talented than I am!
And so from these three ideas came THE SURVIVORS SESSIONS. During each season on Fridays, we’re going to launch a new, original video on my YouTube page that is a cover of one of the songs off of the Survivors Soundtrack, performed by the amazing local talent here in Nashville. (There will be a few exceptions to this—not to the talent part, but to the local part… we’ll explain when we get there!) This is my way of bringing more and more artists and creative energies into THE SURVIVORS project as a whole, and it’s my way of giving you hugely more opportunities to let the music that inspired me inspire you. These covers are AWESOME. Some of them are dead ringers for the amazing originals, and others are hugely inventive interpretations that will chill you to your bones. Let them linger and invade your mind, your soul. That’s what these songs did to me. Let them do that for you.
And here’s a fun bonus: Some of the songs are off the first book’s soundtrack, but some of them are off FUTURE book soundtracks. This means that you can let them get into your head now, think of how they apply to the characters you know and love now, and then obsess your little hearts out over what they might mean for the future.
So, recap: Every Friday, go subscribe to my YouTube page and look for the Survivors Sessions videos. Then, check here for the story behind the song.
We’re kicking off with The Black Keys’ “Sinister Kid” which, hey, doesn’t appear on the first book soundtrack. It actually appears on the third book soundtrack. BUT this song has inspired me for Sadie since I first heard it off The Black Keys’ hugely acclaimed 2010 album, Brothers. I may have it selected for a certain scene in a certain book, but it fits with her as a character as a whole.
The lines that get me are Sadie through-and-through:
A sinister kid is a kid who runs to meet his maker.
A drop dead sprint from the day [she’s] born,
Straight into [her] Maker’s arms.
And that’s me. That’s me.
The [girl] with the broken halo.
That’s me. That’s me.
The Devil won’t let me be.
I’m also a bit obsessed with…
I got a tortured mind, and my blade is sharp.
A bad combination in the dark.
These words tell a story of a Sadie-type. And the rock vibe of The Black Keys reminds me that sometimes her messed-up-ness isn’t sad so much as it’s dangerous, a bit thrilling, and still always chilling. Only, even then, her darkness doesn’t consume you. That’s the thing with Sadie, isn’t it? Sometimes the glamour, the runway looks, the money, the cars, the boys… sometimes they make you forget what’s really happening her life. Or, maybe, they make you forget who she is, and what she’s trying to do. That’s what this song does. The amazing musicians behind The Black Keys—Patrick Carney & Dan Auerbach, who, really are AMAZING, perhaps awe-inducing, perhaps deity-esque—make you forget how messed up the character in the song is just enough to get lost in the music. And that’s what Sadie does to you too.
That’s Minnie Murphy singing, playing the keyboard, and shaking her badass tambourine. And that’s Sean Weaver giving Dan Auerbach a run for his money on his electric guitar. Having these two powerhouse musicians in my living room (did I forget to mention these were all recorded in my living room?), covering a knock-your-socks-off song by two other powerhouse musicians that have all but changed my life is a moment I won’t soon forget. And hopefully, their cover is one you won’t soon forget either.
I’m so stoked we’re finally here where we can share the Survivors Sessions with you. I’ll see you next Friday with a 13-year-old singer whose voice you won’t believe. Can’t wait.