The Music of “In the Sky”

“…But I blinked and the world was gone.”

“And the World Was Gone” – Snow Ghosts

My novel, In the Sky, wouldn’t be what it is today without music. Truthfully, it may not even exist at all.

Without music, I wouldn’t have constantly been immersed the world of Stella and Skye. I wouldn’t have been thinking about what music would be playing over each scene, each moment, each feeling. I wouldn’t have been living in their world on the bus to class or while cleaning my apartment.

It’s been so long since I started writing their story, so I can’t quite remember when I began the playlist on my phone (then iPod). I do, however, still have a lot of the same songs that were originally on it. These were songs that gave me the motivation to keep writing, gave me inspiration for crutial moments, and truly got me into Stella’s head—the place I always loved to be. (Still do, she’s great.)

Some of those original songs were:

“Shelter” – The xx
“And the World Was Gone” – Snow Ghosts
“The Lightning Strike (What if This Storm Ends?)” – Snow Patrol
“I Lived” – OneRepublic
“Let the River In” – Radical Face
“Candles” – Daughter

In the beginning, one of the most influential artists that exuded the energy I wanted the novel to have was Daughter. In fact, when you look at the playlist today, plenty of her songs are still on there.

An artist that you’ll also see a lot on there nowadays is AURORA, who has quickly become for me what Daughter was in the beginning in many ways. A similar sound, similar haunting lyrics, but also a lighter feel. She captures the happier moments in the story that I couldn’t quite find music for until now.

Overall, I’ve always thought the folk-y, indie vibe works best for the story’s tone. In some ways, I took original inspiration from The Hunger Games soundtracks, especially “Kingdom Come” by The Civil Wars and “Safe & Sound” by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars from the first film.

When it came to perfecting the manuscript, it was never a question whether I wanted to insert a playlist after the story. I wanted people to be able to see what inspired me and hopefully jump back into the world of the Zone Out whenever they wanted, just as I do.

To see the full playlist, you’ll just have to read my book when it’s published. 😉

…But here’s a little taste of some of the lyrics that shaped the story as it is today.