Reading Playlists

In the After doesn’t have a lot of music in it, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a soundtrack. Songs have so much power, they can be so vital to experiencing raw emotion. This playlist is full of songs that echo a character’s emotion/mental state. To represent the apocalypse I chose a lot of the gritty nineties songs I love, but acoustic versions that seem more honest. I also picked a few covers that made me rethink a much-loved original, making it new and fresh and fitting



1. “Sweet Dreams”, by Marilyn Manson
“Sweet Dreams” makes you feel out of place, in a horrifying dream world that you don’t really understand. It’s perfect for Amy’s first experience of the After, when normality is shattered and all she’s left with is the horror that remains.

2. “Radioactive”, by Imagine Dragons
“Radioactive” makes me think of a harsh post-apocalyptic world, but also of dealing with and surviving in that world. Its grainy beat pummels your senses, but also comes off as somehow hopeful.

3. “Black Dove (January)”, by Tori Amos
For me, this song represents Amy and Baby In the After together. They only have each other.

4. “Down in a Hole (unplugged)”, by Alice in Chains
“Down in a Hole” is so full of pain and anguish. It shows desperation and despair, which visits Amy just before the end of the part one of In the After.

5. “Here Comes the Sun”, the Yuna version
I chose a version of this song that was eerily haunting. There is hope, but also fear. This song is for Amy, when she literally steps back out into the sun and feels real hope for the first time in years. This song also represents the appearance of Rice.

6. “Rebel Girl”, by Bikini Kill
This song makes me think of all the kick-butt girl characters, Amy, Kay, even Vivian and Amber. It’s about being who you are, not what everyone else wants you to be.

7. “Machine Gun”, by Portishead
This song represents Amy’s feelings of confusion and agitation when she first arrives in the New Hope. Amy is so used to living In the After, with just Baby for company, that the change to New Hope is jarring. Even though she should feel safe, all she feels is wary.

8. “Mad World”, by Gary Jules
For me, this song perfectly represents the Ward. The lyrics are dark while the music feels uplifting. It presents itself as one thing, but when you dig deeper, it’s something different.

9. “Hurt”, the Johnny Cash version
This song is so full of despair and depression, it’s for the bad time Amy has in the Ward.

10. “Save Yourself”, by Stabbing Westward
Leading from despair, this song also has just the right amount of anger. I think it represents when Amy finds her fire again.

11. “Woke from Dreaming”, by The Delgados
This is Amy’s full realization of her situation, when the flashbacks catch up to the present. Amy remembers everything that she’s discovered in New Hope and has to deal with the emotional pain that entails.

12. “Uprising”, by Muse
Amy rediscovers her resolve. She’s found the answers she sought and now knows that she must fight for what she knows to be right.

13. “Happiness is a Warm Gun”, the Breeders version
The haunting sound of the Breeders lends an spine-chilling aspect to this classic Beatles song. It represents determination but also struggle.

14. “Runaway” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This song makes me think of Amy leaving everyone she loves, including Baby, Rice, and Kay.

15. “Sounds of Silence”, by Simon and Garfunkel
As with the first song, this song represents the After. I love that this song is more than just a song about silence-it’s about social change and standing against the established powers.