Reading Playlist: A Darkness Strange and Lovely


Reading Playlist: A Darkness Strange and Lovely

We are only weeks away from the release of A Darkness Strange and Lovely! In this spellbinding sequel to Something Strange and Deadly, Susan Dennard delivers a thrilling mix of intrigue, romance, and revenge, all set against the wonderfully enchanting backdrop of nineteenth-century Paris.





A Playlist Dark and Lovely

By Susan Dennard
Music plays a huge part in my writing process. Every scene, every sentence, every word in the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy was written to music, and I even have a Something Strange and Deadly Spotify list with over 230 songs! Thus, when it came time to make a playlist for the amazing people at Epic Reads, I didn’t have trouble finding songs so much as I did whittling down my enormous compilation to the important bones. So while some of these tunes will make you want to tap your toe, some will make your heart soar, and some will make your skin crawl—and that’s the point! How can I write the best possible scene without appropriate mood music, right? 😉 And who knows—maybe this playlist will inspire YOU to write as well! Happy listening!

1. “Bones” by “MS MR”

Everything about this song embodies the vibe of the Something Strange and Deadly series—the dark tone of the music, the achy quality to the lead singer’s voice, and then the LYRICS! “Dig up her bones but leave the soul alone.” Perfect lyrics for the series, no? I can just imagine the opening credits rolling if SS&D were a series . . .

2. “Anastasia” by A Silent Film

This song is a great introduction to Eleanor’s emotional state at the beginning of A Darkness Strange and Lovely . The lyrics—“Do you remember what you wanted to be?/Do you remember how you use to feel?/Now you’re pushed and shoved and made to fit the mold/Like a rounded peg, you’re forced in a square hole/Run away now, Anastasia/And don’t regret a thing/Run away now, Anastasia/You won’t regret a thing”—are so perfect for the opening of book two.

3. “Map of the Problematique” by Muse

This is such an intense piece of music, and whenever I hear it, I imagine epic chase scenes and wild battles. The lyrics, though, are so desolate and powerful—almost juxtaposing with the insanity of the music. It really reminds me of how lonely and lost Eleanor feels throughout so much of A Darkness Strange and Lovely—and how much her desire to not be alone ultimately drives her.

4. “La Seine”—Un Monstre à Paris soundtrack

This song is just SO magical, and I love the way it seems to paint a picture of Paris. I can vividly imagine Eleanor clattering through Paris in a carriage, seeing the City of Light for the first time and reveling in the beauty of it all.

5. “Lean” by Oh Land

This song summarizes how the Spirit-Hunters feel about one another. Their relationship is so strong and supportive. Daniel leans on Joseph, Joseph leans on Jie, Jie leans on Daniel—you get the idea. They have learned to function so well as a unit, they can’t really imagine lives without the others.

6. “Quelqu’un M’a Dit” by Carla Bruni

I just adore this song. The romantic vocals positively ooze with Parisian cool, and I love that the chorus lyrics—“That you still loved me, did someone really tell me that you still loved me? Well, could that be possible?”—fit perfectly with Eleanor’s feelings for Daniel.

7. “Lover’s Eyes” by Mumford & Sons

This song is just Daniel. Everything about the lyrics tells his story, and the almost-painful need that drips from each note expresses the conflicting desires inside him. I love Mumford & Sons, and I love this piece. Whenever I hear “Lover’s Eyes,” I think of Daniel Sheridan.

8. “Ghosts” by Ladytron

This song has so much delicious darkness in the tone and lyrics. It really typifies Eleanor’s growing power with necromancy and how much the “dark side of the force” appeals to her while also repulsing her. The song also seems to reflect her rocky relationships with the people in her life (the Spirit-Hunters, Oliver, her mother, etc.).

9. “Transylvanian Concubine” by Rasputina

The eerie tone of this song is perfect for the villain in A Darkness Strange and Lovely. I mean, it’s just perfect. I have no doubt when you meet the bad guy, you’ll totally agree with me.

10. “He’s a Pirate”—Pirates of the Caribbean

The Curse of the Black Pearl soundtrack: I. Love. THIS MUSIC. I have every single Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack on my Spotify playlist for the SS&D series, and there’s something about the swashbuckling vibe that just fits all the action scenes of my books so well. I can imagine Daniel with his pistols, Joseph with his electricity, Jie with her fists, and Eleanor with her parasol as they battle their way through the Dead.

11. “HomeStead”—Assassin’s Creed III game soundtrack

I love the atmosphere of this piece. It’s a slower, calmer clip that feels like “the aftermath” to me—like those scenes after a final showdown in which characters (Eleanor and Daniel, perhaps?) finally start to accept how much they need each other.

12. “I Remain” by Alanis Morissette

Although A Darkness Strange and Lovely ends with most of the story threads wrapped up, there are a few plot pieces that remain open. The Spirit-Hunters have farther to go before the end of their journey, and I think this song really evokes where they’ve been and where they still need to travel.

Must reads