LOVE ACROSS THE UNIVERSE STORY SOUNDTRACKS
As with the Crazy Little Spring Called Love story soundtrack list, this one is full of fun, eclectic choices from our twelve authors. Click on the Spotify Playlist below and then scroll down to read about why the authors picked those songs for their soundtracks.
ELSA M. CARRUTHERS
A Long Walk – Jill Scott
Just Fine—Mary J. Blige
I am Not My Hair—India Arie
“Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
I kind of just hear this at various points through the story when Eliara is feeling particularly insecure about her father’s abuse. Clarkson’s line “because of you I am afraid” sums Eliara up so well at some places.
“Summer Breeze” by Seals and Croft
It has nothing to do with the lyrics. I can just hear the music playing during the scene when Eliara and Randroth are lying on the silver sands of Belmrets beach, talking and, umm, doing other stuff.
“Duel of the Fates” by John Williams
This song is probably best known for playing during the epic battle at the end of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jin fight Darth Maul. Similarly, I hear it when Eliara is facing down her father and trying to get to Randroth, who’s engaged in a battle of his own. Alas, there are no lightsabers, but there is a laser-gun.
Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me with Science (1982)
“She’s poetry in motion. And when she turned her eyes to me, as deep as any ocean, as clear as any harmony…”
The Macabees – Grew Up At Midnight (2012)
“Loving woman, loving man. Here for you doing the best we can. Hard to figure, hard to bear, hard to think knowing how much you care…”
Billy Joel – All About Soul (1993)
“So far she hasn’t run, though I swear she’s had her moments. She still believes in miracles while others cry in vain…”
This is actually tough for me, because my mind is immediately choosing songs from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack (which I do listen to while writing, since it’s instrumental). But they don’t really fit in here, at least not in a logical order. However, I think these choices do:
“Stellar” by Incubus
This song, which I’ve loved for a decade (perhaps even longer!) now, fits in perfectly with my main character’s plans to take his fiancée to a deserted beach on a new planet that he has discovered. He loves her, he can’t wait to marry her, and to him, she is just as important as his out-of-this world discoveries.
“Take Me to Church” by Hozier
I definitely am NOT going to get into the politics of this song (though I really need to say that it’s not about going to a literal church!), but I will say that it’s very fitting for my main character, Tristan, and his fiancée, Cassandra, when they find themselves on a beautiful beach upon the new planet Tristan has discovered. This is a song to unite them in love and lust, and to keep them connected as someone mysterious enters not only into their lives, but also into their bed…
“Uprising” by Muse.
Tristan’s future plans are most certainly altered by his trip to Delmar, and his boss doesn’t necessarily care for what has happened. However, Tristan stands his ground. He will not be controlled by the government, or by people who want to tell him how to live or love. By standing up for himself, many good things happen, and many good things stay in his life – including two very important people. It’s nice to have a character who, despite seeming a bit meek, absolutely cannot be controlled by corporate greed.
“Ordinary World” by Duran Duran
The song discusses the need to let go of the past. This song does a great job of expressing Ivy’s emotional journey. She tries to suppress the devastation of the accident and the loss of her job instead of making peace with the past. This would make a great closing credits song.
"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" by Brian Hyland
This song was stuck in my head when I was imagining Ivy trying to make her beach dream come true in a toxic world. This could be fun for when Leo sees Ivy on the beach in the opening.
“Save Me” by Shinedown
Because both Ivy and Leo try to save each other throughout the story. This would be great for when they are on the Holo World beach swimming.
“Howlin’ For You” by the Black Keys
I can picture Melvin finding a way to get this song to play for Ivy and Leo when they are dog sitting.
The whole soundtrack of Breathless would be inspired by a clash of Latin flamenco guitar (ala Roderigo Y Gabriela’s “Savitri”) and Asian cello (ala Takanobuku’s “Shady Grove”). The combined effect, I think, would be something like the song “Libertango” by Yo-Yo Ma and Astor Piazzolla, which I could see playing during any of the shoot-outs between Mott and the aliens.
Kestrel is an expert in ancient entertainment, but her expertise is primarily in film. While she’s familiar with music, she’s not well-versed. If she listens to music, it’s usually George Winston piano or Imagine Dragons or Muse.
George Winston is for reflection—during the opening scene
Imagine Dragons is when she argues with Theo and crashes the craft
Muse is when she fights—with Mercer and against the guerillas and the unhinged government doctor
George Winston plays during her first kiss (in months) with Mercer; George slides back into place at the end.
“We Know the Way” from Moana
I was inspired to create Kaikoa and Nai’a’s civilization after watching Moana, so it’s only fitting that the song that celebrates the ancient wayfinders (of which Nai’a is a future equivalent) would be on the story’s soundtrack. Second choice would be “An Innocent Warrior”—Kaikoa is a pacifist who fights for what he believes in with non-violent weapons.
Firefly Main Theme (You Can’t Take the Sky From Me)
Everyone who beta read this story said it was like Firefly except Mal is in a relationship with Wash and a male version of Zoe.
“Daylight Again” by Crosby, Stills, & Nash
This song is about looking back at the cost of past wars, and worrying that war is a cycle that will never end. The song asks: “Do we find the cost of freedom buried in the ground?” It doesn’t answer the question—it asks the listener to answer it instead. Because, in the end, everyone dies. The question of the use of violence to solve problems or gain a desired effect is the central conflict between Kai and Sam and Dek.
“He’s a Pirate” by Klaus Badelt from Pirates of the Caribbean
This series has gone off the rails a bit, but the first movie was swashbuckling fun, and my space pirates owe part of their existence to the crew of the Black Pearl.
“Hold My Heart” by Lindsey Stirling, feat. ZZ Ward
The song is sung by a woman, but it totally goes for Sameer. He is the captain, and he doesn’t want anyone to lead him, but he and Dek are used to being part of a trio and they’ve been seeking someone who can hold both of their hearts.
Waters - “Hiccups” is a song about making mistakes and not regretting them because they lead to meeting the right person. It’s very much how Bria feels about Thayne by the end of “Red Sand.”
Awolnation - “Sail” with the line “This is how I show my love, I made it in my mind because . . .” fits with how Bria see the progression of life on Earth when virtual living takes over nearly every aspect of life, including relationships being carried out in the Love Triangle.
Colbie Caillat - “Brighter than the Sun” is about finding that one person and falling for them completely—“lightening strikes the heart, it goes off like a gun, brighter than the sun”—Thayne has that feeling when he meets Bria and lets her into his heart
1939 “Just the Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire – one of my favs and would always be playing!
“Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison – same!
“Summer Breeze” Eva Cassidy version – same!
I tend to like songs that are classic, and not always by the person who made it so.