Setting the Mood: the Music of BTB

Although much of Blacker Than Black was created with trance music for my writing space, there are a number of songs that resonated with the story and with certain scenes or muse-moods when I was struggling through a certain passage of prose.

Without further ado, I give you the music of BTB:

1. This one isn't really there for the music, although it could be considered a whisper of reference to my relationship with Black and the rest of the muse-cast these past five years. Actually the main reason for it is to show you the most authentic representation of Black I've ever actually stumbled across, thanks to a reader on GR: that's Frank Kjosas.

2. "Got Monsters" by Keith Mina Caputo, offers a glimpse into Black's head that appears suddenly upon realizing the extent of lyche heritage and influence. This isn't a subject addressed heavily or directly in the narrative, but it's there.

3. "Under Pressure" by Queen. When I was reworking and expanding the opening scene, this was the song that kept getting caught on repeat in my mind. It's a song whose lyrics underscore the state of humanity's existence in the world of lyche. For humans, one might say, nothing much has really changed.

4. "Pretenders" by Foo Fighters. This one whispered to me while I was reworking the initial post-transaction confrontation between Garthelle and Black; it continued resonating throughout the course of the story as well.

5. "Elyria" by Faith and the Muse. It's not intended to be doom and gloom music, yet it certainly resonates with what I imagined the feel of the energy and auras in the room would be like for Black when surrounded by a few dozen unfamiliar lyche, each with the ability to drain them dead in a heartbeat.

6. "Girl With One Eye" by Florence and the Machine. This is Desmonde's song. Every time I hear it, I think of her character. Doesn't matter who you are, you don't fuck with Aidalisa Desmonde and walk away unscathed.

7. "One Headlight" by The Wallflowers. Black and Garthelle walking into the scene of Soiphe's murder.

8. "Freedom" by George Michael. Alynn/a's song. I love it for that one line: sometimes the clothes do not make the man.

9. "Why Do I Care" by tyDi/Tania Zygar. Ignore the suggestive references of romantic love in the video content. This one's a peek into Black's real feelings about their father.

10. "Did I Dream" by Lost Witness. This is the first of a handful of trance songs that resonate strongly with Black's story. This one always came back to me when I was writing a sequence that had some kind of intimate interaction between Black and Garthelle. It's become the "sound" of two auras thrumming against one another, in the heat of the moment.

11. "What the Water Gave Me" by Florence and the Machine. Yes, another of theirs; here, Black's thoughts on the evolving relationship with Garthelle. On accepting what is given, and finding satisfaction in it.

12. "Rapture" by iio. Every time I hear this one, it triggers the sequence of scenes where Garthelle admits to having known all along, to having misled and distracted them, and the twins proceed to hunt down Blue. There's this eerie sort of resonance in the music, and in the scenes: nothing of Black's connection to  the lyche has changed, just the perception of it.

13. "Return to Innocence" by Enigma. Call me old-school and sappy, but this one is totally the solarium scene.

14. "Requiem For A Dream" by Mozart (remixed). Noire and Garthelle facing off.

15. "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers. If you couldn't yet tell that I have eclectic and varied music taste, this should do it. But I haven't been able to move past how strongly I see Black facing off against the trio of lyche, and then Noire, every time I hear this song.

16. "Wait For You" by Lost Witness. Some things happen so gradually that you don't notice them until they slap you upside the head.


  1. This was a pretty cool post. I need to check out some of these works.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com


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