INTERSECTION Soundtrack — the 'novel' playlists


I was well into writing book three when struck with the idea of putting together playlists for each book. It was sparked by a bit of banter I'd just drafted for Third Degree Byrne in which Katherine explains apologetically that their ambient music options are limited to the three CD's long-lodged into her hard-to-access audio system. The catalytic question of 'what would those three CDs be?' was an easy one to answer. I had already written nearly half a million words about these characters and outlined seven of the nine planned books—I knew what they had to be. But a playlist to go with the books? Oh… the possibilities!

Another subtle spur to my playlist-itch may have been the weekly taunt coming from my DVR cue. As my writing was reaching the endpoint of what would become book 1 of the Intersection saga (early 2020), NBC launched the new television series Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. If you are unfamiliar, Google it. Suffice to say, this 60-minute musical dramedy that plays out the characters’ innermost thoughts as Broadway-style numbers using contemporary radio chart-toppers became an instant hit in the Yost abode. The very premise stole a page from my own childhood-Walter-Mitty-like visions of responding to conflict with a song when words failed the moment (not unlike the way Jon, Katherine and Harold use film quotes). But I digress…

So, approaching it from the, what would compel me to click and listen, perspective, I reflected on my own music library ( …which, for the last decade or so, has become entirely digital). Truth be told, I'm more of a hunter than a gatherer, so I tend to target individual songs versus downloading an entire album. Yet I have boxes and boxes of dusty CDs (compact discs) in the closet which serve as evidence that long-play collections do hold a coveted spot in my historical listening bent. With a strong lead, the category holding the top spot in my collection is Soundtracks— feature films, musical theatre, TV programs, even a few documentary scores. 

Ghost Town
SerendipidyWhat makes a soundtrack great in my book (no pun intended) is its ability to draw my mind's eye back to the very scene it was scoring. A bit of an 'instant replay reverie,' if you will. I see it… re-experience it…simply by hearing that song again. Click 'play' on Citizen Cope's Sideways, and the only vision in my head is Ricky Gervais, broken by the state of his heart (a grudging admission that he had one to break), as he trudges the streets of NY through a downpour of hail in the film Ghost Town. Less than 10 beats into When You Know performed by Shawn Colvin, I immediately see John Cusack slumped in the back of a NY taxi, resolved as he passes the book (the long-sought clue to finding his mystery woman) to the gobsmacked Jeremy Piven in Serendipity. I could give endless examples (including a few equally memorable instrumentals) but you get the point.

For better or worse, what started as a self-indulgent side-note quickly became a dubious distraction. It was increasingly clear that my desire was not to simply create a playlist but to craft a soundtrack. I wanted something that would serve as a catalyst to relive the story, enjoy a reunion with the characters (without needing to find 10-15 hours of solitude to repeat the 300+ page read). Better to animatedly fuel a tap of the toes for a more compressed time frame.

I imagine my process for building these plot-driven soundtracks would sound as unconventional as my method of unfolding the Intersection plot itself. But, given I passed the threshold of long-winded about 3 paragraphs back, I’ll save that little peek behind the curtain for a different Intersection Insiders post. Whether simply curious or have a need to feed your inner sleuth, there are 4 ways readers can musically tap in. The links below are ranked from 'just listen' (Signaller) to spy 'behind the curtain' (Major).



[SIG] To skip any further ado, you can simply go straight to the “CONFLICT OF INTRIGUES Soundtrack — a novel playlist” on YouTube Music or Spotify
At a minimum, I would recommend putting eyes on the Chapter-by-Chapter Soundtrack Quick List that shows the breakdown of songs by chapter. The YouTube Music and Spotify links can be found there as well.
Readers who have finished the first book (and plan to follow the characters and story through the series) will appreciate the added snippet of context in the song-to-scene editorial. *INTERNAL SPOILER WARNING: Though only a sentence each, these snippets do assume you have already finished reading Conflict of Intrigues. If you have not, click at your own risk.  
Closet puzzlers who delight in clocking that suspicious detail and thrill at connecting the dots, I offer the lyric-to-line commentary. Those ready to dive in headfirst can click directly into the commentary. If you prefer the a-la-cart approach, you can dip your toe in the water by starting with the song-to-scene editorial where you can simply click on the ‘more insights’ link for a given song of interest to see the expanded commentary. *SPECULATIVE SPOILER WARNING: Each book in the Intersection series is infused with covert clues, Easter eggs, sleeper seeds, and other subtle signals hinting at the notional threads that have been securely pinned to future books in the series (…if you’ve already finished Desert Storm Warning, you know what I mean). While there are no intentional future-book spoilers revealed in the soundtrack commentary, the lyric-to-line insights may identify clues that initially snuck past you. Should your enhanced clarity compel you to speculate what that clue might be signaling for future reveals, well… that’s all you, smarty-pants. Bottom line, the soundtrack commentaries are simply meant to be a fun and unconventional way to draw attention to what’s already there on the page (albeit some of it between the lines). Think of it as a guided musical reconnaissance exercise.

Complete list of INTERSECTION Soundtrack links

      • Soundtrack: CONFLICT OF INTRIGUES YouTube Music or Spotify
      • Soundtrack: DESERT STORM WARNING YouTube Music or Spotify
      • Soundtrack: THIRD DEGREE BYRNEYouTube Music or Spotify
  • [MAJ] Spy behind the curtain with the lyric-to-line commentary, laced with covert clues, Easter eggs, sleeper seeds, and other subtle signals hidden in the pages of the book(s), which are drawn out by chorus and verse. (Beware of speculative spoilers.) 

𝅘𝅥𝅮Links for YouTube Music or Spotify will bring you to either the Intersection channel on that platform or directly to the specified complete playlist. However, individual songs hyperlinked on this site are for YouTube Music, which (unlike Spotify) does not require a paid subscription to view the lyrics (when available).